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New report calls on internet cos. to do more to fight terrorist incitement & disinformation in line with responsibility to uphold human rights
7 Nov 2017 — "Harmful Content: The Role of Internet Platform Companies in Fighting Terrorist Incitement and Politically Motivated Disinformation", Nov 2017 Terrorist incitement and politically motivated disinformation…seek to distort…truth, discredit liberal institutions and… undermine “democratic values, human rights, and the rule of law”… [H]armful online expression can spread so…quickly that rebuttal…becomes ineffectual… Government regulation is often too blunt an instrument… Internet…companies assert…they are neither editors nor publishers and have no…ability to serve as arbiters… This long-standing position rests on an incorrect premise… [Their] own activities suggest that Facebook, Google, Twitter, and others can take effective action to counter…false information and terrorist incitement, even if they cannot be expected to develop impregnable defences. Google is experimenting with a…system that detects a user's interest in ISIS… YouTube…toughened its stance toward videos that contain inflammatory…content… [T]hey can do still more: Enhance company governance…, Refine the algorithms,… Introduce more “friction”,… Increase human oversight,… Reform advertising models,… Advance industry cooperation,… Identify government’s role… Given the peril of… government interference… major internet platforms ought to exercise the …governance authority of their own… This is not a responsibility to…act as an organ of government… [I]t is… consistent with their stated commitment to uphold human rights. [Refers to Alphabet, AppNexus, AT&T, Buzzfeed, Bing, GoDaddy, Instagram, Jigsaw, Johnson & Johnson, Messenger, Microsoft, LinkedIn, Pepsi, Signal, Skype, Snapchat, Telegram, WeChat, Walmart, WhatsApp].
17 Aug 2017 — "The other side of Europe: the exploitation of Romanian workers in the EU", 18 May 2017 [W]hile the economic consolidation of the EU has made it possible to move between labour markets, it has not closed the spaces in which and mechanisms through which exploitation flourishes, even in the case of EU citizens themselves... The companies and societies of western Europe reap huge benefits from the work performed by their eastern counterparts under conditions and at a price point that few in-country nationals would accept... Subcontracting recruiters, employed by some of Europe’s largest companies, contribute to perpetuating practices that are detrimental towards EU employees from the eastern side of the continent... For many western European companies and countries, the work of EU migrant labourers brings benefit and profit, without, it seems, challenging the mindsets that make ‘the other side of the EU’ an acceptable source of exploitable and cheap labour.
3 May 2017 — The European Union has...approved an updated set of binding standards for power plants, which include new, stricter pollution limits. The standards, known as the LCP BREF...will help prevent thousands of premature deaths caused by air pollution from coal power plants, by restricting emissions of sulphur dioxide, dust, nitrous oxides, hydrogen chloride, hydrogen fluoride and mercury...[A]s soon as the new standards are published in the EU’s Official Journal later this year, they will also apply to new plants across most of the region. Therefore, governments in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia – where planned new coal power plants are most likely to be affected by the updated BREF – need to revisit investment plans to ensure the project designs are indeed in line with the new standards and consider the possible financial implications.
5 Dec 2016 — "Fair Wear Foundation launches innovative guide book on living wages", 5 Dec 2016 How can garment brands make real progress on living wages? This complex question lies at the heart of FWF’s latest publication, ‘Living Wages: An Explorer’s Notebook’. The innovative guide for garment brands provides initial steps to answer this question, based on real-life experience...defines nine obstacles that stand in the way of living wages, and offers some solutions for overcoming them. Five frontrunner FWF members showcase what wage pilots can look like and share real-life stories of how they managed to increase workers’ wages by effectively involving them in the process...the cases offer proof that working around roadblocks to living wages is indeed possible...Garment workers need higher wages and there is no single, simple solution for it.
