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Social risks at government construction projects

Social risks at government construction projects
November 2014 F. Scheele, G. ten Kate

The Dutch Department of Waterways and Public Works, Rijkswaterstaat, has thus far taken very few steps to avert social abuses on its construction sites. This is according to SOMO’s latest research report, which was commissioned by FNV Bouw, a Dutch trade union specialising in construction.

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Hidden profits

Hidden profits
November 2014 I.D.J. Römgens

Eurodad report in which 15 European companies are compared on anti-tax dodging measures and on financial transparancy.

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Eldorado Gold - Discussion Paper

Eldorado Gold - Discussion Paper
November 2014 R. van Os, McGauran, K., I.D.J. Römgens, I. Hartlief

This discussion paper is published as part of SOMOs review process. It will be distributed for expert review at the SOMO strategy meeting on 30-31 October and at a public meeting involving Greek social movements in Thessaloniki, Greece, on 1 November 2014. Relevant stakeholders are invited to comment on the preliminary findings of this research. Where relevant these comments will be included in the final publication, expected in December 2014. For more information contact K.mcGauran@somo.nl. This discussion paper looks at the human rights impact of Eldorado Golds activities in Greece. It looks at the companys tax avoidance strategies and related impact on Greek state revenue as well as the responsibility of the Dutch state and the EU therein. The research focuses on two important and inter-related human rights dimensions, namely, the direct civil rights violations and potential environmental impacts resulting from Eldorado Golds operations and the private gain and public loss mechanism related  to corporate tax avoidance in Greece. Research has also been conducted with regard to bilateral investment flows that take place through mailbox companies between Greece and EU Member States, highlighting the role of the Netherlands and Luxemburg in tax avoidance. The data show that far from an isolated case, tax avoidance using legal yet aggressive tax planning methods is wide-spread in Greece. Last but not least, the above issues are put into context of the Greek crisis and related structural adjustment measures imposed by Greeces creditors: the EU, IMF and European Central Bank (Troika). The current regressive nature of the Greek fiscal regime is also analysed.

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Flawed fabrics

Flawed fabrics
October 2014 Overeem, P., M. Theuws

This report highlights serious labour rights and human rights violations faced by girls and young women employed in the Tamil Nadu spinning industry in South India, which is a major hub in the global knitwear sector, supplying some of the big name clothing brands including C+A, Hanesbrands, Mothercare and Primark.

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Dragging out the best deal

Dragging out the best deal
October 2014

In the electronics sector, direct labour costs generally represent only 2% of the factory selling price. This article explains how an electronic product that is priced $100 when it leaves the factory has a $500 retail price. This, while the workers making the product work for low wages and often work in substandard health and safety conditions.

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EU action needed for fair supermarket supply chains

EU action needed for fair supermarket supply chains
June 2014 S. van der Wal, Emese Gulyás

Policy and case study research by a European coalition of civil society organisations shows EU policy action is needed to secure decent work and prevent unfair trading in supermarket supply chains from developing countries.

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Colombian Coal in Europe

Colombian Coal in Europe
June 2014 J. Wilde Ramsing, K. Racz

This briefing paper gives an overview of the continuing mining controversies in Colombia and their links to European power companies. European power producers supply chains and the Italian energy company Enels imports from Colombia are in focus.   

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The Swiss Connection

The Swiss Connection
May 2014 K. Racz, M. van Dorp

The aim of this report is to highlight how Royal Dutch Shell uses its presence in Switzerland, a notorious tax haven and secrecy jurisdiction, to minimize its tax payments in other countries, including developing countries.

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SOMO Annual Report 2013

SOMO Annual Report 2013
May 2014 SOMO

In the 2013 annual report, SOMO gives an overview of all projects, highlights, internal organisational developments and a financial overview of last year.

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ASM International

ASM International
April 2014

This report finds that the Dutch-based company ASM International N.V. (ASMI) should take responsibility for addressing health risks at the factories of its former subsidiary company, ASM Pacific Technology (ASMPT). The fact that ASMI is a minority shareholder of ASMPT is no reason for inaction, the report concludes. The background to the research involved the incident whereby an employee of ASMPT in China fell ill with leukemia, after reportedly being exposed to the carcinogenic substance benzene on the work floor.

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