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High-conflict areas
ARTICLE | 19 September 2019

UN calls for companies to bolster HRDD in Myanmar 

For the first time, the UN has published a report containing details of the business interests of Myanmar’s military. The report echoes Swedwatch research on human rights risks linked to jade mining and calls for companies to conduct heightened HRDD when doing business in the country.

Climate justice
ARTICLE | 18 September 2019

Swedwatch joins new climate movement

Swedwatch has joined a coalition of civil society groups building a global movement pledging to urgently scale-up joint efforts for climate justice.

| 12 September 2019

Swedwatch gets UN consultative status

Swedwatch recently gained consultative status and accreditation to two influential United Nations’ fora, ECOSOC and UNEA. Swedwatch will use the platforms to amplify the voices of rights holders and to promote increased respect by companies for human rights and the environment.

Human rights defenders
ARTICLE | 14 May 2019

Defender reporting on banana sector risks prosecution

In Ecuador, Jorge Acosta risks prosecution for “creating economic panic” for reporting on labour rights and environmental issues in the banana sector. Companies purchasing bananas from Ecuador should clarify and make public their position regarding defenders’ rights and this specific case.

ARTICLE | 7 May 2019

Swedwatch raises new perspective on company responsibility at OECD

What are the responsibilties of companies who sell mining equipment on high-risk markets? This was discussed at Swedwatch’s panel at the 13th OECD Forum on Responsible Mineral Supply Chains.

Make ICT Fair
ARTICLE | 7 May 2019

Copper with a Cost – film on copper mining in Zambia

Swedwatch’s film Copper with a Cost shows how community member’s access to clean water and farmland is negatively affected in and around Chingola, where one of Zambia’s largest copper mines is located.

Make ICT Fair
REPORT | 6 May 2019

Environment and human rights risks in mining of ICT minerals

Unsustainable extraction of copper, a mineral frequently used in ICT products, has caused environmental degradation and adverse impacts on human rights in local communities in Zambia, a new Swedwatch report finds.

Local launch
ARTICLE | 2 May 2019

Swedish buyers met with communities in Peru

More than 120 people attended the launch of the report “To the last drop” in Peru, highlighting human rights risks associated with large-scale vegetable production. Swedish companies buying from Peru participated and met with workers and affected communities.

Community rights
ARTICLE | 28 March 2019

Sierra Leone bioenergy project poses new challenges to communities

The Addax Bioenergy project continues to pose challenges to communities in Sierra Leone nine years after its start. In a new turn of events, the whole community of Tonka community has been informed it will be relocated.

Capacity exhange
ARTICLE | 11 March 2019

Empowering defenders in Quito

Mining, oil, agriculture and hydropower – the list was long when human rights defenders mapped problematic sectors in a Quito workshop arranged by Swedwatch and Solidarity Sweden – Latin America.

Logging and deforestation
REPORT | 21 February 2019

Human rights due diligence required in tropical logging

The clearing of tropical forests is associated with high risks of impacts on human rights, biodiversity and climate. Still, logging companies operating in the Congo Basin are not sufficiently addressing these risks, a new report finds.

Company responses
ARTICLE | 13 December 2018

Companies react to Swedwatch report on water

Swedwatch’s recent report To the last drop on water related human rights risks in food production received both widespread attention and several reactions from scrutinised companies.

Conflict diamonds
ARTICLE | 16 November 2018

Will the KP ever be reformed to address the reality behind diamonds?

On November 16, the 2018 annual Kimberley Process (KP) Plenary was concluded in Brussels. KP Member countries, representatives from the diamond industry and civil society have during a full week reviewed successes and failures of the KP’s 15 years of operation.

Water crises
REPORT | 13 November 2018

Food companies fail to address water risks in Peru

Large-scale production of fruits and vegetables has created an acute water scarcity in Peru’s Ica valley. Still, despite an awareness of existing challenges, companies buying such products from the region have failed to identify and act on water-related human rights risks.

Client responsibility
ARTICLE | 25 October 2018

Report on mining launched in Marikana

Suppliers of mining equipment have a responsibility to act on adverse human rights impacts arising as a result of their customers’ activities. This aspect of corporate responsibility was at the centre of discussions when Swedwatch met with mining communities in Marikana, South Africa.

