Team

John Morrison

John Morrison

Chief Executive, IHRB

John Morrison has extensive experience working with leading companies on issues of corporate responsibility and human rights. He worked previously with The Body Shop International plc and led the Business Leaders Initiative on Human Rights from 2003 to 2009. He has also worked for a number of civil society and governmental organisations on issues of migration, human trafficking and forced labour.

John has acted as an advisor to a number of governments during their presidencies of intergovernmental organisations and has chaired a wide range of conferences and initiatives in many parts of the world.

There are currently no Meeting Reports by John Morrison

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Commentary: Why Does the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark Matter?

The Corporate Human Rights Benchmark (CHRB) aims to measure the human rights performance of the world’s 500 largest publicly listed companies. Nearly three years in the making, the CHRB is in a critical phase of its evolution.

All of the...

08 November 2016

By John Morrison, Chief Executive, IHRB

Image: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/overcoming-exit-challenge-why-we-need-new-forms-social-john-morrison?trk=mp-reader-card

Commentary: Overcoming the “Exit Challenge” - Why We Need New Forms of Social Contract

The #Brexit vote in the UK earlier this year, the rise of extreme populists in many parts of Europe and now the USA all pose a central challenge: How to convince people that complex problems need complex solutions? Building walls, leaving...

12 September 2016

By John Morrison, Chief Executive, IHRB

Commentary: Brexit Shows ‘Corporate Responsibility’ can no Longer be a Niche Discussion Amongst the ‘Experts’

The result of the UK’s referendum on whether it should remain part of the European Union (EU) has left the country in a state of economic and political turmoil. One question we should be asking is, what does Brexit mean for ongoing efforts to...

13 July 2016

By John Morrison, Chief Executive, IHRB

Commentary: How can we Ensure Mega-Sporting Events Showcasing Humanity’s Best are also Built on Human Rights?

Yesterday [word doc], the Member State representatives of the United Nations Human Rights Council, the High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein and Council President H.E. Mr. Choi Kyonglim met to discuss the role of sport in...

29 June 2016

By John Morrison, Chief Executive, IHRB

Commentary: Restoring the Beauty of the Game

For those that follow the human rights impacts of mega-sporting events it has been a busy couple of weeks. First came Amnesty International’s report on the preparations for the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup (“The ugly side of the beautiful game”) and...

14 April 2016

By John Morrison, Chief Executive, IHRB

What is missing so far in the strong push to open new investments in Iran is any reference to the level playing field upon which any responsible business should operate.

Commentary: Where is the level playing field for responsible business in Iran?

New trade agreements between French President Francois Hollande and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani are the latest in a string of trade and investment plans developing across European capitals and beyond, following easing of international sanctions...

04 February 2016

By John Morrison, Chief Executive, IHRB

This commentary was first published on LinkedIn's Pulse on 5 January 2016.

Commentary: Iran - Open for Business?

As 2016 began to unfold, so did the question of when was the right time to lift international sanctions against Iran.  It turned out to be just after the UN atomic watchdog (the IAEA) issued its conclusions on January 16th 2016 that Iran had...

25 January 2016

By John Morrison, Chief Executive, IHRB

Those who lead these organizations are under increasing pressure to reform and rebuild public trust in sport – in other words, to regain a “social licence” in today’s more transparent and demanding environment.

Commentary: Restoring the Social Licence of Mega-Sporting Events

Major sports bodies face a growing crisis of legitimacy.  Earlier this month, world football’s governing body FIFA,dismissed its secretary general for alleged involvement in profiting from the sale of World Cup tickets. A day later, the...

18 January 2016

By John Morrison, Chief Executive, IHRB

World leaders have gathered at the UN in New York to agree a new set of global goals - the Sustainable Development Goals - establishing the framework for joint global action on poverty, inequality and climate change for the next 15 years.

Commentary: How to make the SDGs a reality? Create more pre-competitive space

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to be endorsed by world leaders in New York this week, represent a unique opportunity for greater global prosperity – but only if businesses and governments know when to stop competing and...

25 September 2015

By John Morrison, Chief Executive, IHRB

Commentary: Business and the SDGs: How Can We Deepen Scale and Impact?

This article was originally published on BusinessFightsPoverty.org

The role of the private sector in realizing the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is widely recognized. What remains unclear is how exactly business should contribute most...

21 July 2015

By John Morrison, Chief Executive, IHRB

Beyond Governments not only explores the potential for innovative governance arrangements to contribute to real change, but also cautions against seeing such efforts as a silver bullet in addressing difficult development challenges.

