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Business and Human Rights

    July 22, 2019

    OTTAWA, ON – Amnesty International will be demonstrating outside of TripAdvisor’s offices  in Ottawa today to urge the company to stop profiting from war crimes by listing tourist attractions and properties in illegal Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Volunteers with the global human rights organization will also construct a barbed-wire beach scene at PARLIAMENT HILL to draw public attention to the issue.

    “Israel’s policy of settling Israeli citizens on stolen Palestinian land in occupied territory is a war crime. By promoting tourism in these illegal settlements, TripAdvisor is contributing to the immense suffering of Palestinians who have been uprooted from their land, had their homes destroyed and their resources plundered for settlement use,”said Andrea Marie Portugal, IOPT coordinator, Amnesty International Canada.

    May 29, 2019

    Beyond Israel’s internationally recognized border is the Palestinian territory — the West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza strip — which it has occupied since the 1967 war.

    While Israel rejects that it’s the occupying power, there is a virtual wall-to-wall consensus among the international community — including the United Nations, the European Union, the International Court of Justice, the International Committee of the Red Cross and Canada — that the laws of occupation, including the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, apply in full to the Palestinian territory.

    I am a Special Rapporteur for the United Nations Human Rights Council on the situation in the Palestinian territory, and my co-author is the secretary general of Amnesty International Canada. So we know that the laws of occupation are strict.

    April 17, 2019
    Amnesty Launches New "Call the Minister" Action for Justice for Mount Polley Mine Disaster

    April 08, 2019
    Ombudsperson announced, but government fails to make good on promises

    In January 2018, the government of Canada committed to creating a Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise to investigate allegations of human rights abuses by Canadian extractives and garment sector enterprises. Today, it announced an Ombudsperson has been hired, however, without the necessary investigatory powers to do the job. In today's announcement, the government promised that those powers would be incorporated into the role after further study.

    After15 months of delays, and after years of courageous testimony from human rights defenders about the terrible abuses they suffered in the context of Canadian mines, actions speak louder than words. We are deeply disappointed by today's announcement and vow to carry on Amnesty's campaign for a fully independent Ombudsperson with investigatory powers. 

    December 11, 2018

    Yesterday was International Human Rights Day - and the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. To mark this date, over 200 organizations from 56 countries sent a letter to Prime Minister Trudeau asking, “Where is Canada’s Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise?”

    March 06, 2018

    In January 2018, the Canadian Minister for International Trade announced the creation of an Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise. Now people who have been harmed by the overseas activities of Canadian mining, oil, gas and garment companies will be able to submit their complaints to an independent ombudsperson for investigation. The ombudsperson will make its findings public and provide recommendations for redress.

    The creation of ombudsperson will help ensure that Canada is finally “Open for Justice”.

    Some elements of the ombudsperson have yet to be defined however. Amnesty will continue to work with the Canadian government to ensure that the ombudsperson office will be credible and effective. In order to be credible and effective, we believe it is vital that the ombudsperson be free from political and corporate interference, and be empowered to conduct effective investigations, including the ability to gather evidence that may be in a company’s possession.

    November 30, 2017

    We have some news! An important announcement may be imminent.

    The Canadian government may announce a human rights ombudsperson as soon as next week.

    A human rights ombudsperson is essential to ensure that people who have been harmed by Canadian mining, oil and gas companies overseas can have their cases heard in Canada.

    Amnesty International has been calling for the creation of a human rights ombudsperson for years. Thanks to you and over 100,000 other concerned Canadians who signed petitions and postcards, we are closer now than ever before.

    We have nearly convinced the government that Canada needs an ombudsperson. The final sticking point relates to the ombudsperson's investigatory powers.

    An ombudsperson needs to be able to review all the information related to a case in order to issue findings and recommendations. Unfortunately however, industry is pressuring the Canadian government to create a weak ombudsperson without effective investigatory powers. This will severely impair the ombudsperson’s ability to review evidence and make findings and recommendations.