Client responsibility
REPORT | 20 June 2018

Machinery providers fail to recognize human rights risks in Myanmar’s jade mines

Irresponsible jade extraction has led to human suffering and environmental degradation in Myanmar’s conflict-affected Kachin state. The use of heavy mining equipment has enabled extraction to take place at an unprecedented speed.

REPORT | 12 June 2018

Sponsors must act on human rights risks

Companies that sponsor the Swedish Football Association need to act on human rights risks associated with big championships, a Swedwatch biefing shows. Although some progress has been made at policy level, it is crucial that the sponsors account for measures taken to map and address such risks.

Social dialogue
REPORT | 31 May 2018

Companies need to do more for Bangladesh’s garment workers

Despite years of efforts to strengthen the voices of workers in the Bangladeshi garment sector through social dialogue, real improvements remain to be seen. Swedish buyers claim to address the challenges, yet few of their suppliers have trade unions or collective bargaining agreements in place.

Responsible exits
REPORT | 25 May 2018

Liberian communities still suffering from failed bioenergy project

Shortly after the exit of Swedish companies Vattenfall and Swedfund from a bioenergy venture in Liberia 2012, the project collapsed. Promised development effects never materialized and today local communities still suffer from the human rights impacts, with no remedy in sight.

Labour rights
ARTICLE | 28 March 2018

New blow against labour activist in Thai fruit case

A Bangkok court has ordered labour rights activist Andy Hall to pay 10 million Thai baht, equivalent to around €259 000, in damages to a Thai company, on charges of defamation. The ruling is a blow to human rights defenders and the civil society worldwide. 

Risks in Colombia
ARTICLE | 19 March 2018

Human rights defender warns of risks related to Colombian hydropower plant

Swedish companies Atlas Copco and Scania are suppliers to the construction of Colombia’s biggest hydroelectric power plant, Hidroituango. Since the project started, the local movement Rios Vivos has reported on severe human rights impacts linked to the construction of the plant.

Risks in mining
ARTICLE | 16 February 2018

Mining communities provide accounts of human rights challenges

Challenges faced by mining communities in southern Africa were at the center of discussions when Swedwatch launched the report “Carrying the costs” in Cape Town.

REPORT | 5 February 2018

Atlas Copco, Sandvik should do more to address risks in South Africa’s platinum mines

Companies that sell equipment to South Africa’s platinum industry have a responsibility to analyse the risks for human rights violations that prevail in the sector, and to act on these. However, Swedwatch’s research finds few indications that Swedish companies Sandvik and Atlas Copco are trying to influence their customers to improve the situation in the platinum districts.

Working conditions
REPORT | 22 December 2017

Need for companies to address non-standard employment risks

Employment forms that do not provide full-time and permanent employment are increasingly used by companies to secure flexibility in their workforces. The trend risks having negative effects on workers in terms of employment insecurity, unequal wages and infringed union rights – especially in countries with weak legislation or social security. 

Investor responsibility
REPORT | 12 December 2017

Lack of green investments puts Paris Agreement at risk

There is little time left for the world to make a necessary climate transition. Although the finance sector has a crucial role to play, a new Swedwatch report shows that contributions made by Swedish investors to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement are not sufficient.

Report launch
ARTICLE | 20 November 2017

Exits and human rights in focus at report launch in Sierra Leone

Commitments were made on increased collaboration between CSOs and government agencies at Swedwatch’s launch of the report “No Business, No Rights” in Freetown.

UNGP training
ARTICLE | 20 November 2017

Swedwatch and Sierra Leone’s HRDN in joint training on human rights and business

In connection with a report launch in Sierra Leone, Swedwatch and Human Rights Defenders Network arranged a training on business and human rights for human rights defenders in Sierra Leone and Liberia.

New report on exit strategies
REPORT | 8 November 2017

Swedfund, FMO failed to respect human rights when exiting bioenergy project

The report ”No business, no rights” shows how local communities were affected when a bio-energy project in Sierra Leone stalled and development finance institutions Swedfund and FMO exited without securing the rights of local communities were respected.

