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The Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO) is an independent, not-for-profit research and network organisation working on social, ecological and economic issues related to sustainable development. Since 1973, the organisation investigates multinational corporations and the consequences of their activities for people and the environment around the world. More...

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Beauty and a Beast: take the child labour out of your cosmetics

Beauty and a Beast: take the child labour out of your cosmetics

May 30, 2016

At least twenty thousand children work in mica mines in the region Jharkhand/Bihar, India. They work long hours in dangerous conditions. Mica is used in cosmetics, car paints, and many other products. On 22 May 2016, Terre des Hommes launched a campaign and petition based on extensive research by SOMO.

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Violation of human rights: unintended, but unavoidable?!

Violation of human rights: unintended, but unavoidable?!

May 18, 2016

The general assumption that violations of human rights are inevitable, even with the Asian Development Bank’s ‘sustainable’ projects, is met mainly with incredulity by SOMO researchers Mariëtte van Huijstee and Lydia de Leeuw. As experts in non-judicial mechanisms for grievances, both were present at the Annual Meeting of the Asian Development Bank in Frankfurt from the 2nd to the 5th of May. “It’s certainly not inevitable!” says Mariëtte van Huijstee. “We were present here to draw attention to the publication Glass Half Full.”

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Tax consultancy companies: Suspicion of conflict of interests

Tax consultancy companies: Suspicion of conflict of interests

May 18, 2016

From research that SOMO carried out on behalf of Oxfam Novib, it emerges that tax consultancy companies, the academic world and political committees are so intertwined with each other that, at the least, the suspicion of conflict of interests is very strong. This study is part of the Oxfam report ‘The Netherlands, tax haven’.

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Workplace impacts of sustainability certification

Workplace impacts of sustainability certification

May 16, 2016

On Thursday, 26 May, SOMO is organising a meeting for policymakers from sustainability certification bodies, manufacturers, supermarkets, governments and NGOs. In this private meeting, preliminary research on the impact of sustainability certification for working conditions in Peru (fruit and vegetables), Colombia (coffee and cut flowers) and India (tea) will be presented and discussed.

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Should I stay or should I go?

Should I stay or should I go?

May 13, 2016

The discussion paper ‘Should I stay or should I go’ (published by SOMO and Pax) has explored the role of disengagement in due diligence processes aimed at preventing, mitigating and remedying adverse human rights impacts. The paper sought to identify key questions and provide a solid foundation for further research and the development of practical guidance for companies, rights-holders and others stakeholders, including policymakers, on how companies can effectively and responsibly use disengagement to prevent, mitigate and remediate adverse impacts.

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