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Human Rights / Child labor policies


$5 Trillion Investor Coalition Supports Human Rights Benchmark (06/24)
The coalition, coordinated by Boston Common Asset Management, hopes that the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark will help improve corporate human rights disclosures and aid investors in their engagement with companies.

Pepsi Challenged on Palm Oil Worker Exploitation (06/21)
A report from three NGOs reveals that violations of workers' rights on the palm oil plantations of PepsiCo's joint venture partner in Indonesia includes child labor.

Second Benchmark of Corporate Human Rights Performance Launches (04/30)
KnowTheChain, founded in 2013 to address California's Supply Chain Transparency Act, will initially benchmark the human rights performance of 20 companies in the information and communications technology industry sector.

Corporate Human Rights Benchmark Launched (03/31)
Members of the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark complete methodology based in part on UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and plan to publish the first benchmark of corporate human rights performance in November.

Investors Support Human Trafficking Legislation (09/25)
More than 100 institutional investors call for passage in Congress of The Business Supply Chain Transparency on Trafficking and Slavery Act of 2015.

Verite to Assess Trafficking Risks in Sub-Saharan Africa (06/01)
With economies improving and ample natural resources, the region is at heightened risk for human trafficking violations.

ICCR Publishes 2015 Proxy Resolutions and Voting Guide (02/09)
Climate change and wealth inequality lead members of the the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility to increase for the third year in a row the number of shareowner resolutions filed. Second of a two-part series.

January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month (01/12)
While business increasingly acknowledges its responsibility to help eradicate human trafficking in all its forms, more robust efforts are needed to protect the world's most vulnerable people.

Corporate Human Rights Benchmark Gains Government Support (12/24)
The benchmark, which will rank 500 major corporations in four industry sectors on their human rights performance, wins financial support from the UK government. Second of a two-part series.

Child Labor in African Cocoa Industry Persists (12/22)
Poverty among cocoa farmers in West Africa has challenged efforts to eradicate child labor, while initiative to benchmark corporations in the agricultural and other industry sectors gains support. First of a two-part series.

Is Child Labor in Uzbekistan Cotton Fields Decreasing? (10/16)
As You Sow's Responsible Sourcing Network reports that Tesco, the world's second largest retailer, has signed the Cotton Pledge and will avoid the use of cotton sourced from Uzbekistan until child labor is eliminated.

Widespread Forced Labor in Malaysian Electronics Industry (09/19)
A study by Verite finds that nearly one-third of foreign migrant workers in the Malaysian electronics industry work under conditions of forced labor.

Thai Company Sues Activist for Revealing Human Rights Abuses (09/03)
Instead of addressing human rights violations in its workplace, Natural Fruit sues British activist Andy Hall for defamation, a charge that could land him in jail for eight years.

House Bill Calls for Corporate Disclosure of Human Trafficking Risks (06/12)
Investors issue statement in support of bill introduced this week that will require companies to disclose policies addressing human trafficking in their supply chains.

US House Passes Human Trafficking Bills (05/22)
Strong bipartisan support for a package of bills that encourage states to provide social services to victims of forced prostitution and impose additional penalties for those engaged in human trafficking.

Third National Climate Assessment Published (05/06)
In its new report, the US Global Change Research Program asserts that the effects of climate change have already become a present day concern, and announces the launch of a website to help Americans receive reliable scientific information.

Hershey Exceeds Target for Sourcing Sustainable Cocoa (02/07)
Shareowner engagement by members of the Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility helps the Hershey Company exceed its commitment to ensuring that 10% of its cocoa supply would be certified by 2013.

Resource Addresses Human Trafficking in Corporate Supply Chains (10/23)
The Know the Chain initiative, whose investor partners include the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility and the Responsible Sourcing Network, seeks to document corporate compliance with California's new law governing human trafficking.

Coalition of Brands and Retailers Refuse to Source Uzbek Cotton (10/15)
The Responsible Sourcing Network announces that recent signatories to the Company Pledge Against Forced Child and Adult Labor in Uzbek Cotton bring to 136 the number of companies refusing to knowingly source cotton harvested by child labor.

Boston Common Asset Management Receives Business Leader in Human Rights Award (06/29)
The sustainable investment firm is honored by the Political Asylum/Immigration Representation Project for promoting attention to human rights issues in the corporate sector.

