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Human Rights / Working hours


NEWS STORY: SHAREOWNER ACTION | HUMAN RIGHTS | FOOD AND BEVERAGE INDUSTRY
Pepsi Challenged on Palm Oil Worker Exploitation
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.

NEWS STORY: SHAREOWNER ACTION | SOCIAL ISSUES | HUMAN RIGHTS
Second Benchmark of Corporate Human Rights Performance Launches
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.

NEWS STORY: SHAREOWNER ACTION | HUMAN RIGHTS | EMERGING MARKETS
Verite to Assess Trafficking Risks in Sub-Saharan Africa
With economies improving and ample natural resources, the region is at heightened risk for human trafficking violations.

NEWS STORY: SOCIAL ISSUES | HUMAN RIGHTS | INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
Widespread Forced Labor in Malaysian Electronics Industry
A study by Verite finds that nearly one-third of foreign migrant workers in the Malaysian electronics industry work under conditions of forced labor.

NEWS STORY: SHAREOWNER ACTION | HUMAN RIGHTS | EMERGING MARKETS
Thai Company Sues Activist for Revealing Human Rights Abuses
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.

NEWS STORY: SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT | COMMUNITY INVESTMENT
Privatization Harms Public Services
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.

NEWS STORY: SUSTAINABLE INVESTMENT | ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES
Third National Climate Assessment Published
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.

NEWS STORY: SOCIAL ISSUES | CORPORATE REPORTING | HUMAN RIGHTS
Loopholes in Commitments to Human Rights by US Businesses, UN finds
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.

NEWS BRIEF: SHAREOWNER ACTION | SOCIAL ISSUES | HUMAN RIGHTS
Investors Call for Meaningful Immigration Reform
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.

NEWS STORY: SOCIAL ISSUES | HUMAN RIGHTS
RepRisk Names Ten Most Controversial Companies in 2012
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.

NEWS BRIEF: SOCIAL ISSUES | HUMAN RIGHTS | FOOD INDUSTRY
Food and Agriculture Industry Lags in Assuring Worker Equity
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.

NEWS BRIEF: SOCIAL ISSUES | INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY | CORPORATE SUPPLY CHAINS
Labor Conditions Improving at Chinese Supplier to Apple
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.

NEWS BRIEF: SOCIAL ISSUES | CORPORATE GOVERNANCE | BRIBERY AND CORRUPTION
Wal-Mart Gets ESG Rating of F After Bribery Allegations
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.

NEWS BRIEF: SHAREOWNER ACTION | SOCIAL ISSUES | SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT
Companies Advised to Address Risks in Supply Chains
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.

NEWS STORY: SOCIAL ISSUES | HUMAN RIGHTS | INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
Apple Moves from Laggard to Sector Leader on Transparency
The computer giant agrees to implement remedial action recommended by the Fair Labor Association's investigation of working conditions at Foxconn factories in China.

NEWS BRIEF: SOCIAL ISSUES | HUMAN RIGHTS | SUPPLY CHAINS | ELECTRONICS INDUSTRY
Microsoft Says Worker Dispute at Foxconn Plant Resolved
Suicide threats by protesting workers at Chinese manufacturing plant recalls 2010 deaths of workers at another Foxconn plant in China.

INTERVIEW: SHAREOWNER ACTION | SOCIAL ISSUES | FINANCIAL INDUSTRIES
How Occupy Wall Street and Sustainable Investment are Aligned
SocialFunds.com talks with Sonia Kowal of Zevin Asset Management about social unrest and its impact on the prospects for long-term sustainable investment.

NEWS STORY: SHAREHOLDER ACTIVISM: HUMAN RIGHTS
Investors Support UN Business and Human Rights Mandate
Coalition of socially responsible investors sends a letter to the United Nations Human Rights Council supporting businesses' responsibility for human rights.

NEWS STORY:
Contracting Human Rights? Ruggie Teams with IFC on Study
Empirical research conducted by John Ruggie and the International Finance Corporation examines if foreign investment contract clauses enable human rights violations.

NEWS STORY:
Shareowner Activism Precedes Development of SRI Slavery Screen
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.