Commentary: “Beyond Governments” by Eddie Rich and Jonas Moberg

Making Collective Governance Work – Lessons from the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative

Beyond Governments” is a rare thing – a book written on collective governance by practitioners who are still in the midst of practicing the art.

In...

08 July 2015

By John Morrison, Chief Executive, IHRB

Commentary: How elephants can dance: Unilever’s human rights report sets a new benchmark for business

For a company that started out in the 1880s selling the world’s first branded soap made of the oil from pine kernels, Unilever plc. has come a long way. Today, Unilever has a global reach, and many of us likely use one or more of its products at...

30 June 2015

By John Morrison, Chief Executive, IHRB

Commentary: What Have We Achieved So Far? Reflections on 2nd anniversary of the Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business

2015 is a big year for Myanmar, with Parliamentary elections due in November after which the next President will be chosen. Experts suggest we can expect the election process to be generally free and fair, albeit under the Constitution Daw Aung San...

18 March 2015

By John Morrison, Chief Executive, IHRB

ActionAid-supported garment workers in Savar, Bangladesh demand their rights under the country’s labour laws. Photo: Nicola Bailey/ActionAid

Commentary: Why Does Business Still Undervalue Women?

A new report by ActionAid UK, Close the Gap!, finds that women’s wages and labour market participation relative to men’s cost women in developing countries an astounding US$9 trillion every year.

This despite unprecedented economic opportunities...

29 January 2015

By John Morrison, Chief Executive, IHRB

Commentary: Government Approval Not Enough, Businesses Need Social License

This article was originally published on YaleGlobal Online

Globalization drives business deals around the globe along with keen new awareness about social, environmental and other consequences of development. Best business practice now demands...

22 October 2014

By John Morrison, Chief Executive, IHRB

Commentary: Business and Society: Defining the ’Social License’

This article, by IHRB Executive Director John Morrison, was originally published in The Guardian on 29 September 2014.

Business leaders, politicians and civil society set a common direction towards new global agreements on climate change at the UN...

01 October 2014

By John Morrison, Chief Executive, IHRB

UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

Commentary: A Business and Human Rights Treaty? Smart strategies are needed to close accountability gaps

This is the first contribution in a series. Despite the progress of recent years in advancing understanding and action on the relationship between business and human rights, gaps in legal accountability continues to be a subject of much heated...

03 June 2014

By John Morrison, Chief Executive, IHRB

The British Government should be congratulated for being amongst the first to make business and human rights a permanent part of government policy. But the bulk of the hard work still lies ahead.

Commentary: UK Government prepares to launch National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights

On 4 September, the UK Government will launch its much-anticipated National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights. It is an important landmark - greater UK policy coherence is important for furthering the protection of human rights.

The decision...

02 September 2013

By John Morrison, Chief Executive, IHRB

A couple embrace outside the Federal Supreme Court, awaiting the historic decision. Photo: Flickr/CoolRevolution

Commentary: Society has Evolved regarding Same-Sex Equality, Now It’s Time for Business to Do the Same

Last week, the United States Supreme Court ruled, by a majority of 5-4, that the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 was unconstitutional. That law stipulated that the state would recognize a union as “marriage” only if it is between a man and a woman....

04 July 2013

By John Morrison, Chief Executive, IHRB

Even if the UK decides to pull out of the EU, it would do little to diminish British commitments under international human rights law.

Commentary: The UK position on EU membership: Are human rights relevant?

Tomorrow British Prime Minister David Cameron will deliver a much-anticipated speech on the UK’s future in the European Union (EU). The Prime Minister’s views, as well as a likely referendum, have resulted in pre-emptive statements from other world...

07 January 2013

By John Morrison, Chief Executive, IHRB

Commentary: Human Rights, Business and the Dhaka principles

This op-ed was originally published in the Daily Star in Dhaka Bangladesh.

On this International Migrants Day, we are reminded of the plight of migrant workers around the globe, whether they are working in cities in their home countries or...

18 December 2012

By John Morrison, Chief Executive, IHRB, C R Abrar, Director, Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU), University of Dhaka

Commentary: The Dark Side of Free Speech

This op-Ed was originally published on Yaleglobal.yale.edu.

"Policymakers are faced with difficult choices: whether some aspects of internet content should be censored, including self-censorship by content providers, and what rules and processes...

12 November 2012

By John Morrison, Chief Executive, IHRB

Photo: Guardian - http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/business-protect-vulnerable-workers-human-rights

Commentary: Business Must do More to Protect the World’s Most Vulnerable Workers

This op-Ed was originally published on TheGuardian.com.