Loopholes in Commitments to Human Rights by US Businesses, UN finds (05/06)
While the US Government has committed to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the UN Working Group on business and human rights finds that US companies fall short of standards.

Investors Call for Meaningful Immigration Reform (04/23)
A coalition of investors associated with the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility call for immigration reform that includes a pathway to legal status and protects the rights of immigrants in US workplaces.

Investors Highlight Human Rights in Corporate Engagement (03/05)
A new report builds upon the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights to provide investors with tools for assessing the human rights performance of companies.

ICCR Publishes 2013 Proxy Resolutions and Voting Guide (02/07)
The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility reports that its members have filed 180 shareowner resolutions and engaged in 225 corporate dialogues this proxy season.

RepRisk Names Ten Most Controversial Companies in 2012 (02/04)
This year, the annual list from the Swiss-based environmental and social data provider focuses on poor labor conditions and human rights violations as well as bribery, fraud and money laundering.

Investors Report on Campaign to Address Human Trafficking at London Olympics (10/08)
A coalition of investors led by Christian Brothers Investment Services report that all but one of 33 corporations responded to its letter on the issue, and a number have taken concrete steps to address human trafficking.

As Burma Sanctions Ease, Human Rights Advocates Urge Caution (09/28)
Shareowner advocate Simon Billenness is preparing a draft of guidelines for corporations seeking to do business in Burma, and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Daw Aung San Suu Kyi urges corporate transparency to ensure that human rights are honored.

Labor Conditions Improving at Chinese Supplier to Apple (08/27)
The Fair Labor Association reports that Foxconn Technology Group, Apple's largest supplier, is ahead of schedule in meeting commitments such as higher wages and less mandatory overtime.

Guidance for Corporate Respect for Children Is Published (06/12)
Children are Everyone's Business, a workbook published by UNICEF, guides companies in the integration of children's rights into core business practices.

Companies Advised to Address Risks in Supply Chains (04/12)
A Procurement Report from Eurosif establishes the business case for addressing environmental and social risks in corporate supply chains, and recommends that investors assess the exposure of companies in their portfolios.

Apple Moves from Laggard to Sector Leader on Transparency (03/30)
The computer giant agrees to implement remedial action recommended by the Fair Labor Association's investigation of working conditions at Foxconn factories in China.

Business is Encouraged to Uphold Children's Rights (03/12)
The Children's Rights and Business Principles call on companies to expand their commitment beyond child labor and develop policies and due diligence to actively ensure that the rights of children are respected.

Top Sustainable Investment Stories of 2011 (12/31)
Many sustainable investors see affinities between their concerns and those of the Occupy Movement, and global emissions from the burning of fossil fuels in 2010 were the highest in human history.

Shareowner Engagement Leads to Adoption of Human Rights Policy at OM Group (12/29)
The company operates a cobalt smelter in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where a 2007 workplace accident at a joint venture partner killed three children.

Investors Provide Guidance for Compliance with California Transparency in Supply Chains Act (11/18)
Companies are encouraged to go beyond compliance with law and enact policies that commit them to addressing human trafficking in their supply chains.

Praxis Targets Cell Service Providers in Conflict Minerals Campaign (11/17)
SocialFunds.com talks with Mark Regier of Praxis Mutual Funds about the launch of campaign to bring cell service providers into the conversation about conflict minerals.

Will California Law Help Eradicate Human Trafficking? (10/29)
A white paper from Verite argues that companies need to go beyond compliance with the law to effectively address forced labor and human trafficking throughout their supply chains.

From ICCR, Fewer Shareowner Resolutions but More Effective Engagement (07/07)
SocialFunds.com talks with Executive Director Laura Berry about the 2011 proxy season and her reasons for optimism over engagement with corporations.

ICCR Leads Investor Effort to Address Human Trafficking in Corporate Supply Chains (06/27)
A coalition of over 90 investors calls on 27 companies in six high-risk industry sectors to join in multi-stakeholder initiatives to combat a practice that currently enslaves tens of millions of men, women, and children.

Investors Call for End to Human Trafficking in Corporate Supply Chains (05/24)
The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility issues a statement detailing ethical and financial cases for addressing human trafficking in supply chains, and sends letters to 25 companies calling for comprehensive policies on the issue.

Investors Support UN Business and Human Rights Mandate (06/11)
Coalition of socially responsible investors sends a letter to the United Nations Human Rights Council supporting businesses' responsibility for human rights.