NEWS STORY:
Ruggie Report Says Voluntary Human Rights Initiatives Set Stage for Binding Global Standards
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.

NEWS STORY:
From Competition to Cooperation: Companies Collaborate on Social and Environmental Issues
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.

NEWS STORY:
Facing Campaign on Farm Working Conditions, McDonald's to Heed Independent Study Results
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.

NEWS STORY:
Bank Policies Fail to Meet International Social and Environmental Standards, Report Says
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.

NEWS STORY:
Defining Corporate Complicity in Human Rights Abuses
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.

NEWS STORY:
Alien Tort Claims Act Lawsuit Alleges Slavery and Child Labor on Liberian Firestone Plantation
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.

NEWS STORY:
Verite Report Identifies Exploitation of Foreign Contract Laborers in Asia and the Middle East
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.

NEWS STORY:
SRI Research from UBS Strikes Balance Between Ethics and Economics
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.

NEWS STORY:
Gap and Nike Engage Stakeholders For Assurance Statements on Sustainability Reports
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.

NEWS STORY:
Gap-Verite Collaboration Exemplifies Award-Winning Practice on Social Responsibility
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.

NEWS STORY:
FTSE4Good Raises the Bar With New Supply Chain Labor Standards Criteria
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:
Book Review--The Best Business Stories of the Year: 2004 Edition
Ethics, disclosure, labor relations, executive compensation, and insider trading are among the topics related to socially responsible investment in this collection of business articles.

NEWS STORY:
Occidental To Adopt Formal Human Rights Policy, Shareowners Withdraw Resolution
Successful shareholder action results in steps towards Occidental formalizing its human rights policy.

NEWS STORY:
Cintas Defamation Suit Challenges Shareowner Free Speech Rights
Cintas files a defamation lawsuit against Tim Smith of Walden Asset Management for alleging that the company uses sweatshop labor in Haiti.

NEWS STORY:
The Implications of the Nike and Kasky Settlement on CSR Reporting
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.

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

NEWS STORY:
Ford's Latest CSR Report Increases Transparency by Using GRI Guidelines
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).

NEWS STORY:
Members of Congress Consider Social and Environmental Disclosure in SEC Filings
A group of Senators and Representatives summoned a symposium on the need for social and environmental disclosure by companies in their SEC filings.

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

NEWS STORY:
World's Largest Coffee Traders Agree to Sustainability, but How Committed Are They?
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.

NEWS STORY:
Religious Institutions Issue Benchmarks for Corporate Social Responsibility Performance
A global coalition of religious activists have published the third edition of a comprehensive set of guidelines for corporate social and environmental performance.

NEWS STORY:
Is Nike Guaranteed Free Speech? The Supreme Court Will Decide
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.

NEWS STORY:
Chinese Toy Manufacturer Labor Standards Found Lacking
New report highlights structural obstacles to toy manufacturer implementation of labor codes of conduct.

NEWS STORY:
National Wildlife Federation and Amnesty International USA Embrace SRI
Two well-known advocacy organizations have made a commitment to lowering the wall between their program activities and their investments.

NEWS STORY:
Nike Greenwash Decision a Double-Edged Sword
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.

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

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

NEWS STORY:
Labor Law Database Eases Companies' Compliance Efforts
A new database service aids corporate compliance teams in gathering information on national and local labor laws.

NEWS STORY:
Labor Standards Resolutions Garner Support in 2001 Proxy Season
Ten international labor and human rights proposals that came to vote this year received 10 percent or more support from shareowners.

NEWS STORY:
Poor Practices Catching Up with Labor Ready
Worker complaints and lawsuits contribute to financial woes of national manual labor temp agency.

NEWS STORY:
Wal-Mart Booted Out of the Domini 400
KLD cites lack of leadership on labor controversies among reasons for removal.

NEWS STORY:
Shopping for Responsibility
Internet site is helping consumers base shopping decisions on values.

NEWS STORY:
Labor Issue Database May Lighten Social Research Workload
International Labour Organization compiles database of Internet sources of information on corporate social responsibility-related employment and labor issues.

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