    November 15, 2017
    - Survey of electronics and car companies shows major blind spots in supply chains - Apple is the industry leader for responsible cobalt sourcing – but the bar is low - Microsoft, Lenovo and Renault have made least progress Major electronics and electric vehicle companies are still not doing enough to stop human rights abuses entering their cobalt supply chains, almost two years after an Amnesty International investigation exposed how batteries used in their products could be linked to child labour in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the organization said today.   A new report, Time to Recharge, ranks industry giants including Apple, Samsung Electronics, Dell, Microsoft, BMW, Renault and Tesla on how much they have improved their cobalt sourcing practices since January 2016. It finds that while a handful of companies have made progress, others are still failing to take even basic steps like investigating supply links in the DRC.  
    September 29, 2017

    By Mark Dummett, Business and Human Rights Researcher

    The Scottish government recently announced plans to, by 2032, phase out petrol and diesel vehicles. By 2040, the only cars on United Kingdom roads will also be electric, and petrol stations will be replaced by car charging points. Meanwhile, in the United States, Elon Muskhas announced the launch of the Tesla Model 3, which he hopes will become the world’s first mass-market electric car.

    June 07, 2017

    The international community must ban the import of all goods produced in illegal Israeli settlements and put an end to the multimillion dollar profits that have fuelled mass human rights violations against Palestinians, said Amnesty International today.

    To mark the 50th anniversary of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, the organization is launching a new campaign calling on states across the world to prohibit settlement goods from their markets and to prevent their companies from operating in settlements or trading in settlement goods.

    “For decades, the world has stood by as Israel has destroyed Palestinians’ homes and plundered their land and natural resources for profit. While the Palestinian economy has been stunted by 50 years of abusive policies, a thriving multimillion dollar settlement enterprise has been built out of the systematic oppression of the Palestinian population,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

    May 18, 2017

    Migrant workers on Qatar 2022 World Cup construction sites continue to suffer abuse and exploitation, Amnesty International said today as the country’s flagship football venue hosts the first match since its redevelopment.

    Companies involved in the renovation of Khalifa International Stadium subjected their workers to systematic labour abuse which Amnesty International exposed last year. The stadium will be inaugurated on Friday evening – one month

    after independent auditors published fresh details of ongoing exploitation of migrant workers across World Cup projects.

    April 04, 2017

    Some of the world’s largest companies are selling food and cosmetics containing palm oil that is tainted by shocking human rights abuses, including forced and child labour. Corporate giants, such as Nestlé , Kellogg’s, Colgate, Unilever and Procter & Gamble are turning a blind eye to the exploitation of workers in their palm oil supply chain. These companies reassure their customers that they are using “sustainable” palm oil, yet Amnesty’s research reveals that the palm oil is anything but.

    These companies buy palm oil from plantations run by Wilmar in Indonesia. Amnesty has discovered severe labour abuses at Wilmar’s plantations, including unsafe working conditions, discrimination against women, unrealistic targets and penalties, and children doing hazardous work.

    Write a lettter:

    Contact the makers of Dove soap, KitKat chocolate bars, Knorr soup, Pantene shampoo, Gerber baby cereal, Colgate toothpaste, Palmolive dish soap and Magnum and Parlour ice cream and demand that they take responsibility for human rights abuses in their palm oil supply chain.

    September 29, 2016

    Released 00:00 GMT on 30 September 2016

    May 23, 2016

    The Honourable Stéphane Dion      The Honourable Omar Alghabra
    Minister of Foreign Affairs                Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs
    125 Sussex Drive                             125 Sussex Drive
    Ottawa, Ontario                                Ottawa, Ontario
    K1A 0G2                                           K1A 0G2

    May 20, 2016

    Dear Minister Dion and Parliamentary Secretary Alghabra,

    November 02, 2015

    Released 00:01 GMT 03 November 2015

    Claims by oil giant Shell that it has cleaned up heavily polluted areas of the Niger Delta are blatantly false, Amnesty International and the Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development (CEHRD) said in a new report published today.

    Clean it up: Shell's false claims about oil spills in the Niger Delta documents ongoing contamination at four oil spill sites that Shell said it had cleaned up years ago. The report is being published to mark the 20th anniversary of the execution, on 10 November 1995, of the environmental activist and writer, Ken Saro-Wiwa, who campaigned tirelessly against the damage caused by the oil industry in the Niger Delta.

    “By inadequately cleaning up the pollution from its pipelines and wells, Shell is leaving thousands of women, men and children exposed to contaminated land, water and air, in some cases for years or even decades,” said Mark Dummett, Business and Human Rights researcher at Amnesty International.

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