New website
ARTICLE | 20 October 2017

New website

Welcome to Swedwatch’s new website. Here you will find information on our work and can browse through our reports and statements.

Worker safety
| 7 July 2017

Boiler explosion prompts calls for increased worker safety in Bangladesh

The Accord Agreement must be broadened, global unions and NGO:s demanded after 13 people were killed in an explosion in a Bangladeshi factory manufacturing clothes for brands including Swedish retailer Lindex.

Investor responsibility
REPORT | 27 April 2017

Investors fail to act on allegations against Lundin Petroleum

Swedish banks and pension funds have continued to invest in Lundin Petroleum, despite allegations the company contributed to human rights violations in Sudan.

Investor responsibility
REPORT | 7 March 2017

Scandinavian banks linked to violations of indigenous peoples’ rights in Borneo

Scandinavian banks have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in companies linked to violations of indigenous peoples’ rights in Borneo.

Child labour
REPORT | 21 December 2016

Child labour in diamond mines in the DR Congo

A new report from Swedwatch and Afrikagrupperna shows that the sustainability certification that many jewellery companies rely on does not protect those who are most vulnerable. In the DR Congo, child labour is common.

Good examples procurement
REPORT | 15 November 2016

Public authorities: Agents for change?

Social criteria in public procurement can improve working conditions in global supply chains, according to a Swedwatch report directed to public procurement authorities in the EU.

Human Rights Defenders
ARTICLE | 20 September 2016

Human rights defender sentenced to jail in Thailand

Bangkok courts have found human rights defender Andy Hall guilty of criminal defamation and violation of computer crime. The ruling is a shock to efforts to address serious human rights violations faced by migrant workers in Thailand.

Corporate Comment
ARTICLE | 30 June 2016

BAT company responses to Swedwatch study

In 2016, Swedwatch shared its study findings from Bangladesh with British American Tobacco p.l.c.’s (BAT) Headquarters in London, UK. In response, BAT provided answers and clarifications and shared a number of documents.

tobacco industry
REPORT | 30 June 2016

The hidden side effects of tobacco

In the report titled ‘Smokescreens in the Supply Chain’, Swedwatch highlights the tobacco sector’s pressing human rights and sustainability challenges and documents findings from investigations into the tobacco industry in Bangladesh.

Legislation conflict minerals
REPORT | 20 June 2016

EU Deal: Far from Reality

In a new report, Swedwatch presents the practical implications of existing regulations on conflict minerals and concludes that EU negotiations have failed to address key issues related to the illicit trade.

Phones & electronic waste
REPORT | 26 April 2016

Operators miss the mark

“Change your mobile phone as often as you want”. Phone operators are advertising to their consumers to trade in their phones for the latest models as often as they like. The report Fast tracking consumption presents three problems linked to this wear-and-throw model.

Working conditions
ARTICLE | 21 April 2016

Still a lost generation

Three years have passed since the Rana Plaza tragedy. The rights of textile workers’ children are still far from a priority for local suppliers and foreign buyers of garments, according to a local child rights expert.

Smallholder farmers
ARTICLE | 28 January 2016

Enterprising for Zero Hunger

Big purchasing companies could support smallholder farmers to increase productivity and get out of poverty, but new skill sets and high levels of accountability are needed.

Climate leadership
ARTICLE | 18 December 2015

Companies – change agents in a new climate economy

The historic Paris conference resulted in over 10 000 climate commitments by companies, investors, cities and regions determined to work towards sustainable business models and climate friendly financial markets.

hydroelectrics Colombia
REPORT | 30 November 2015

Sharper focus on human rights needed

Swedwatch’s 2014 report Drowned Rights, Floating Responsibilities is now available in Spanish. It reveals serious human rights risks associated with the construction a power plant in Colombia. Companies still need to do more to assess and manage the risks.

Chicken Import Thailand
REPORT | 25 November 2015

Trapped in the Kitchen of the World

Swedish buyers have prioritised product quality over working conditions. The report “Trapped in the Kitchen of the World” shows that migrant workers within the poultry industry in Thailand are being exploited and caught in debt bondage.

