UN Forum 2016: Materials launched & commentaries

This page contains information about materials launched during the 2016 UN Forum on Business and Human Rights.

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15 November 2016

Report finds corrupt land deals result in displacement & increased poverty; provides recommendations to prevent human rights harms

Author: Olivier De Schutter, former UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food, International Corporate Accountability Roundtable, Global Witness

"Tainted Lands: Corruption in Large-Scale Land Deals," 15 Nov 2016

...In recent years, there has been an unprecedented rise in the sale and leasing of large areas of land, particularly in developing countries. The regions concerned are those where natural resources and land…is abundant; workforces are cheap; and access to global markets is relatively easy. The investors in these large-scale land leases or acquisitions…are local government and business elites, foreign investment funds, corporations, or governments...This report focuses on one major driver of the adverse human rights impacts of these increasing land investments—corruption. Corruption taints land deals…most notably when investors pay bribes to public officials in exchange for favorable land leases or acquisitions that violate the rights of local communities…Even in the absence of corruption, large-scale land investments may worsen rather than reduce rural poverty, encouraging forms of development that are neither environmentally nor socially sustainable. The Author and developers of this report advocate for investments in local communities and small holder farmers to be prioritized as the best means to achieve sustainable development…

[Also refers to Coca-Cola Company, Golden Veroleum, Hoang Anh Gia Lai, Independent Timbers and Stevedoring Limited, PepsiCo, Sein Wut Hmon, Sime Darby, and Vietnam Rubber Group.]


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14 November 2016

ILO recommends policies to improve quality of non-standard jobs, in new report

Author: International Labour Organization

"Regulatory reforms are needed to improve the quality of non-standard jobs," 14 Nov 2016

…The report, Non-standard employment around the world: Understanding challenges, shaping prospects , highlights the policies needed to improve the quality of…non-standard forms of employment (NSFE)…“…We need to make sure that all jobs provide workers with adequate and stable earnings, protection from occupational hazards…and the right to organize and bargain collectively,” said Deborah Greenfield, ILO Deputy Director-General for Policy…[T]he report cautions that…[i]n countries where NSFE are widespread, workers risk cycling between non-standard jobs and unemployment…“Short-term cost and flexibility gains from using NSFE may be outweighed by longer-term productivity losses…” said Philippe Marcadent, Chief of the unit that produced the report. “Widespread use of NSFE may reinforce labour market segmentation and lead to greater volatility in employment, with consequences for economic stability…” he added…
The report advances four policy recommendations to improve the quality of non-standard jobs:

  • First, plugging regulatory gaps…
  • Second, strengthening collective bargaining…
  • Third, strengthening social protection…
  • Fourth, instituting employment and social policies…

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