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Shoes ‘Made in Europe’ – for Starvation Wages
 — Zurich/Lausanne

For the first time, new research has revealed the true cost of Eastern Europe’s shoe manufacturing industry: tens of thousands of workers producing shoes sold as ‘Italian’ or ‘German’ – and often earning even less than their counterparts in China. Until now, brand-name companies have shown far too little interest in the conditions under which their shoes are produced. 

Rana Plaza three years on: the struggle for justice and safety is not over

 — On April 24th 2013 the deadliest tragedy in the history of garment industry happened in Dhaka. Three years later, all of the victims finally have received compensation. But despite public pressure, factories remain blatantly unsafe.

More than 1’100 people died when the eight-storey Rana Plaza building collapsed in Savar near Dhaka, Bangladesh’s capital, on April 24th 2013. Most of the victims 


Berne Declaration becomes Public Eye

 — The members that gathered for the Berne Declaration's general assembly have decided to change their organisation's name to "Public Eye". This new name better describes the NGO's role, is forward-looking and is already well established thanks to the counter-summit that the Berne Declaration organised to protest against the Davos World Economic Forum for 15 years. It is believed that "Public Eye" is 

Over 140'000 signatures for the Swiss Responsible Business Initiative

 — Less than a year after its launch, the Swiss Responsible Business Initiative has gathered the required number of signatures. This significant step paves the way for the initiative to be taken up by the Swiss government and shows that a large number of Swiss citizens want multinational corporations to respect human rights and the environment abroad.

In April 2015, 77 civil society organisations 

Restitution of Abacha funds: Swiss and Nigerian NGOs demand guarantees

 — Switzerland will soon return a sum of 321 million dollars to Nigeria, which was confiscated from the clan of the African nation's former dictator Sani Abacha. In an open letter, Swiss and Nigerian NGOs have demanded that the authorities of these two countries, together with the World Bank, take all measures necessary to guarantee that these funds be returned in a manner that is transparent and 

Switzerland’s financial secrecy brought under human rights spotlight

 — Tax avoidance and evasion represent a systemic drain on government revenues needed for the fulfilment of women’s rights and gender equality. As the international human rights system begins to grapple 

Bangladeshi factories remain unsafe: H&M suppliers fail on deadlines to address safety hazards

 — As Swedish fashion giant H&M prepares to announce a predicted increase in their profits for 2015, labour rights groups are calling on the company to do more to protect garment workers in Bangladesh, 

European Patent Office revokes Monsanto patent on melons

 — The European Patent Office (EPO) has revoked a patent held by Monsanto on melons (EP1962578) for technical reasons. Monsanto was claiming melons with a natural resistance to plant viruses as its own 

New report: Patents on Plants and Animals

 — The new report of the NGO alliance No Patents On Seeds shows the latest developments on the patenting of plants. Around 2400 patents on plants and 1400 patents on animals have been granted in Europe 

Stevia-Derived Sweeteners Violate Indigenous Rights

 — A new report, published by a coalition of NGOs and scientific institutions (1), shows that the 

Switzerland Must Seize Opportunity for Commodity Trading Transparency

 — Switzerland, the world’s leading commodity trading hub, must pave the way for more transparency in natural resource payments. The Swiss government should alter its course and include commodity trading