Carbon credits
ARTICLE | 5 November 2015

Lessons learned from Kachung

The Swedish Energy Agency has faced criticism for its purchase of ‘carbon credits’ from a pine tree plantation in Kachung in Uganda. Important lessons can be learned from the project, according to Swedwatch.

Banks - low ranking
ARTICLE | 19 October 2015

Deforestation – what banks can do

A new study conducted by Mikaela Ring at KTH in cooperation with Swedwatch presents four recommendations on how banks can maximise their leverage and use their influence to halt deforestation and biodiversity loss.

Working conditions
ARTICLE | 14 October 2015

Education – key to real change

Important steps have been taken to improve working conditions in the manufacturing of surgical instruments in Pakistan. But worker awareness and education is still needed in order to enact real change, says expert Liaqat Javed in an interview with Swedwatch.

Charter organizers responsibil
REPORT | 13 October 2015

Shattered Dreams

Demanding working conditions, withheld passports and twelve hour working days without breaks or overtime pay. This is the reality for migrants working at hotels in Dubai, according to a report released by Swedwatch and Fair Action today.

Wine import
REPORT | 21 September 2015

From grape to glas

Systembolaget har gjort framsteg i sitt hållbarhetsarbete. Men ambitionsnivån kan höjas väsentligt, såväl hos Systembolaget som dess svenska leverantörer. Det visar en uppföljningsrapport från Swedwatch.

Palm oil industry
ARTICLE | 4 May 2015

Beyond palm oil certification

Swedish companies should not content themselves with RSPO certification, says Norman Jiwan to Swedwatch in an interview about the palm oil industry. And consumers should demand palm oil that is not only good for wildlife, but also free from conflict and forced labour.

Textile industry
ARTICLE | 23 April 2015

Two years after Rana Plaza

Two years after the tragic collapse of the Rana Plaza building, safety conditions in the factories have improved. But more than half of the survivors are still unemployed and most of them are still suffering from depression and trauma.

Health care Products
REPORT | 19 March 2015

Healthier Procurement

Social criteria in public procurement have had a demonstrable effect on improvements in labour rights in the surgical instruments manufacturing sector in Pakistan.

Childrens Rights
REPORT | 25 September 2014

A Lost Generation?

Millions of children are linked to international clothing companies’ production. Although many companies have developed their sustainability efforts with regard to human rights, they lack a child rights perspective.

Ice Hockey World Championship
REPORT | 6 May 2014

Human Rights on Thin Ice

Forced labour and violations of human rights have taken place in direct connection with the organising of the Ice Hockey World Championships in Belarus.

Human rights & Sport
REPORT | 9 January 2014

The Olympic Violations

The preparations of the Olympic Games in Sochi have had negative impact on human rights, mainly the rights of migrant workers in connection to the building of arenas and overall infrastructure.

Wine import
REPORT | 12 December 2013

Systembolaget fails to identify shortcomings at vineyards in South Africa and Chile

The sustainability work initiated by Systembolaget is ambitious and important. There are however no clear signs of improvements at the vineyards where the risks for adverse human rights impacts are most severe.

REPORT | 8 December 2013

Toxic pesticides on Costa Ricas plantations

Pineapples imported to Sweden from Costa Rica are most likely grown using pesticides harmful to both people and the environment.

Trade union rights
REPORT | 25 November 2013

Play Fair – a campaign for decent sportswear

Has the first agreement between multinational companies and local unions strengthened freedom of association in Indonesia?

South African mines
REPORT | 29 October 2013

Problematic Platinum

The platinum mining industry in South Africa is associated with severe risks for adverse human rights impacts. Swedish companies with ties to the industry fail to adequately disclose how these risks are addressed and mitigated.

working environment
REPORT | 2 September 2013

Global expectations on Indian operations

A study on the human rights challenges of Finnish-Swedish forest industry group Stora Enso in India shows that safety and workers´rights need more attention.

tax planning
REPORT | 21 May 2013

Tax evasion hinders development in Zambia

Tax avoidance is a problem that affects many countries, but creates additional negative effects on efforts to eliminate poverty in developing countries in particular.