Michael Conroy on Activist Campaigns and the Certification Revolution (06/02)
SocialFunds writer Bill Baue speaks with Michael Conroy about his new book, Branded! How the “Certification Revolution” is Transforming Global Companies

Disney and McDonald's Take Steps to Protect Global Labor (05/13)
In partnership with prominent stakeholders, the two companies strive to improve working conditions in factories overseas while new data shows an uptick in companies monitoring suppliers' labor practices.

Abolishing Child Labor on West African Cocoa Farms (04/24)
Mil Niepold of Verité on the International Cocoa Verification Board and Bama Athreya of the International Labor Rights Forum on the Commitment to Ethical Cocoa Sourcing.

Making Toys is Not Child's Play (11/14)
A group of shareholders have come together to demand safer working conditions for workers along the toy supply chain.

Contracting Human Rights? Ruggie Teams with IFC on Study (09/26)
Empirical research conducted by John Ruggie and the International Finance Corporation examines if foreign investment contract clauses enable human rights violations.

Shareowner Activism Precedes Development of SRI Slavery Screen (03/27)
Most slavery exists far up the supply chain, and auditing practices do not yet exist to monitor for slavery at second- or third-tier suppliers, so it is too early to enact an enforceable slavery screen.

Ruggie Report Says Voluntary Human Rights Initiatives Set Stage for Binding Global Standards (03/19)
While the report finds significant flaws with voluntary collaborations between corporations and civil society, they currently fill the gap created by nation-states failing to protect human rights.

Chocolate Giant Commits to Responsible Supplier Code (03/08)
The Hershey Company is working to create a supplier code of conduct that goes above and beyond just cocoa suppliers.

From Competition to Cooperation: Companies Collaborate on Social and Environmental Issues (01/19)
Collaborative initiatives bring together companies, investors, and activists to address issues such as online freedom of expression, climate change, and labor rights in the global supply chain.

Norwegian Government Pension Fund Dumps Wal-Mart and Freeport on Ethical Exclusions (06/16)
The $230 billion global fund--one of the largest pension funds in the world--cited Wal-Mart for systematic human rights violations and Freeport for serious environmental damage.

SRI Community Adding Its Two Cents to Comments on GRI G3 Guidelines (03/02)
The Global Reporting Initiative is seeking public comments on its new sustainability reporting guidelines by March 31st.

Bank Policies Fail to Meet International Social and Environmental Standards, Report Says (02/25)
The 39 banks assessed fall far short on global sustainability standards, and fail to disclose enough information on implementation to even be assessed by NGO coalition BankTrack.

Defining Corporate Complicity in Human Rights Abuses (02/22)
Business and Human Rights Seminar report maps the landscape of corporate complicity in human rights abuses, and addresses the dichotomy of mandatory laws versus voluntary codes.

Alien Tort Claims Act Lawsuit Alleges Slavery and Child Labor on Liberian Firestone Plantation (12/30)
The International Labor Rights Fund calls this its strongest ATCA case yet because the evidence of forced labor is so clear and Firestone owns and operates the plantation.

Gap and Nike Engage Stakeholders For Assurance Statements on Sustainability Reports (07/14)
Sustainability reports, whose credibility is enhanced by such stakeholder engagement and assurance statements, are gaining in significance, as KLD indexes add Nike due in part to its report.

Gap-Verite Collaboration Exemplifies Award-Winning Practice on Social Responsibility (12/02)
Verite wins a Social Capitalist Award for labor standards monitoring such as its work with the Gap, whose Social Responsibility Report earns a Social Reporting Award.

FTSE4Good Raises the Bar With New Supply Chain Labor Standards Criteria (11/30)
Launched last week, the new criteria allow companies already in FTSE4Good indexes limited time to implement policies, systems, and eventually reporting on supply chain labor standards.

As Socially Responsible Investment Grows in Japan, FTSE4Good Launches New Index (09/23)
Following on the introduction of the first SRI index by Morningstar Japan last year, FTSE4Good unveils the second SRI index covering the Japanese market exclusively.

About Face: Cintas Settles Lawsuit and Supports Vendor Standards Resolution (09/15)
In his apology, Tim Smith of Walden Asset Management highlights the need for accurate information, which Cintas promises to supply in the report requested by the resolution.

