Team

Salil Tripathi

Salil Tripathi

Senior Advisor, Global Issues, IHRB

Expertise

Salil is a writer and policy adviser with experience in researching corporate activities in diverse environments and applying international human rights standards to identify human rights abuses and and working with all sectors and stakeholders to build accountability and advocate positive change. 

Current Work

Salil works on human rights themes such as discrimination, protection of human rights defenders, and emerging issues for business and human rights. He is also engaged in researching potential impacts of investments in countries opening up for investment after a long period of political or economic isolation. He also conducts podcasts with human rights experts and practitioners, and writes commentaries. He has also worked on issues related to land, conflict, and the information and communication technologies. 

Before IHRB

Salil was at Amnesty International (1999-2005) where he conducted research missions to Nigeria and Bosnia, and developed policies and thinking on complicity, privatisation, and corruption. He represented AI in the forming of the Global Compact, the Kimberley Process, and the Voluntary Principles for Security and Human Rights. At International Alert (2006-2008) he worked on projects in Colombia and was part of the team that developed the Red Flags Initiative. He is also an award-winning journalist and author of three works of non-fiction, and chairs PEN International's Writers-in-Prison Committee. Salil graduated with Masters in Business Administration from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College and holds Bachelor of Commerce degree from Sydenham College of Commerce and Economics in India.  

There are currently no Submissions by Salil Tripathi

There are currently no Briefings by Salil Tripathi

Commentary: The World is Watching Corporate Action on the Trump Travel Ban

A growing chorus of corporate leaders are speaking out against US President Donald Trump’s executive order, which suspends entry into the United States from citizens (or dual citizens) of seven predominantly Muslim countries.

US...

02 February 2017

By Salil Tripathi, Senior Advisor, Global Issues, IHRB

Commentary: Sir Nigel Rodley - A Pioneer in the Struggle for Human Rights

When I started work at Amnesty International in 1999 (I worked there till 2005), my assignment was to help develop thinking, campaigning, and research on business and human rights. It was there that I first met Sir Nigel Rodley, a champion of the...

27 January 2017

By Salil Tripathi, Senior Advisor, Global Issues, IHRB

Commentary: Who You Gonna Call? Troll Busters?

Milo Yiannopoulos is the kind of man who becomes well-known only because of the Internet. An editor at the right-wing website, Breitbart, he has, often been suspended from Twitter, the online micro-blogging site, because of his abusive behaviour...

22 July 2016

By Salil Tripathi, Senior Advisor, Global Issues, IHRB

Commentary: Forthcoming Guidance on Respecting LGBTI Rights

The idea of human rights rests on the central premise that all humans are equal. It follows that all humans should be treated as equal, and all humans have dignity. Anything that undermines that dignity is a violation, for it violates the principle...

06 June 2016

By Salil Tripathi, Senior Advisor, Global Issues, IHRB

At a time of shrinking space for civil society, an ill wind blows over the landscape. Human rights defenders are strong, but they are like grass in the field. When the wind gathers speed, they bend. But they do not break; they rise again and stand tall.

Commentary: On International Human Rights Defenders’ Day

International human rights defenders’ day, which we observe today, is a moment of sobering reflection. Peaceful, non-violent human rights defenders are being prosecuted, convicted, and jailed in some cases, and intimidated, tortured, and sometimes...

09 December 2015

By Salil Tripathi, Senior Advisor, Global Issues, IHRB

Ken Saro-Wiwa adressing Ogoni Day demonstration, Nigeria. Photo: Tim Lambon / Greenpeace

Commentary: Why Ken Saro-Wiwa Matters

Ken Saro-Wiwa, who was executed along with eight Ogoni leaders in Nigeria on this day 20 years ago, was a poet and writer. Twenty years after his death, his voice continues to resonate because the lessons of his life are powerful and his call for...

10 November 2015

By Salil Tripathi, Senior Advisor, Global Issues, IHRB

Board with photos of missing Rana Plaza garment workers, posted by relatives. Photo: Sharat Chowdhury. Licensed via Wikimedia Commons.

