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Daily Archives: February 5, 2014

Human Rights Meets Securities Regulation

Sarfaty, Galit A., Human Rights Meets Securities Regulation (September 23, 2013). Virginia Journal of International Law, Vol. 54, p. 97, 2013. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2390192

“Recent domestic legislation is blurring the line between securities regulation and human rights law. Securities law has traditionally regulated corporate disclosure on financial information, such as income statements and investment risks. By contrast, human rights law has traditionally operated in the international sphere and focused on state obligations.  That all changed in 2010 with the adoption of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which includes sections 1502 and 1504 on non-financial disclosure related to human rights and anti-corruption. In particular, section is the first regulation to create binding rules on due diligence with regard to a company’s supply chain. It imposes a new reporting requirement on publicly traded companies that manufacture products using certain conflict minerals. Companies must identify whether the sourcing of the minerals originated in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and bordering countries. If so, they must submit an independent private sector audit report on due diligence measures taken to determine whether those conflict minerals directly or indirectly financed or benefited armed groups in the covered countries.  The Dodd-Frank provisions are but one example of an emerging trend in international securities law. Over the past decade, an increasing number of governments and securities exchanges have passed mandatory regulations on corporate disclosure of social issues. In this Article, I take a step back from these recent developments to analyze a critical question: Is securities regulation the appropriate mechanism for achieving human rights compliance? By doing so, I seek to open a dialogue between two disparate streams of scholarship in private and public law and propose policy recommendations for effectively furthering the movement towards corporate accountability. While existing literature on sections 1502 and 1504 addresses the history of the legislation and critiques its efficacy, the main contribution of the Article is to analyze the normative implications of the broader strategy of using securities regulation to hold companies accountable for human rights abuses.”

Report – Fracking is depleting water supplies in America’s driest areas

The Guardian – Suzanne Goldenberg, US environment correspondent: “America’s oil and gas rush is depleting water supplies in the driest and most drought-prone areas of the country, from Texas to California, new research has found. Of the nearly 40,000 oil and gas wells drilled since 2011, three-quarters were located in areas where water is scarce, and 55% were in areas experiencing drought, the report by the Ceres investorContinue Reading

The Budget and Economic Outlook: 2014 to 2024

“The federal budget deficit has fallen sharply during the past few years, and it is on a path to decline further this year and next year. CBO estimates that under current law, the deficit will total $514 billion in fiscal year 2014, compared with $1.4 trillion in 2009. At that level, this year’s deficit wouldContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – Early Learning and Child Care, FAA Reauthorization, Federal Real Property

EARLY LEARNING AND CHILD CARE - Federal Funds Support Multiple Programs with Similar Goals, GAO-14-325T, Feb 5, 2014: “The federal investment in early learning and child care is administered through 45 programs that provide or may support related services to children from birth through age 5, as well as five tax provisions that subsidize private expenditures inContinue Reading

Cancer Facts & Figures 2014

American Cancer Society – “This annual report provides the estimated numbers of new cancer cases and deaths in 2014, as well as current cancer incidence, mortality, and survival statistics and information on cancer symptoms, risk factors, early detection, and treatment. In 2014, there will be an estimated 1,665,540 new cancer cases diagnosed and 585,720 cancerContinue Reading

2012-2013 Alzheimer’s Disease Progress Report

“Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive, age-related brain disorder that affects as many as 5 million Americans. It is the most common form of dementia, a broad term for diseases and conditions that damage brain cells and, over time, impair brain function. Alzheimer’s causes once-healthy neurons—a type of brain cell—to lose their ability to functionContinue Reading

CDC – Child Passenger Safety

“Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for children in the US. Buckling up is the best way to save lives and reduce injuries. Child passenger restraint laws result in more children being buckled up. Only 2 out of every 100 children live in states that require car seat or booster seat use forContinue Reading

Educational Attainment in the United States: 2013

“This report, based on the Current Population Survey, provides a portrait of academic achievement by demographic characteristics, such as age, sex, average earnings, and Hispanic origin. The number of adults who have completed some graduate school, increased 24 percent from 2008 to 2013, from 29 million to 36 million, according to the Educational Attainment inContinue Reading

Computer and Internet Access in the United States: 2012

“Computer and Internet Use: 2012 Based on Current Population Survey statistics from July 2012, the Computer and Internet Access in the United States infographic provides household and individual level analysis of computer use and Internet access, as well as a profile of individual smartphone usage. A set of tables will accompany the infographic.”

State and County ACS Coverage Estimates, 2008-2012

5-Year State and County Health Insurance Coverage Estimates from the American Community Survey (ACS) “The tables contain state and county health insurance coverage estimates for the pooled years 2008-2012.  These estimates come from the 5-year American Community Survey (ACS) via the U.S. Census Bureau’s American FactFinder (AFF) tool. These estimates pool together 5-years of data to produce reliable period estimates forContinue Reading