Human Rights in the Finance Industry

What is the human rights component of sustainable finance?

On International Human Rights Day, Dec. 10th, 2019, we introduce our research project on the development of human rights benchmarks for the finance industry and discuss human rights practices and challenges in this industry in Switzerland.

The event is organized by the Geneva Center for Business and Human Rights, the University of Sydney, and Sustainable Finance Geneva (SFG).

Date: Tuesday, December 10, 2019
Time: 6:00 - 8:00 pm
Location: Jura Room, Warwick Hotel, Rue de Lausanne 14, 1201 Genève

Scroll down to learn more about the event, the research project, and the research team.


Professor Dorothée Baumann-Pauly is the director of the new Geneva Center for Business and Human Rights at Geneva University, the first human rights Center at a business school in Europe. She conducts research on corporate human rights challenges to identify business models that allow profits and principles to coexist. In 2016, she co-edited the first textbook entitled “Business and Human Rights - From Principles to Practice” (Routledge). Since 2013, Dorothee also directs the research at the NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights. In March 2017, NYU Stern published the report “Putting the “S” in ESG: Measuring Human Rights Performance for Investors”.

Fabio Sofia is President of Sustainable Finance Geneva (SFG) and Managing Partner at Wecan Group, a fintech company specializing in digital financing solutions and blockchain. Fabio has over 15 years of experience in sustainable finance, and has played a pioneer role in the field of microfinance. He joined Symbiotics where he has held several roles, including Head of Portfolio Advisory, at its inception in 2004. Prior to joining Symbiotics, he worked for the Human Rights Policy section of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs and for Lombard Odier & Cie.

Professor David Kinley is Chair of Human Rights Law at the University of Sydney Law School and an expert member of Doughty Street Chambers in London. He specializes in relations between the global economy and human rights and has worked for more than 25 years in Europe, North America, Africa and Asia with governments, international organisations, law firms, corporations and NGOs in the field. His latest book, Necessary Evil: How to Fix Finance by Saving Human Rights (2018) is available from Oxford University Press.

Dr Kym Sheehan first became interested in executive remuneration in 1994 when she started working as an Associate at an executive search firm. She continued her interests in executive remuneration and its regulation via a PhD on say on pay at the Melbourne Law School. Her interest in human rights and business came via her initial research on a modern slavery act for Australia in 2017. It was this research and a mutual interest in finance that led to David and Kym applying for funding via the Sydney Law School’s Special Projects Scheme in 2017.

Dr Lilach Trabelsi is Project Lead at the Geneva Center for Business and Human Rights at Geneva University. Her research focuses on the link between corporate strategy and sustainability, aiming primarily at enhancing our understanding of strategic decision-making in the area of corporate sustainability, and the role of stakeholders in achieving sustainability objectives. Prior to joining academia, she has held various positions in the private and public sectors, including roles in private banking.

Dorothée Baumann-Pauly in front of an audience
Dorothée Baumann-Pauly, Director, Geneva Center for Business and Human Rights
Fabio Sofia in front of an audience
Fabio Sofia, President, Sustainable Finance Geneva
Lilach Trabelsi presenting a graph in front of an audience
Lilach Trabelsi, Project lead, Geneva Center for Business and Human Rights
David Kinley and Kym Sheehan in front of an audience
David Kinley, Professor & Kym Sheehan, Senior Lecturer, University of Sydney Law School