Commentary: Mind the Gap: As Companies and Governments Dither over Compensating Rana Plaza Workers, Victims Suffer

Nearly two years after the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh, which killed over 1,000 garment workers and severely injured nearly 2,000 more, most victims’ families are still waiting for full compensation for their losses.

Now, with less...

09 April 2015

By Salil Tripathi, Senior Advisor, Global Issues, IHRB

Commentary: How Not to Respond to Human Rights Leadership: A Primer for Business

When she was appointed Sweden’s Foreign Minister in 2014, Margot Wallström said she would uphold feminist values and champion Sweden’s commitment to international human rights standards. Nothing surprising about it; Sweden ranks high on...

01 April 2015

By Salil Tripathi, Senior Advisor, Global Issues, IHRB

Commentary: Uber and Passenger Safety: Human Rights Aren’t an Optional App for Cab Rides

A woman in India recently sued Uber, the Internet-based ride-hailing service operating out of California, in a US court, seeking unspecified damages. The woman alleges a driver registered with Uber in India raped her and in her American suit she...

16 February 2015

By Salil Tripathi, Senior Advisor, Global Issues, IHRB

Commentary: Bhopal and the Elusive Quest for Justice

I write this from India, where thirty years ago, in the central Indian city of Bhopal, a cloud of poisonous chemical methyl isocyanate emerged from the fertilizer plant of Union Carbide Corporation, killing more than two thousand people almost...

02 December 2014

By Salil Tripathi, Senior Advisor, Global Issues, IHRB

Commentary: New UN Human Rights Commissioner Needs to Get Down to Business

This piece was originally published on OpenDemocracy.net

Amidst many priorities, the High Commissioner must focus on the problem of ensuring companies respect human rights, at a moment when a hard fought consensus on how to do so is at risk of...

22 July 2014

By Scott Jerbi, Senior Advisor, Policy & Outreach, IHRB, Salil Tripathi, Senior Advisor, Global Issues, IHRB

Commentary: Rana Plaza – Rebuilding more than the Factory

Moves to protect workers since the Rana Plaza disaster are laudable but a more fundamental rethink of the market remains the only solution.

Over a year ago, 1,129 workers lost their lives and more than 2,500 were injured in a catastrophic...

09 June 2014

By Salil Tripathi, Senior Advisor, Global Issues, IHRB

A year later, what have we learned? That the situation hasn’t changed much. Are things better? Not appreciably so. Photo: Jaber Al Nahian

Commentary: The Rana Plaza Tragedy in Bangladesh - One Year On

A year ago, over 1,000 workers lost their lives and more than 2,000 were injured in a catastrophic but avoidable industrial accident in Dhaka, Bangladesh. We now know how overcrowded the building was, and how its management ignored warning signs and...

24 April 2014

By Salil Tripathi, Senior Advisor, Global Issues, IHRB

The Olympians gathering in Sochi are arriving at a contentious time.

Commentary: Major Sporting Events and Human Rights

Host nations and cities, sports organising bodies and companies must move faster, aim higher, and show stronger resolve

As the 2014 Winter Olympic Games get underway this weekend in Sochi, debates continue to intensify around the responsibilities...

06 February 2014

By Salil Tripathi, Senior Advisor, Global Issues, IHRB

Nelson Mandela won over the hearts of all he met, even those of opponents, by acting with integrity, humility and humanity.

Commentary: Apartheid, Mandela, and Business

Apartheid, or the policy of racial segregation that the ruling National Party practiced in South Africa from 1948 to 1991, was not only racist, but also economic. It privileged one group over others, controlling levers of political and economic...

09 December 2013

By Salil Tripathi, Senior Advisor, Global Issues, IHRB

Commentary: Bangladesh: Society of Fabric

This article was originally published by EthicalCorp.com.

Tragedy in a garment factory has brought new urgency to resolving long-standing failings in a sector crucial to Bangladesh’s economy

The collapse of Rana Plaza in Bangladesh, in which more...

03 June 2013

By Salil Tripathi, Senior Advisor, Global Issues, IHRB

Commentary: Another Factory Tragedy - How Will the Bangladesh and the World React?

