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After Pledging Reforms, UK Development Bank Should Implement Them

A United Kingdom development bank, CDC Group, has taken another step toward addressing human rights abuses at oil palm plantations in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In May, the bank committed to reforming its complaints mechanism and adopting a…
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  In 2020, you should be watching for a growing trend of national legislatures requiring companies to live up to their responsibilities to workers, communities, and the environment. Millions of adults and children around the world suffer…
Children pan for gold
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In mid-August Australia’s justice minister proposed a new law requiring the country’s biggest companies to report on their practices and policies to prevent forced labour in their operations and supply chains. The government wants to…
Women work in the sewing division of a factory in Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital.
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In an impassioned speech at the White House’s February 2015 cybersecurity summit, Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook argued that in a world where “too many people do not feel free to practice their religion or express their opinion or love who they chose,”…
china apple
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The new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) got a credibility boost last month as a number of European countries, including France, Germany, and Switzerland, followed the UK’s lead in indicating that they would sign up as members. Australia and…
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IBM and Ai Weiwei, L’Oreal and Liu Xiaobo, Daimler and the Dalai Lama. In many senses these aren’t likely pairings, but suddenly it seems major international corporations and critics of the Chinese government have more in common than previously thought.…
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The New Brics Bank is an Opportunity to Learn Lessons and Ensure Every Infrastructure Project Protects Human Rights

The emerging Brics economies – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – struck an agreement this month to establish a development bank with an initial capital of $100bn. The Brics want the bank to mobilise resources for…
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There have been repeated claims of UK complicity in the alleged torture of individuals detained abroad. The government’s latest move in the saga does not suggest a desire to get to the bottom of them. In July 2010, the British prime minister, David…
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Allegations of mass, indiscriminate government surveillance have sparked a global spat about its proper limits. In defending their programs, the United States and Britain have exposed a troubling, two-tiered approach to the right to privacy in the digital…
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The Arab uprisings have been a poignant reminder of how the Internet can promote free expression and assembly, but also how governments can try abuse it. The medium used by demonstrators to organize protests and bring medical supplies to Tahrir Square,…
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The challenge for UK firms is a serious one - how to conform to the industry’s best practices which they preach in a country where the standard practice is so poor? As British and Qatari Royals inaugurated the Shard - London’s newest tower and the…
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By increasing business with Sudan, the UK would be rewarding a country whose head of state is still wanted for war crimes

The new UK government has made it clear that an important priority of its foreign policy will be to promote British trade and investment abroad. But recent remarks in Sudan by the Africa minister, Henry Bellingham, raise concerns that, by blindly pursuing…
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Mandates for Internet and telecom firms further limit netizens' freedom to search the Web.

Tighten the screws. That's the Chinese government's response to growing corporate discontent with China's pervasive electronic censorship and surveillance system. Barely a month since Google pulled the plug on its China-based search engine, the Chinese…
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The search engine stops censoring information and ideas in China

Last month, Google - one of the world's most important technology companies - stood up to the Chinese government by making it clear that it will not be complicit in censoring information and ideas. For years, corporations - including Google, Yahoo!,…
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In a groundbreaking speech at the Newseum on Thursday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reset U.S. policy on Internet freedom, emphasizing the vital need for governments, companies and technology providers to ensure that the World Wide Web is a force…
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The global economic crisis is worsening human rights abuses – while distracting world leaders from addressing them

Turmoil tends to be bad for human rights, and the current global economic crisis is no exception. The consequences are not just the obvious ones - more poverty, setbacks in education and healthcare, further marginalisation of the downtrodden, backsliding…
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Revise Policies to Ensure Fair Hearing

(London) - The ruling today by the European Court of Human Rights on the United Kingdom's detention policy for foreign terrorism suspects confirms that indefinite detention violates basic rights, Human Rights Watch said. The court ruled that the…
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This Wednesday, unless the UK foreign secretary takes rapid action, Britain’s High Court will hold a hearing to assess whether the UK government should be ordered to hand over secret documents to lawyers for a Guantanamo detainee. The detainee in question…