human rights

Not for Children: Toy Production in China Part II

By Theresa

Have you ever wondered how your toys, those you played with as a child, were made? Part I has shown how the value added in the global toy supply chain is distributed among the German market for toys, the Chinese home state to toy suppliers and the four biggest toy brands which dominate the German toy market: in an extremely unfair manner. Who could be the three key actors responsible and capable to start a new game in the toy industry?

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Not for Children: Toy Production in China Part I

By Theresa

Have you ever wondered how your toys, those you played with as a child, were made? Or where the toys which you buy now for the children in your life come from? This post is the first part of a brief answer. We take the the case of Chinese toy production and its German customers and focus on the fair distribution of value and workers’ rights in this global supply chain.

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My Favourite Souvenir from Geneva: Networking at the fifth UN Forum on Business and Human Rights

By Theresa

My second visit to a UN Forum on Business and Human Rights (UNBHR) has again provided me with lots of food for thought. This post is dedicated, however, to my best souvenir from the 2016 Forum: great networking and valuable hints and advice. (more…)

Happy Birthday to the UNGPs – Happy Anniversary to Us All!

Celebrating the 5-year anniversary of the current global framework to render states and companies responsible

By Theresa

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On November 5th, 2015, Brazilians have been victims of the worst environmental crime in the country’s history with the collapse of the mining dam operated by Vale/Samarco/BHP. Photo courtesy of the Treaty Alliance initiative

The 5-year anniversary of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) took place on Thursday, 16 June 2016. Anniversaries on the level of the United Nations usually give rise to self-congratulating speeches by politicians and press releases listing demands from civil society organisations. Anniversaries also come very handy for drawing attention to a topic among those who do not yet know about it. This is what this post sets out to do: after a brief introduction to the UNGPs, we benefit from a speech by David Pitt-Watson to ascertain why the potential impact of the UNGPs is so great. The post concludes with an overview over challenges and achievements of the UNGPs during the last 5 years. (more…)

Green Democracy – Mission Impossible when Local Impunity has Global Backing

by Sofia

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Amulsar © Geoteam

Lydian International Limited company is a mineral exploration and development corporation registered in an offshore zone namely in Jersey, Channel Islands. The Company is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and it owns a mining and a number of exploration assets in Armenia. Amulsar gold deposit is its key asset. The International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) have bought major stakes in Lydian but there are other shareholders too, among these the U.S., Canadian and European investment funds. IFC is a 7.9 percent shareholder and has invested over 13 million USD in multiple stages since 2007. The EBRD in its turn planned to invest up to 8 million USD to purchase shares of the company as part of its capital increase. As its existing shareholder EBRD has monitored project advancements together with an independent environmental and social consultant. (more…)

Beyond Capitalism: Other Ways to Organise Ourselves

by Sofia

In one of his essays about circular time Jorge Luis Borges quotes Marcus Aurelius: the one who sees the present, has seen the past and the future. Borges adds that the realization that time and history is circular (or rather humans’ existence is unchangeable) is especially painful (or angering) at times of prosperity and renaissance, while at times of decline, circularity is the guarantee that no disgrace, calamity, dictator can belittle us.

Capitalism too, like any other form of socio-politico-economic organization, is sooner or later going to be replaced. We can now see the embryos scattered all over the globe which promise to crack and replace the capitalist mantle. Like most of the transformations, the process might be painful, but it eventually can bring an end to our disgrace (for those considering this a period of prosperity, be ready for decline).

In this post I would like to speak about several alternatives to our current socio-political, economic, moral and other crises. There seem to be many alternative initiatives at the moment, which makes one hopeful about transitioning from crises. I will speak only of several, so feel free to add a sentence or two about others in the comments bar. (more…)