Brazil farmland
REPORT | 16 April 2013

Investment without transparency

The lack of transparency in relation to the Second Swedish National Pension Fund’s, AP2’s, investment in agricultural land in Brazil makes it impossible to examine whether the Fund lives up to its commitment regarding ethics and the environment.

REPORT | 11 March 2013

Vattenfall and Swedfund cut and ran

Liberian stakeholders suffer the negative consequences of the decision by Vattenfall and Swedfund to divest their minority share in Buchanan Renewables.

Human Aid and investment
REPORT | 5 March 2013

No Land, No Power

Can business deliver on development goals? Swedwatch’s investigations of Swedfund’s investment in a bioenergy project in Sierra Leone shows how women’s rights are sidelined when Addax Bioenergy leases land to grow sugar cane.

carbon credits
REPORT | 1 November 2012

Criticism of Sweden’s carbon credits purchase

This report examines one of the many projects that Sweden will be buying carbon credits from in the future – a hydropower project in northern India.

Manufacture China
REPORT | 26 June 2012

From no control to full control?

In 2012 Swedwatch reviewed how four of Sweden’s leading hobby and tool companies had developed their work regarding supplier responsibility. The study found both improvements and serious shortcomings.

gold mining
REPORT | 25 June 2012

A Lot of Gold, A Lot of Trouble

Swedwatch has taken a critical look at Mineral Invest AB and its ability to operate within the law and internationally accepted business norms as they seek to explore, exploit and trade gold in the DR Congo.

Lack of control soybean import
REPORT | 12 June 2012

Follow-up report on soy production

In this report Swedwatch follows up the changes in the Brazilian soybean sector and relevant companies’ corporate responsibility activities over the past two years.

Textile Industry Bangladesh
REPORT | 5 April 2012

A Lost Revolution?

Many brands buying from Bangladesh have positioned themselves as frontrunners on CSR. Nevertheless Swedwatch notices that women in the industry face basic human rights violations on a daily basis. So are their children.

Production of fish meal
REPORT | 19 January 2012

What did your dinner eat for breakfast?

This report highlights the fishing behind the farming of salmon and shrimp, the effects of forage fish production and the conditions in this production.

REPORT | 10 December 2011

All that glitters is not gold

Jewelery is a luxury and should be enjoyed. But the trail from the mine to the store features child labour, corruption and money laundry. That is the findings of a report published by Swedwatch, The Church of Sweden and Fair Trade Center.

Manufacture Vietnam
REPORT | 17 October 2011

Out of focus

MakeITfair’s first report on digital cameras shows that company CSR-policies do not live up to international labour- and human rights standards. The report also shows that workers at four Vietnamese camera factories suffer from uncertain working conditions.

Otydliga ägarriktlinjer
REPORT | 22 July 2011

Swedish pensions invested in problematic mines in Latin America

Water scarcity, land conflicts and harassment of trade unionists – these are the facts of life for those living and working at the Yanacocha mine in Peru.

Arbetsvillkor i bärskogen
REPORT | 29 June 2011

Ny rapport granskar bärplockares villkor i Sverige

Under de senaste åren har tusentals asiatiska bärplockare kommit till Sverige för att plocka blåbär med löften om en bra inkomst. Gång på gång har de lurats. När säsongen varit över har många fått resa hem med större skulder än när de kom hit.

More money for farmers
REPORT | 22 June 2011

Expensive coffee good for the farmers

The price for a cup of coffee has increased sharply – troubling many consumers. But for coffee farmers in Brazil, the increase has been good because low prices have only slowed efforts to improve working conditions for low-salaried growers and workers.

working conditions China
REPORT | 2 April 2011

Improvements made in the Toy Industry but Factory Conditions are still a Problem

Swedwatch published the report “Reviewing Santa’s workshop” in 2009. One of the demands was that the toy business ensures that employees in toy factories in China become aware of their rights and have the opportunity to complain if these are violated.

Trade at high risk
REPORT | 6 December 2010

Complex business

How can companies respect human rights in countries marked by repression, corruption or conflict? This report highlights company actions in the most risky areas of the world.

electronic products
REPORT | 13 October 2010

Voices from DRC on conflict minerals

In the Eastern DRC, the conflict between the Congolese army and rebel groups continues to cause suffering for local people. At the same time tin, coltan, wolframite and gold for home electronics are extracted in the same area.