This week another disaster struck Bangladesh's garment export sector. Over 250 workers – mainly women – died in the collapse of a building that housed four garment factories in Dhaka. The death toll is likely to mount as rescue work continues.

Last...

26 April 2013

By Salil Tripathi, Senior Advisor, Global Issues, IHRB

Members of the Ogoni community outside of the Supreme Court, February 28, 2012. Esther Kiobel, center. Photo: Erica Razook

Commentary: Views on Kiobel vs. Shell

Last week the United States Supreme Court once again considered the case of Esther Kiobel vs. Royal Dutch Petroleum (Detailed background of the case here). It is too soon to say what the Court’s verdict will be, but whichever way the judges decide,...

09 October 2012

By Salil Tripathi, Senior Advisor, Global Issues, IHRB

Commentary: Human Rights Challenges Amidst Myanmar’s Gold Rush

This commentary was originally published in the Business Times on September 28, 2012.

At first blush, Myanmar appears to be on a path towards democratization. President Thein Sein’s administration has instituted a series of political reforms after...

09 October 2012

By Salil Tripathi, Senior Advisor, Global Issues, IHRB

Commentary: What Should Companies do when States Offer Prime Land on a Platter?

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

Companies investing in land in Africa and elsewhere need guidelines to ensure the human rights and dignity of local communities are protected

During a recent visit to Kampala, Uganda, we...

06 May 2012

By Wambui Kimathi, Salil Tripathi, Senior Advisor, Global Issues, IHRB

Commentary: Uneven Road to Doing Business in Burma

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

Foreign businesses face formidable challenges in making sure their investments in Burma are not only profitable but also based on internationally accepted principles

Businesses are...

19 April 2012

By Salil Tripathi, Senior Advisor, Global Issues, IHRB

Western investors say they are eager to flood the country with new projects promising economic and social development.

Commentary: Myanmar: Investing in the Future of Democracy and Human Rights

The results of Sunday’s historic elections in Myanmar appear to have given Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League of Democracy (NLD) overwhelming support in the 45 constituencies for which by-elections were held. Early indications suggest that even...

02 April 2012

By Salil Tripathi, Senior Advisor, Global Issues, IHRB

Commentary: The Dow Side of Corporate Sponsorship

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

Coke and GE then, Dow now.

But there is a crucial difference: no one was accusing companies sponsoring the Beijing Games of being complicit in human rights abuses in Darfur. In Dow's case, many...

22 February 2012

By Salil Tripathi, Senior Advisor, Global Issues, IHRB

The question is raised of the factors organisers consider in deciding supporters for such major events as the London 2012 Olympics.

Commentary: Time to establish human rights criteria for selecting corporate sponsors

The resignation of Meredith Alexander from the Commission for a Sustainable London 2012 Olympics raises the question of the factors organisers consider in deciding supporters for such major events. Dow Chemical’s sponsorship of the Olympics has been...

31 January 2012

By Salil Tripathi, Senior Advisor, Global Issues, IHRB

International Human Rights Day was marked by the United Nations on 10th December.

Commentary: Social Media & Human Rights: Keeping the virtual world one step ahead of the real world

"The premise of the virtual world is freedom. Forward-thinking companies, governments, journalists and others with a stake in freedom of expression, as well as the human rights community, must remain vigilant, and work more effectively together to...

12 December 2011

By Salil Tripathi, Senior Advisor, Global Issues, IHRB

Commentary: Silicon Valley Human Rights Conference: Not your ordinary discussion on business and human rights

Call me an optimist. Over the past decade I have attended several conferences dealing with business and human rights in many parts of the world, and at many places the conversation stays on the ground floor.

Do human rights matter to business? Is...

27 October 2011

By Salil Tripathi, Senior Advisor, Global Issues, IHRB

News International, a subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, owns The Sunday Times, The Sun, and News of the World.

Commentary: How can media companies ensure they live up to their responsibility to respect human rights?

Public outrage in Britain against intrusive journalism has reached boiling point. Disclosures concerning actions taken by the tabloid News of the World alongside new allegations that two newspapers from the same company, the Sun and the Sunday...

13 July 2011

By Salil Tripathi, Senior Advisor, Global Issues, IHRB

Last week, a slickly-made video began to circulate on the Internet, apparently produced by the advertising company JWT for its client Vodafone.

