A Human Rights Code For Banks

Because in the fast-expanding globalized courthouse of public and judicial opinion, the sins of the client could easily be visited on the lender. The Thun Group describes its document more gently: (An) initial guidance to banks keen to address human rights issues in their core business activitiesboth to minimize potential adverse impacts to rights holders and related risks to banks, and to identify opportunities to promote good practice. For inspiration it looked to the United Nations Guiding Principles on Human Rights, specifically principles 16-21 that relate to corporate responsibility to respect human rights. In a world of cynical realities, it is easy to place sales above saintliness, and palliatives over problem-solving. The discussion paper, available at http://www.business-humanrights.org , admits as much. To begin with, take the groups own motivation for acting responsibly, or the commitment to respecting human rights as the right thing to do; and acting instead of waiting for legal requirements are at best conscionable guidelines. These can be overtaken by conscionable profit, as conscience is as variable in concept as risk. Furthermore, with clients arrive the overlay of variable banking behaviour.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.livemint.com/Opinion/nGCMPDRc4WLG2C9UUkAt2J/A-human-rights-code-for-banks.html

Open Letter to the UN Security Council from Human Rights Watch On Human Rights Abuses in the Democratic Republic of Congo

It has more reason than ever to exist.” Tutela Legal was founded before the war by the then-archbishop of San Salvador, Oscar Arnulfo Romero. In addition to counseling the poor and oppressed, it became the driving force behind investigations of the most emblematic atrocities of the period, including the 1980 slaying of Romero, shot by gunmen linked to the military as he said Mass. Another crucial case was the military’s 1989 slaying of six Jesuit priests (one of them the rector of San Salvador’s University of Central America, or UCA), as well as their housekeeper and her daughter. It was also Tutela Legal that pushed for investigation of the El Mozote massacre. For years, the Salvadoran government and army, and the Reagan administration that backed them, strenuously denied that a massacre had taken place. Tutela Legal investigators traveled the country, even at the height of war, to find survivors and piece together witness accounts. “They were incredibly well trusted by Salvadorans,” said David Holiday, who was the Central America representative for Human Rights Watch in the 1990s and is now with the Open Society Foundations .
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-salvador-rights-20131003,0,5417586.story?track=rss

El Salvador’s Catholic Church closes key human rights office

After return to Mexico, she fights crime, runs afoul of law

We greatly admire Mr. Chens bravery in defense of human rights in China, and we welcome the opportunity to support him in his advocacy, John Garvey, president of Catholic University, said at the National Press Club. He described the campus as diverse and nonpartisan and said he hoped that Chen would become a moral role model for students. He declined to discuss the funding sources for Chens new post. Richard Swett, a former U.S. diplomat and official with the Lantos foundation, said he hoped that Chen could act as a bridge on continue human rights issues at a time of political polarization in Washington. He is not aligned with one side or another, Swett said.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/chinese-human-rights-activist-joins-catholic-university/2013/10/02/f8c868bc-2b8b-11e3-8ade-a1f23cda135e_story.html

The section on human rights due diligence in project finance—the hot button area in India—lists critical to-dos related to stakeholder engagement. Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint

Tutela Legal said its closure was ordered by Jose Luis Escobar Alas, the archbishop of San Salvador. Employees said they were told that, with the war long over, the office was no longer necessary. Supporters vehemently rejected that reasoning, noting that the organization continued to do important legal work for the poor. I am worried about the bad signal this sends, Salvadoran President Mauricio Funes said in a news conference, adding he did not know the reasons behind the decision. Tutela Legal was founded in the years leading up to the war by San Salvador’s then-archbishop, Oscar Arnulfo Romero. It became the driving force behind investigations of the most important, emblematic atrocities of the period — including the 1980 killing of Romero, shot by gunmen linked to the military as he said Mass. Another crucial case was the 1989 military slayings of six Jesuit priests — one of them the rector of the University of Central America — as well as their housekeeper and her daughter.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.latimes.com/world/worldnow/la-fg-wn-salvador-church-human-rights-office-20131002,0,4951764.story

Catholic Church in El Salvador shuts down rights and legal office

14 Greenpeace activists charged with piracy in Russia

The M23 is led by some of Congos most notorious war crimes suspects. In the past the Congolese government has granted them amnesties or offered them senior ranks in the army, sending the message that killing and raping would be rewarded with power and wealth. This time, the government has stated that M23 leaders responsible for serious abuses will not be integrated. Like other abusive armed groups in eastern Congo in the past, the M23 since its inception has received significant military support from Rwanda, including the deployment of Rwandan army troops to Congo to fight alongside them; weapons, ammunition, and other supplies; training for new M23 recruits; and the forcible recruitment of men and boys in Rwanda, who were then sent across the border to fight for the M23. Our research indicates that Rwandan support continues. Throughout September, Human Rights Watch received credible accounts from witnesses near the border that armed troops and recruits from Rwanda were moving to Congo to support the M23. The M23 today probably has no more than several hundred Congolese fighters, but it will remain a significant threat to Congolese civilians as long as Rwanda provides military support.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.hrw.org/news/2013/10/03/open-letter-un-security-council-human-rights-watch-human-rights-abuses-democratic-re

Syria Jailed Tens Of Thousands Of Protesters, Many Abused, Human Rights Watch Says

“Arbitrary detention and torture have become business as usual for Syrian security forces,” said the report, which HRW said aimed to draw attention to civilian activists held in at least 27 prisons across Syria. The report said many were in jail just for criticising the authorities or for providing medical help for victims of the violent crackdown on protesters in 2011 that helped turn a civilian uprising into a civil war. It said the use of torture appeared to be systematic and there was “strong evidence” that it constitutes state policy and a crime against humanity. Most detainees have been men but women and children “have not been spared”, it said. The HRW report cited figures by the Violations Documentation Center, a Syrian opposition monitoring group, that 1,200 people had died in Syrian prisons since the uprising began. “The authorities jail political detainees for months without charge, and torture, mistreat, and prevent them from communicating with their lawyers or families, leaving their families desperate to know what has happened to them,” it said. Syrian authorities decline comment on individual prisoners but deny holding political prisoners and say many of those arrested during the uprising violated laws against terrorism.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/03/syria-jailed-protesters_n_4039627.html


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