Business and Human Rights: A scholarly contribution to the ‘decade of action’

To celebrate Human Rights Day 2021, Bath’s Centre for Business, Organisations and Society and the Geneva Center for Business and Human Rights are hosting an event to explore business and human rights.

Ten years ago the Human Rights Council endorsed the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. To mark this anniversary, the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights released an assessment to take stock of the progress made in the first decade’s progress. This report highlighted the successes, but also the challenges and gaps that remain. They concluded their statement with a call for a new ‘decade of action’, charging businesses and governments to ‘build back better’.

With this seminar we will respond to this call, by focusing on the outstanding implementation challenges for human rights in corporate practice. We will highlight based on academic research ‘what works’!

Our academic experts will share lessons from their research, exploring how businesses have implemented effective human rights practices and policies (as well as lessons on what doesn’t work). Audience members will be able to join the discussion to share their thoughts, and debate what this means for human rights in general as well as what this means for future research agendas.

We hope this event will prove useful for practitioners and scholars, looking for concrete ways to ensure better human rights practices in their organisations and supply chains.

Date: Friday, December 10, 2021
Time: 14:30 - 15:45
Location: Online

Event webpage

Programme

  • Introduction from Dorothée Baumann-Pauly and Andrew Crane

  • Presentation from Annie Snelson-Powell, sharing lessons from her paper Human Rights in the Oil and Gas Industry: When are Policies and Practices Enough to Prevent Abuse? In it she examines if and when oil and gas firms’ policies and practices function to prevent severe human rights abuse.

  • Presentation from Berit Knaak, sharing lessons from her paper Enhancing Supply Chain Resilience by Integrating Human Rights: Post-pandemic Insights from the Agriculture Sector in India. In it she identifies concrete steps that leading companies in global agriculture supply chains should undertake to make their human rights engagement resilient to shocks.

  • Presentation from Elisa Giuliani, sharing lessons from her paper Big Profits, Big Harm? Exploring the Link between Firm-Performance and Human Rights Abuses. In it she explores the relationship between the performance of companies relative to their industry peers and their abuse of human rights.

  • Discussion