Commentary: The Good, The Ad, and the Ugly: How not to prepare ad campaigns on human rights and business

During its apartheid years, the South African Government imposed several laws, including the Group Areas Act, which segregated populations by race, and required people to carry a pass which identified them by race. Companies provided the technology...

06 June 2011

By Salil Tripathi, Senior Advisor, Global Issues, IHRB

Choucha camp on the Tunisia/Libya border: Tens of thousands of people who have fled the violence in Libya to Tunisia are relying on word-of-mouth communication to gather information about their departure status. Photo: Jesse Hardman/Internews

Commentary: Caught in the Crossfire: What should companies do to protect workers in an armed conflict?

Armed conflict often forces companies to suspend their operations. But what happens to their workers?

Foreign companies operating in Libya had to face this question in the early days of the popular uprising against the Gaddafi regime. The problem...

29 April 2011

By Salil Tripathi, Senior Advisor, Global Issues, IHRB

Flickr/EnoughProject

Commentary: Ignore the Naysayers, Restrictions on DRC Conflict Minerals Remain Vital

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

US legislation to encourage transparency in the trade of precious resources might mean a loss of income for Congo's artisanal miners, but the alternative is prolonged conflict

A string of...

10 April 2011

By Salil Tripathi, Senior Advisor, Global Issues, IHRB

Commentary: How Businesses Have Responded in Egypt

Sustained criticism online and from human rights groups has had some effect on Vodafone: the company is listening. Late last week, the company announced that it will not disconnect the accounts of customers in Egypt who are in arrears, and continue...

07 February 2011

By Salil Tripathi, Senior Advisor, Global Issues, IHRB

Commentary: How should Internet and Phone Companies respond in Egypt?

The explanation Vodafone offered for its decision to switch off its mobile telephone network in Egypt last Friday - that it had no other choice except to comply with the governmental demand - was straight from the text-book. The problem is, human...

01 February 2011

By Salil Tripathi, Senior Advisor, Global Issues, IHRB

Commentary: Responsibility to Respect in the Age of WikiLeaks: Time for Clarity

The controversy over WikiLeaks has raised five separate but interlinked issues from the human rights perspective. One, the rights of a whistleblower.

Two, the free speech rights of a website publisher.

Three, the responsibility of that website to...

20 December 2010

By Salil Tripathi, Senior Advisor, Global Issues, IHRB

Commentary: Responsibilities Beyond Borders

Efforts to stop the biggest environmental disaster in US history continue in the Gulf of Mexico with few signs of progress. The explosion on an oil rig in April which was operating one of the Gulf’s deepest oil wells killed eleven workers. The flow...

30 June 2010

By Salil Tripathi, Senior Advisor, Global Issues, IHRB

Commentary: Have the Voluntary Principles Realised Their Full Potential?

Extractive industries have little choice but to operate where they find resources. As a result, they may find themselves in conflict zones, facing human rights abuses taking place in their area of operations. Many have argued that since these abuses...

17 March 2010

By Salil Tripathi, Senior Advisor, Global Issues, IHRB

Commentary: Google China Decision: ‘Remarkable, Courageous, Far-Reaching’

The global Internet giant Google has taken a remarkable, courageous, and far-reaching decision when it said it would stop censoring its search engine in China.

As Google’s chief legal officer David Drummond explained in a candid blog, Google took...

14 January 2010

By Salil Tripathi, Senior Advisor, Global Issues, IHRB

Commentary: Getting Land Acquisition Right

"Eminent domain" (also known as "appropriation", "compulsory purchase" or "expropriation" in some countries), the legal principle under which a government can take over private property for public purpose after paying due compensation - even if the...

18 September 2009

By Salil Tripathi, Senior Advisor, Global Issues, IHRB

Commentary: Red Flags - Risks of Liability for Companies Operating in High Risk Zones

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

With the web of international law growing denser, companies as well as political and military leaders are becoming liable for human rights abuses

When the Rome statute of the international...

28 May 2008

By Salil Tripathi, Senior Advisor, Global Issues, IHRB