Uranium Imports
REPORT | 13 September 2010

Lack of formal audits in Namibian uranium mine

A new report by Swedwatch shows that there are shortcomings in Vattenfall’s control of Rössinggruvan and questions regarding the responsibility for long-term control of the mining area after closure.

Brazilian coffee plantations
REPORT | 7 August 2010

Ethics too expensive for coffee companies

Swedish coffee companies have not contributed to the improvements in the coffee production chain that have taken place in Brazil since 2005.

Food production
REPORT | 1 March 2010

The more soy and cattle meat, the less rainforest

The Swedwatch report investigates Swedish import companies’ responsibility in an industry involving social and environmental risks.

Chinese factories
REPORT | 16 December 2009

Illegal overtime at factories

Clear improvements have been observed at the two factories producing mobile phone chargers, but more efforts are needed to reduce overtime and eliminate problematic health tests.

Tanneries polluters
REPORT | 10 December 2009

Pollution an effect from the production of leather to Swedish shoes

Swedish shoe companies’ routines and standards regarding environmental effects from the production of leather shoes are investigated in a report by Swedwatch and Swedish Society for Nature Conservation.

Working conditions
REPORT | 2 December 2009

Hard work to make children happy

Working conditions in Chinese toy factories have improved. However, many things remain to be done before the workers can enjoy decent conditions.

Sustainability & results
REPORT | 21 November 2009

How to improve work situations

When employees contribute in the ethical work of the company the effect of policies and codes of conducts is greater.

E-waste export
REPORT | 13 April 2009

E-waste export, out of control

European countries must initiate control of their ports to stop the illegal export of electronic waste to developing countries.

Tourism Thailand
REPORT | 29 October 2008

Tourism – an excluding journey

SwedWatch and the Fair Trade Center have reviewed the largest Swedish tour operators to assess the way in which they are tackling the social problems caused by the fast-growing tourist industry.

International rights
REPORT | 20 October 2008

Illegal Ground: Assa Abloy’s business in occupied Palestinian territory

This report illustrates the problems companies face when owning factories located within an illegal Israeli settlement on the West Bank.

Factories China & the Philippi
REPORT | 24 August 2008

Silenced to deliver

Workers at the mobile factories handle chemicals without protective equipment, work inhumane overtime hours and are punished if they make misstakes.

Mineral extraction Kongo
REPORT | 19 February 2008

Risky business

This is a report about the Lundin Group’s involvement in the Tenke Eungurume Mining project in the DRC.

Chinese natural stone
REPORT | 17 January 2008

Improving Working Conditions at Chinese Natural Stone Companies

This report investigates the Chinese natural stone industry. The report is based on results from visits to factories, suppliers and subcontractors in the Chinese provinces of Fujian and Shandong.

Gruvindustri Zambia & DRC
REPORT | 26 November 2007

Powering the Mobile World

A report on cobalt production for batteries in the DR Congo and Zambia.

Procurement in County
REPORT | 28 March 2007

The Dark side of Healthcare

The report presents investigations about the purchasing surgical instruments and hospital textiles by county councils. Swedwatch has conducted exploratory work in both Pakistan and India and we have ourselves visited all the factories.

Working conditions
REPORT | 19 May 2006

The Dark side of chocolate

SwedWatch has carried out a survey of the working conditions on cocoa farms in the Ivory Coast and Ghana. People producing the cocoa used in the chocolate sold in Sweden are often forced to work in very difficult conditions.

Ownership responsibilities
REPORT | 1 March 2006

Whale species threatened by oil and gas exploration

Nordic businesses have been keen to run for multimillion dollar contracts for the phase two of the huge oil and gas project Sakhalin 2. However, none of the companies have made any environmental or social risk analyses of the project.

Cheating on factory inspection
REPORT | 25 October 2004

Easy to manage – A report on Chinese toy workers and the responsibility of the companies

Swedwatch have found that violations of the workers’ rights are recurrent phenomena in the manufacturing of toys that we give to our children. In May 2004 Swedwatch carried out an inquiry on the ground in Guangdong, China.