William Rook

William Rook

Regional Manager, Middle East, IHRB


A qualified lawyer, William has particular business and human rights expertise in extractive industries, with the construction sector, and throughout the lifecycle of mega-sporting events. William has been based in the Middle East since 2015, engaging widely on the business and human rights discourse in the Gulf and working particularly on the recruitment and employment of migrant workers.

Current Work

William is the joint programme lead for IHRB’s role as the secretariat for the Mega-Sporting Events Platform for Human Rights, overseeing engagements with sports governing bodies and host governments. William also leads IHRB’s regional outreach and activities in the Middle East, liaising closely with embassies, state entities and major companies across the region, convening briefings on corporate engagement with issues such as worker welfare, responsible recruitment and risks around human trafficking and forced labour in supply chains.

Before IHRB

William has been involved in responsible mega-sporting events since 2009 when he worked on the CSR programme of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. He has a law degree (First Class Honours) from the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), a Masters in International Relations from the University of Cambridge and a postgraduate diploma in legal practice. William then trained and qualified as a Solicitor with Slaughter and May in London. Before joining IHRB William worked in the Business and Human Rights Research Group at the University of Greenwich, researching CSR in extractive industries,
mining-induced displacement and resettlement, public procurement, and electronics supply chains.

There are currently no Briefings by William Rook

Commentary: Speaking Up - A Growing Advocacy Dimension to Corporate Leadership on Human Rights

Not so very long ago, human rights were primarily viewed by businesses as risks to their operations and reputations that needed effective management. 

Today, we see growing recognition that risks to people must be addressed alongside risks to the...

08 June 2018

By William Rook, Regional Manager, Middle East, IHRB

Commentary: Harm Free Sport - Aligning Sports Bodies, Sporting Values, and Human Rights

Several major sports governing bodies are making strides towards implementing their commitments to respect human rights throughout their operations.

Over the past 12 months, we’ve seen adoption of the International Olympic Committee’s new host city...

30 March 2018

By William Rook, Regional Manager, Middle East, IHRB

Commentary: New Construction Sector Agreement on Protecting Vulnerable Workers

Worker exploitation and ongoing rights abuses in the construction sector are being tackled through a range of initiatives, including guidance from CIOB on tackling modern slavery in construction, the BRE Ethical Labour Standard, and the Stronger...

11 October 2017

By Neill Wilkins, Programme Manager, Migrant Workers, IHRB, William Rook, Regional Manager, Middle East, IHRB

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