4 May 2016 — ...In dem Beitrag wird eingeräumt, dass die Lieferanten sowohl in Rumänien als auch in Mazedonien mehr als den gesetzlichen Mindestlohn bezahlen. Gleichzeitig kommen Kritiker zu Worte, die dieZahlung eines existenzsichernden Lohns („living wage“) fordern. Wir stimmen mit den Kritikern überein, dass festgelegte Mindestlöhne in einigen Ländern und Regionen nicht immer für eine menschenwürdige Existenz ausreichen. Daher verlangen wir von unseren Produktionspartnern eine ausreichende Entlohnung und machen dies auch mit unserer Forderung nach einem existenzsichernden Einkommen in unserem Verhaltenskodex deutlich. Im Rahmen der regelmäßig durchgeführten BSCI-Audits werden auch die existenzsichernden Löhne berechnet und bewertet. Dazu gibt es seitens BSCI klare Definitionen, wie der Auditor diese zu kalkulieren und zu bewerten hat. Nach den uns vorliegenden Informationen zur Berechnung der existenzsichernden Einkommen, die vor Ort gemäß den BSCI-Richtlinien für der Region Bihore in Rumänien und Stip in Mazedonien ermittelt wurden, entsprechen die gezahlten Löhne in beiden Unternehmen den nach BSCI-Richtlinie ermittelten existenzsichernden Löhnen oder sind sogar höher als diese. Zur Ermittlung der Werte wurden auch die Angaben der Mitarbeiter zu den monatlichen Ausgaben für Lebensmittel und Kleidung berücksichtigt...
Seven of 15 former Soviet countries have become “consolidated authoritarian regimes”, says new report; fall in oil prices linked to lack of transparency, accountability
13 Apr 2016 — "Nations in tansit 2016: Europe and Eurasia brace for impact", 12 April 2016 While illiberal nationalism rose in Europe, with Central European leaders closing borders and denouncing refugees and migrants as a threat to the nation, financial pressures brought about by falling oil prices and worker remittances undermined the economies of Russia and most former Soviet states. The risk is that these separate developments could converge, with the collapse of Eurasian states adding to Europe’s growing list of troubles...In the Eurasian half of the Nations in Transit region, the collapse in global commodity prices, especially oil, drove Russia into recession and triggered similarly desperate currency crises and budget shortfalls in the petrostates of Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan. The decline rippled through the non-energy economies of the Eurasian periphery that are dependent on Russia through subsidies and migrant labor: Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan...Seven of the 15 countries of the former Soviet Union are now consolidated authoritarian regimes at the very bottom of the Nations in Transit scale, with Democracy Scores approaching the worst-possible 7.00. Over 224 million people live in these countries, accounting for 77 percent of the total population of the former Soviet Union and 55 percent of the total population of the Nations in Transit coverage area.
6 Oct 2015 — As a company, Vodafone believes that diversity and freedom of individuals to move between countries strengthens societies and economies. However, European nations’ individual responses to the current refugee challenge are a matter for sovereign governments and their people...[W]e believe our company has a responsibility to utilise communication technologies to address some of the world's most pressing humanitarian challenges and to enhance people's quality of life. The Vodafone Foundation has worked with UNHCR (UN High Commissioner for Refugees) since 2013 to improve education for young refugees living in long-term refugee camps in countries where Vodafone operates...Our operating companies and Foundations in Europe and adjacent markets are also responding to the refugee situation at a local level.
25 Nov 2014 — "Macedonia: SGIP continues to build shop stewards knowledge on safety and health at work", 18 November 2014 In the frame of SGIP’s on-going campaign "Building roads without injuries and fatalities", the union organised a campaign training for 33 safety and health representatives involved in the implementation of big infrastructure projects like the Corridor projects, Corridor X and Corridor VIII, financed by multilateral development banks and Chinese EXIM Bank and multinationals…Among the key issues addressed were the rights and obligations on safety and health according to the national Labour Law, the role of health and safety representatives at work, working conditions in mobile sites, risk assessment, hazards at workplace, fire protection and personal protective equipment. The activity supported the SGIP advocacy and campaign work on the promotion of ILO C.167 on health and safety in Construction…
7 May 2014 — The Center for Regional Policy Research and Cooperation “Studiorum” organizes a Conference “Business and Human Rights” on the 12th of May, 12.30-15.30h at the University American College – Skopje in Skopje. The conference is envisaged as a parallel country event to the annual Global Compact event on Children’s Rights and Business Principles scheduled to take place on the same date in Nairobi, Kenya. The purpose of the event is to open a discussion in Macedonia on this internationally very hot issue, as it is still very much overlooked in this national context, and as the links between business and Human Rights are not recognized, nor are some issues identified as resulting from this relationship and interplay. Moreover, the UN Guiding Principles are rarely talked about, mentioned or even known in the country, even among Human Rights activists. This is why Studiorum decided to do a translation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in Macedonian language, and which will be promoted and distributed at this event...The registration for this event is open until Friday, May 09th, 2014. If you wish to attend this event, please state your interest by phone (+389(02)3065837) or by e-mail (to biljana[at]studiorum.org.mk ).
24 Feb 2014 —