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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Friday, May 14, 2004
    What's the SchNEWS?
    Rearranged my sidebar again to reflect where I'm up to and what I'd like to share with you, valued reader. Where I'm up to is rediscovering once-valued sources of news, information and inspiration. And prime among them for a long time was the weekly SchNEWS bulletin. Produced on the cheap by a bunch of Brighton activists it's a two-page digest of all that's relevant to those concerned with global justice, environmental rights, corporate shenanigans etc etc. And it highlights those items which mainstream news outlets tend to bury.

    So it's on my sidebar and I invite you to take a look and perhaps do as I now do, subscribe to their weekly .pdf. This week's top story: the 'UN Norms on the Responsibilities of Trans-national Corporations and Other Business Enterprises with regard to Human Rights' (or 'Norms' for short), which the UN Commission on Human Rights recently gave a 5-year mandate to develop and try out further:

    These norms aren't another bureaucratic attempt to bore us into submission but are proposed decency guidelines for multinational corporations to stick too. The norms ask companies to respect the laws of the countries they operate in, ensure equal opportunities and avoid racism and sexism. More troublesome for the corporations will be the proposed clause asking them not to profit from war crimes, genocide, torture, and violations of international law. The norms also include workers rights (to form unions for example), avoidance of bribery and corruption, fair business practice, protecting consumers from harmful products and environmental protection. Which seem pretty reasonable to us here at SchNEWS Towers, but not of course to big business which feels it is obviously above such silly 'red tape' and would rather 'regulate' itself.

    More here.