Book Review--Raising the Bar: Creating Value with the United Nations Global Compact (07/27)
Primarily a guidebook for companies to navigate Global Compact participation, the book also reports on a study suggesting a Global Compact market premium.

Report Finds CSR Policies on the Rise in Asia, Europe, and North America (06/18)
University of Hong Kong survey overturns some assumptions about the development and prevalence of corporate social responsibility policies.

Governance Overhaul: An Interview with Tyco Corporate Governance VP Eric Pillmore (06/09)
Mr. Pillmore speaks candidly with SocialFunds.com about rebuilding reputation and trust, engaging stakeholders, and increasing transparency.

Philips Extends Sustainability Expectations to Suppliers, Including Child Labor Ban (03/29)
In its 2003 Sustainability Report, Philips Electronics introduced provisions requiring its 50,000 suppliers worldwide to practice social and environmental sustainability.

Occidental To Adopt Formal Human Rights Policy, Shareowners Withdraw Resolution (03/18)
Successful shareholder action results in steps towards Occidental formalizing its human rights policy.

Cintas Defamation Suit Challenges Shareowner Free Speech Rights (02/10)
Cintas files a defamation lawsuit against Tim Smith of Walden Asset Management for alleging that the company uses sweatshop labor in Haiti.

British American Tobacco Reluctantly Exits Myanmar (11/07)
Bowing to pressure from activists and the UK government, BAT sold its interest in its Myanmar operation, though it will continue to license its cigarette brands there.

The Implications of the Nike and Kasky Settlement on CSR Reporting (09/18)
Although Nike reached an agreement with Marc Kasky to end his lawsuit, the settlement's effect on corporate social responsibility reporting remains to be seen.

UN to Hold Corporations More Responsible for Human Rights and the Environment (08/26)
A UN sub-commission adopted a resolution calling for transnational corporations to be held more accountable for human rights protection and environmental stewardship.

Ford's Latest CSR Report Increases Transparency by Using GRI Guidelines (08/12)
Ford's decision to base its 2002 Corporate Citizenship Report on Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines will help analysts get a fuller picture of the company's performance (part one of a two-part article).

Members of Congress Consider Social and Environmental Disclosure in SEC Filings (07/11)
A group of Senators and Representatives summoned a symposium on the need for social and environmental disclosure by companies in their SEC filings.

Sustainability Leaders in Food Sector Produce Healthy Returns (07/09)
Innovest finds that global food products companies with higher sustainability ratings perform better financially than companies with weaker environmental performance.

Nike and Others Increase Transparency into Their Global Labor Practices (06/04)
The Fair Labor Association releases a report today on the internal and independent external monitoring of apparel and footwear manufacturers' global labor practices.

Religious Institutions Issue Benchmarks for Corporate Social Responsibility Performance (05/28)
A global coalition of religious activists have published the third edition of a comprehensive set of guidelines for corporate social and environmental performance.

Is Nike Guaranteed Free Speech? The Supreme Court Will Decide (04/23)
Advocates of socially responsible investment and corporate social responsibility on both sides of the Atlantic weigh in on the implications of Nike's Supreme Court case.

International Right to Know Campaign Promotes Disclosure of Global Corporate Impacts (02/27)
In a recent report, the International Right to Know Campaign outlines the benefits of corporate disclosure of global environmental and social policies and practices.

National Wildlife Federation and Amnesty International USA Embrace SRI (02/11)
Two well-known advocacy organizations have made a commitment to lowering the wall between their program activities and their investments.

Rio + 10 Series: Two UNEP Reports Chart Past, Present, and Future Course of Sustainable Development (07/13)
Assessments of the progress since the Rio Summit guide the blueprints for the Johannesburg Summit.

Labor Law Database Eases Companies' Compliance Efforts (05/30)
A new database service aids corporate compliance teams in gathering information on national and local labor laws.

Labor Standards Resolutions Garner Support in 2001 Proxy Season (07/11)
Ten international labor and human rights proposals that came to vote this year received 10 percent or more support from shareowners.

Wal-Mart Booted Out of the Domini 400 (04/17)
KLD cites lack of leadership on labor controversies among reasons for removal.

Shopping for Responsibility (04/02)
Internet site is helping consumers base shopping decisions on values.

Labor Issue Database May Lighten Social Research Workload (02/22)
International Labour Organization compiles database of Internet sources of information on corporate social responsibility-related employment and labor issues.

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