In July 2009, Human Rights Watch released a report entitled Well Oiled: Oil and Human Rights in Equatorial Guinea. In this commentary, HRW Director of Business and Human Rights Arvind Ganesan links this tiny Sub-Sahara African countries’ oil wealth to government corruption and human rights abuses.
The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, or EITI, is the focus of today’s show. First, we hear from Bennett Freeman, who serves on the EITI board. Then, we hear from Arvind Ganesan of Human Rights Watch, who shares some concerns about EITI with Sea Change Radio Co-Host Bill Baue.
In January 2009, Human Rights Watch issued a briefing paper entitled Employee Free Choice Act: A Human Rights Imperative. The paper details some of the glaring deficiencies in current US labor law that significantly impair the right of workers to freely choose whether to form a union. It recommends that the US Congress pass the Employee Free Choice Act to help remedy these shortcomings and bring US law closer to international standards. Arvind Ganesan, Director of Business and Human Rights at Human Rights Watch, brings us this week’s ViewPoint.Read the show transcript
On December 10, 1948, the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, calling on member country governments to promote the UDHR. Now, on the Declaration’s 60th anniversary, responsibility for promoting human rights protections has expanded to include the business community. The UN codified this link in 2005 when it issued a mandate for a Special Representative on Business and Human Rights, and this year it extended the appointment of Harvard Professor John Ruggie to the post for another three years.
The year 2005 also saw the launch of the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre as a web platform covering both positive and negative news on corporate conduct around human rights. Today, we speak with Annabel Short, Head of Programme at the Resource Centre, about its innovative work promoting improvements in companies’ policies and practices on human rights.
In October, the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre launched the world’s first online portal profiling human rights lawsuits against companies. We caught up with the Resource Centre’s Head of Research Greg Regaignon from its California offices to describe the Corporate Legal Accountability Portal.
CWR News Analysis — Labor Rights are Human Rights
—Wall Street Journal: “When Will That Bailout Money Trickle Down Exactly?”
—Jobs with Justice: People’s Bailout Week
—Coalition of Immokalee Workers Press Release: “Subway Signs Agreement with CIW to Improve Tomato Harvester Wages, Working Conditions in Florida”
—International Labor Rights Forum Press Release: “Working for Scrooge — 5 Worst Companies for the Right to Associate”
—Listen to the complete interview with Jon Weissman of Jobs with Justice
CWR ViewPoint — Mandatory Human Rights Regulations for Companies
We’re excited about our new commentary partnership with Human Rights Watch. We inaugurate this collaboration today with the opinion of HRW’s director of the Business and Human Rights Program Arvind Ganesan.