Dominican Republic

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República Dominicana: Explorar recursos y mejorar cadena de valor y proceso de minería artesanal, objetivo de proyecto en colaboración con Alemania

5 Sep 2017 — “El Instituto Geológico de Alemania apoyará minería artesanal de República Dominicana”, 4 de Septiembre de 2017 …Sumergidos en hoyos, arroyos, ríos y cañadas, cada día decenas de hombres lavan tierra en busca de oro aluvial, una actividad que se realiza desde hace más de 500 años y que representa una fuente de ingresos para muchas familias de la comunidad La Mina y otras de esta provincia…Cada gramo es vendido a 1,300 pesos a varios intermediarios, quienes además les acreditan dinero a los mineros cuando no han tenido suerte en la búsqueda…Debido a la importancia de esta actividad artesanal e informal, la Dirección de Minería ha puesto interés en organizarla. Para ello ha conseguido apoyo de Alemania a fin de realizar estudios geológicos que identificarán dónde está el mineral…Reveló que en Europa hay personas dispuestas a pagar más dinero por el oro que no haya sido extraído a través de algún procesamiento químico…

Cereal, drinks companies often overlook risk of forced labor in sugarcane: study

31 Aug 2017 — Food and beverage companies face the risk of forced labor in countries where they obtain sugarcane but most fall short in efforts to tackle the problem that threatens millions of workers, according to a study [by KnowTheChain (KTC)]...Sugarcane...can be found in a list of household foods and beverages...and is often harvested by rural migrant workers with machetes who work long hours for low wages in hazardous conditions... The companies studied were Coca-Cola Co., Fomento Economico Mexicano S.A.B de C.V (FEMSA), Monster Beverage Corp., PepsiCo Inc., The Hershey Co., Mondelēz International Inc., Nestlé S.A., Archer Daniels Midland Co., Associated British Foods plc plc (ABF) and Wilmar International Ltd. PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Nestlé and ABF were the only four companies to undertake forced labor risk assessments of sugarcane supply chains in specific countries, the study said.

KnowTheChain case study: How food and beverage companies tackle forced labour risks in sugar supply chains

29 Aug 2017 — This case study assesses how a sample of 10 chocolate and confectionary manufacturers, beverage companies, and sugar producers address forced labour risks in their sugarcane supply chains. The study follows KnowTheChain’s first food and beverage benchmark, which found a lack of transparency and adequate action to address forced labor in commodity supply chains such as sugarcane. Findings include:  Only a small group of companies have assessed risks and set targets to eradicate forced labor in their supply chains, and all companies in the study need to improve. Workers have few ways to air grievances and no company was able to provide a concrete example of remedy provided to workers when wronged. All companies should take concrete follow-up steps at the country level. However, we found steps taken at that level are limited. PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Nestlé, and ABF are the only companies making efforts to understand and assess forced labour risks in their sugarcane supply chains at the country level.  All companies disclose where at least some parts of their sugarcane supply chains are located. Coca-Cola discloses a map that highlights all sourcing countries for its key commodities. However, the company did not follow through on its commitment from 2013 to disclose the names of all its direct sugarcane suppliers within three years. Wilmar is the only company that discloses a list with names and addresses of its sugar suppliers. Additional background on the case study can be found here. 

República Dominicana: Presentan portal de Transparencia en la Industria Extractiva (EITI)

24 Aug 2017 — “República Dominicana presenta el portal de Transparencia en la Industria Extractiva”, 23 de Agosto de 2017  …La República Dominicana es el segundo país en el Continente Americano en presentar el Portal de Transparencia en la Industria Extractiva (EITI), el cual agrupa todas las informaciones relacionadas a los contratos mineros, mapas de indicciones mineros, marco institucional y regulatorio, estadísticas de producción, exportación participación e ingresos fiscales del Estado, registro minero, entre otros datos. Dijo [titular del Ministerio de Energía y Minas] de que los frutos comienzan a sentirse para conseguir el estatus de país cumplidor en la EITI. “Estamos presentando por primera vez el portal de transparencia de la industria extractiva con todas las informaciones pertinentes…” República Dominicana fue admitida como País Candidato a la EITI en la Séptima Conferencia Anual de este estándar, realizada en febrero de 2016 en Lima, Perú. Actualmente hay 52 países miembros de la iniciativa…

