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Human Rights / Working hours


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.

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.

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.

Privatization Harms Public Services (07/05)
A working paper published by the UK-based New Economics Foundation calls for a model of co-production of social services, in which front-line service providers and service recipients collaborate.

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.

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.

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.

Food and Agriculture Industry Lags in Assuring Worker Equity (10/29)
A report by Sustainalytics and Tellus Institute describes workers' rights as less of a priority for companies in the sector than consumer health, environmental impact, and animal welfare.

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.

Wal-Mart Gets ESG Rating of F After Bribery Allegations (04/24)
GovernanceMetrics International assigns a failing grade to the retail giant's environmental, social, and corporate governance performance following revelations that information about a bribery scandal in Mexico was covered up.

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.

Microsoft Says Worker Dispute at Foxconn Plant Resolved (01/12)
Suicide threats by protesting workers at Chinese manufacturing plant recalls 2010 deaths of workers at another Foxconn plant in China.

How Occupy Wall Street and Sustainable Investment are Aligned (10/21)
SocialFunds.com talks with Sonia Kowal of Zevin Asset Management about social unrest and its impact on the prospects for long-term sustainable investment.

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.

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.

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.

Facing Campaign on Farm Working Conditions, McDonald's to Heed Independent Study Results (03/22)
The Coalition of Immokalee Workers urges McDonald's to improve farm working conditions, which the company is addressing through a study by the Center for Reflection, Education, and Action.

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.

Verite Report Identifies Exploitation of Foreign Contract Laborers in Asia and the Middle East (12/20)
The report uncovers placement fees that exceed legal limits, forced overtime, loans with interest rates of up to 60 percent, and so-called runaway insurance deposits that are not refunded.

SRI Research from UBS Strikes Balance Between Ethics and Economics (10/28)
The new socially responsible investing team at UBS quantifies the costs of corporate social and environmental impacts as a means of effecting ethical and economic rectification.

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.

Book Review--The Best Business Stories of the Year: 2004 Edition (04/09)
Ethics, disclosure, labor relations, executive compensation, and insider trading are among the topics related to socially responsible investment in this collection of business articles.

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.

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.

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.

World's Largest Coffee Traders Agree to Sustainability, but How Committed Are They? (05/30)
Rainforest Alliance's recent agreement on sustainability with the world's two largest coffee traders holds promise but the devil may be in the details.

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.

Chinese Toy Manufacturer Labor Standards Found Lacking (02/20)
New report highlights structural obstacles to toy manufacturer implementation of labor codes of conduct.

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.

Nike Greenwash Decision a Double-Edged Sword (10/31)
While some cheer the California Supreme Court ruling against Nike as a victory for truth in advertising, others consider it a potential defeat for CSR reporting and increased corporate transparency.

Computer Sector's Social and Environmental Performance Needs Upgrade (07/31)
A recent report from Oekom Research identifies shortcomings in the corporate responsibility performance of IT and computer companies, particularly concerning social issues.

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.

Poor Practices Catching Up with Labor Ready (06/25)
Worker complaints and lawsuits contribute to financial woes of national manual labor temp agency.

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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