UDHR at 70: Taking Stock of Human Rights Today

As we mark the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights today, some might say that we have little to celebrate. The significant human rights gains of the early post-Cold War years appear to be coming undone as authoritarian populists take hold in countries that once seemed firmly in the democratic fold. For all of our solemn promises to “never again” permit the perpetration of genocide and crimes against humanity,… More

Australia Enacts Modern Slavery Law

On November 29, Australia became only the second country in the world to enact legislation to fight modern slavery when the country’s Parliament passed the Modern Slavery Act. The new Australian legislation is similar to the UK’s Modern Slavery Act, which was enacted in 2015, inasmuch as both statutes seek to fight modern slavery by getting companies to crack down on such practices in their supply chains.… More

The 2018 Corporate Human Rights Benchmark: Some Successes but Ongoing Challenges in Company Efforts to Advance Human Rights

On November 12, The Corporate Human Rights Benchmark (CHRB) released the results of its 2018 Corporate Human Rights Benchmark.  The 2018 Corporate Human Rights Benchmark assesses over 100 of the largest publicly traded multinational companies in the world on a set of key human rights indicators, including governance policies, remedies and grievance mechanisms, responding to serious allegations, due diligence, and transparency.

Established in 2013,… More

New Anti-Trafficking Legislation May Spur Closer Look at Manufacturers’ Supply Chains

On September 26, the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations approved the Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act of 2018 (H.R. 2200).  The bill would reauthorize the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000.  In July 2017, the House passed its version of H.R. 2200.

Of potential consequence for companies, Section 133 of H.R. 2200 would enhance the List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor that is issued and updated periodically by the  Department of Labor’s International Labor Affairs Bureau (ILAB). … More

Making the case for business action to “secure the shared space”

Image of cover of new BHRC guidance on business support for civic freedoms and human rights defenders.The relationship between companies and civil society can often be acrimonious, yet in the current geopolitical environment, they share more interests in common than one might think. This is the key insight that underpins new guidance authored by Bennett Freeman and others for the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre and two partner organizations on the role that companies should play in protecting the “shared space” they occupy with civil society.… More

Five on Friday – Five Recent Developments that We’ve Been Watching Closely

It’s Friday and time for another overview of developments in the field of business and human rights that we’ve been monitoring.

This week’s post includes: new guidance on compliance with North Korea-related sanctions laws; the release of the first annual report by the parties to the Dutch Banking Sector Agreement on International Responsible Business Conduct; and a new blog series on the “zero draft” of the proposed Treaty on Business and Human Rights.… More

#EthicalOS – A New Guide Aims to Mitigate the Downsides of Technological Advancements

On August 7, the Omidyar Network’s Tech and Society Solutions Lab and the Institute for the Future (“IFTF”) launched a new toolkit, The Ethical Operating System (Ethical OS), to help guide technologists in building preventing, mitigation, and correcting the “social downsides” of technology while also maximizing positive impacts.

The guide, which has already been piloted by 20 companies, uses checklists, scenarios, and exercises to help companies anticipate problems and to develop appropriate strategies to mitigate risk.… More

Five on Friday – Five Recent Developments that We’ve Been Watching Closely

It’s Friday and time for another overview of developments in the field of business and human rights that we’ve been monitoring.

This week’s post includes: developments with respect to the proposed Australian Modern Slavery Act; the dismissal of another climate change-based lawsuit; and an initial draft of the proposed Business and Human Rights Treaty.

  • On June 28, the proposed Modern Slavery Bill was introduced to the Australian Parliament. …
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California Passes New Data Privacy Law With National Implications

This post, written by Christopher Hart, was originally posted on Foley Hoag’s Security, Privacy and the Law blog.

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The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (the “CCPA”) was signed into law on June 28, 2018. Although it is a state law, it has national and international ramifications.… More

Five on Friday – Five Recent Developments that We’ve Been Watching Closely

It’s Friday and time for another overview of developments in the field of business and human rights that we’ve been monitoring.

This week’s post includes: the dismissal of a climate change lawsuit brought by the cities of San Francisco and Oakland; the launch of the Centre for Sport and Human Rights; and a new benchmarking report from Know the Chain.