Permanent Court of Arbitration orders Philip Morris to pay up to $38million to Australian Govt. over tobacco packaging challenge

24 Jul 2017 — "Philip Morris: Tobacco giant ordered to compensate Australia", 10 Jul 2017 Tobacco giant Philip Morris has been ordered to pay the Australian government [reportedly up to $38million] after unsuccessfully suing the nation over its world-first plain-packaging laws. In 2012, Australia legislated that cigarettes must be sold in unappealing packets… [Reports this year revealed] that the World Trade Organization (WTO) had [separately] decided [in complaints raised by Cuba, Honduras, Dominican Republic and Indonesia that] Australia's laws were a legitimate public health measure - making them more likely to be adopted overseas. After plain packaging was introduced, Philip Morris, Imperial Tobacco and Japan Tobacco launched a constitutional challenge in Australia's highest court. When that bid failed, Philip Morris went to the [Permanent Court of Arbitration] to claim the legislation breached Australia's Bilateral Investment Treaty with Hong Kong. It sought an end to plain packaging, or billions of dollars in compensation. The court dismissed the company's case, calling it "an abuse of rights". Philip Morris then argued the government's claim for legal costs was unreasonable, saying it was well above claims made by Canada ($4.5m) and the US ($3m) in comparable cases. However, the court ruled the costs were reasonable...

Australia: World Trade Organization says restrictive packaging law is a legitimate public health measure in dispute related to trade & tobacco companies

10 May 2017 — "Australia wins landmark WTO tobacco packaging case, reports", 5 May 2017 A landmark Australian law on restrictive tobacco packaging has [reportedly] been upheld at the World Trade Organisation [WTO]... The news is a blow to the tobacco industry as such a ruling from the WTO has been widely anticipated as giving a green light for other countries to roll out similar laws... The Australian law...[bans] flashy logos and distinctive-coloured cigarette packaging...with brand names printed in small standardised fonts. Tobacco firms said their trademarks were being infringed, and Cuba, Honduras, Dominican Republic and Indonesia complained...that the rules constituted an illegal barrier to trade... Although the WTO's final ruling is not expected until July, a confidential draft [interim report] said Australia's laws were a legitimate public health measure... British American Tobacco...suggested..."As there is a high likelihood of an appeal by some or all of the parties, it's important to note that this panel report is not the final word on whether plain packaging is consistent with international law,"... [Also refers to Imperial Tobacco, Japan Tobacco International, Philip Morris International]

Dutch NGOs file OECD complaint against ING bank over climate change

9 May 2017

Audiencia temática sobre violaciones a los derechos humanos de las industrias extractivas en Nicaragua, Guatemala y República Dominicana

21 Mar 2017

República Dominicana: Comunidades campesinas protestan contra contaminación a ríos de minera

27 Jan 2017 — “Protestan en mina de oro por contaminación de ríos”, 16 de Enero de 2017 …Habitantes de varias comunidades campesinas del municipio de Cotuí, se encuentran apostados en la parte frontal de la minera Laguna Limitad en protesta por supuesta contaminación. Los manifestantes aseguran que las aguas que está vertiendo la mina de Oro y otros minerales; Enviro Gold-Laguna Limited, están contaminadas; lo que afecta la producción agrícola de la zona. Además dijeron que el Río Maguaca es la única fuente acuífera que les queda para el consumo humano, y afirman que fruto del desagüe esta mina a través de tuberías que vierten en este arroyo, el mismo lo señalan en estado de emergencia por el alto nivel de contaminación.

Low wages & corporate tax avoidance contribute to global income inequality, according to Oxfam report

23 Jan 2017