Migrant workers in Dubai’s hotel sector are hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. Companies employing migrant workers must take steps, including rapid risk assessments, to mitigate against human rights impacts when they scale down or stop operations.
Unsustainable business practices risk exacerbating the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and threatening the lives and livelihoods of workers and communities already at risk. In Ecuador and Peru agricultural workers say they are exposed to working conditions that put them at risk of being infected, while fearing they will lose their jobs if they stay at home.
Union leader and human rights defender Jorge Acosta faces new legal accusations in Ecuador, related to his reports on labour rights issues in the banana sector. Swedwatch calls on companies purchasing bananas to use their leverage and demand fair treatment for Acosta.
Swedwatch works with women human rights defenders challenging irresponsible business operations and rights abuses around the world and is highlighting their work ahead of International Women’s Day on 8 March 2020. Arzu Geybulla is an Azerbaijani journalist and human rights defender living in exile following a barrage of online threats linked to her journalism work.
What do the components of our mobile phones have to do with people getting clear water near Zambian copper mines? What are working conditions like in electronics factories around the world? How can consumers have a positive impact on these issues and what are the responsibilities of companies? These are some of the questions addressed in new Swedwatch teaching materials about the downside of our use of electronic goods.
Swedwatch works with women human rights defenders challenging irresponsible business operations and rights abuses around the world and is highlighting their work ahead of International Women’s Day on 8 March 2020. Rosario Huancaya has received multiple death threats working with communities affected by agribusiness in Peru.
Swedwatch works with women human rights defenders challenging irresponsible business operations and rights abuses around the world and is highlighting their work ahead of International Women’s Day on 8 March 2020. Milena Florez is a Colombian environmental defender living in exile.
Impacts on health, environment and livelihoods. In India, local communities have for decades protested about the effects of pollution from pharmaceutical production. Our new report calls for increased transparency and stricter environmental standards in drug manufacturing.
Companies and states need to step up their efforts to support environmental and human rights defenders negatively affected by business operations, a seminar arranged by Swedwatch and member organisations heard.
With training sessions on business, human rights and the environment, Swedwatch has supported East African partners working with communities affected by mining and agribusiness in their work to hold business actors accountable.
In a new report, Swedwatch and six Swedish civil society organisations urge European companies to step up efforts to address risks to human rights and environmental defenders, and call on the EU and its Member States to adopt laws requiring companies to do so.
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.
Swedwatch has joined a coalition of civil society groups building a global movement pledging to urgently scale-up joint efforts for climate justice.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Commitments were made on increased collaboration between CSOs and government agencies at Swedwatch’s launch of the report “No Business, No Rights” in Freetown.
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.
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.
Welcome to Swedwatch’s new website. Here you will find information on our work and can browse through our reports and statements.
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.
Swedish banks and pension funds have continued to invest in Lundin Petroleum, despite allegations the company contributed to human rights violations in Sudan.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Social criteria in public procurement have had a demonstrable effect on improvements in labour rights in the surgical instruments manufacturing sector in Pakistan.
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.
Forced labour and violations of human rights have taken place in direct connection with the organising of the Ice Hockey World Championships in Belarus.
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.
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.
Pineapples imported to Sweden from Costa Rica are most likely grown using pesticides harmful to both people and the environment.
Has the first agreement between multinational companies and local unions strengthened freedom of association in Indonesia?
Tax avoidance is a problem that affects many countries, but creates additional negative effects on efforts to eliminate poverty in developing countries in particular.
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.
Liberian stakeholders suffer the negative consequences of the decision by Vattenfall and Swedfund to divest their minority share in Buchanan Renewables.
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.
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.
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.
In this report Swedwatch follows up the changes in the Brazilian soybean sector and relevant companies’ corporate responsibility activities over the past two years.
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.
This report highlights the fishing behind the farming of salmon and shrimp, the effects of forage fish production and the conditions in this production.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Swedish coffee companies have not contributed to the improvements in the coffee production chain that have taken place in Brazil since 2005.
The Swedwatch report investigates Swedish import companies’ responsibility in an industry involving social and environmental risks.
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.
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 in Chinese toy factories have improved. However, many things remain to be done before the workers can enjoy decent conditions.
When employees contribute in the ethical work of the company the effect of policies and codes of conducts is greater.
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.
This report illustrates the problems companies face when owning factories located within an illegal Israeli settlement on the West Bank.
Workers at the mobile factories handle chemicals without protective equipment, work inhumane overtime hours and are punished if they make misstakes.
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.
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.
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.
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.