IHRB, together with the Anti-Slavery International, has called for greater protection for workers in this sector through the Staff Wanted Initiative and for hotels to undertake greater due...

05 October 2012

By John Morrison, Chief Executive, IHRB, Neill Wilkins, Project Manager, Migrant Workers and Work With Dignity, IHRB

Photo: Guardian - http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/burma-first-steps-investment-western-capital

Commentary: Burma: First Steps for Investment of Western Capital

This op-Ed was originally published on TheGuardian.com.

IHRB is working with the Danish Institute for Human Rights on a new initiative to develop a resource centre with partners in Burma to help business, government, civil society and trade unions...

05 October 2012

By John Morrison, Chief Executive, IHRB

Commentary: Business Reponsibility for its Social Impacts - Moving Beyond CSR

This op-Ed was originally published on TheGuardian.com.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has been based largely on the assumption that the business case always aligns with the societal case as long as enough philanthropy is dispensed. The...

25 June 2012

By John Morrison, Chief Executive, IHRB

Commentary: Is the Organisation Investigating Apple’s Factories Good Enough?

This op-Ed was originally published on Forbes.com.

Under pressure, Apple has opened the doors of its troubled Chinese factories to inspection by labor investigators. Now not only Apple but its proposed monitor, the Fair Labor Association, are...

05 March 2012

By John Morrison, Chief Executive, IHRB, Christine Bader, Nonresident Senior Fellow, Kenan Institute for Ethics

Commentary: Robinson and Ruggie bring a lot to the table

Jack Ucciferri doesn’t mince words. His op ed in the Huffington Post laments a world facing a “fundamental democratic deficit” with leaders who “don’t seem able to discern what the people are saying.”

We share Mr. Ucciferri’s impatience with...

27 October 2011

By John Morrison, Chief Executive, IHRB

Ed Miliband’s call for greater corporate accountability is welcome – but the proposed division between bad and good business risks being seen as overly simplistic.

Commentary: Continuing a Dialogue with Vodafone on Human Rights Due Diligence

Media coverage of last week’s Labour conference speech by Ed Miliband, in which the UK opposition leader criticised “predatory” companies” prompted me to write to the Financial Times with the straightforward but too often forgotten message that even...

06 October 2011

By John Morrison, Chief Executive, IHRB

Commentary: Good Companies Can Do Bad Things

This Letter to the Editor was originally published in the Financial Times (subscription needed).

Sir,

We welcome a call for greater corporate responsibility from a UK party leader (Miliband’s business crusade draws fire, September 28) but worry...

29 September 2011

By John Morrison, Chief Executive, IHRB

Commentary: China Deals Must Not Come at the Cost of Human Rights

This op-Ed was originally published on News.Sky.com.

Economic growth and prosperity have lifted millions of people out of poverty since China reformed its economy four decades ago. A peaceful, stable, and prosperous China is in the interest of the...

27 June 2011

By John Morrison, Chief Executive, IHRB

Commentary: Human Rights - The Case for Regulation

This op-Ed was originally published on L4bb.org.

It is not unknown for business leaders to call for increased or better regulation in relation to environmental or social issues. In 2002, Mark Moody-Stuart (the former CEO of Shell and Chair of...

26 June 2011

By John Morrison, Chief Executive, IHRB

Commentary: Next UK Government Must Show Leadership on Human Rights

The outcome of this week’s election in the UK (6 May 2010) looks as if it will be close. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the links between human rights and business are not prominent in the manifestos of any of the main parties. But corporate responsibility...

04 May 2010

By John Morrison, Chief Executive, IHRB

Commentary: Are Governments Ready to Play Their Role in the Emerging Arena of Business and Human Rights?

The emerging policy and practice arena of “business and human rights” has become a relay race in which states have largely been observers rather than athletes on the track. There have been some notable exceptions, but generally governments have been...

09 November 2009

By John Morrison, Chief Executive, IHRB

Commentary: Operationalising Human Rights - How Hard are Companies Trying? 

Our commentary on the Trafigura case highlights how a combination of weak governance and business expediency can result in negative impacts on human rights. But what exactly should business do to prevent such situations arising in the first place?

...

29 September 2009

By John Morrison, Chief Executive, IHRB

Commentary: Reflections on the Trafigura Case

This commentary was originally published in the Guardian on 18 September 2009. 

As incidents of industrial pollution, human rights abuses, the quest for justice, and ultimate settlement go, the Trafigura case is a milestone. Its remarkable...

18 September 2009

By John Morrison, Chief Executive, IHRB