Commentary

The Court of Arbitration for Sport: Where Do Human Rights Stand?

This commentary was originally published on the Centre for Sport and Human Rights, which IHRB helped to found in 2018.


 

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) enjoys a high standing as the supreme dispute settlement body in the world of...

10 May 2019

By Daniela Heerdt, Research Officer, Centre for Sport and Human Rights

Rights and Wrongs - A Job Description for Facebook’s Human Rights Policy Director

The social media giant Facebook knows it has a problem and thinks it has figured out a way that can lead to a solution in the longer term. It is hiring a Director for Human Rights Policy. This is only a single step in a long journey, but does show...

24 April 2019

By Salil Tripathi, Senior Advisor, Global Issues, IHRB

Bridging Sport and Human Rights in Africa

This article was first published on the Centre for Sport & Human Rights. IHRB founded the Centre in 2018, is supporting its development through 2020, and is closely involved in the developing work featured in this article.


 

Sport has a strong...

17 April 2019

By Alison Biscoe, Manager, Programmes & Partnerships, Centre for Sport and Human Rights (hosted by IHRB)

The Gig Economy Doesn’t Have to be an Exploitative Economy

On the 4th February 2019 the UK Union GMB and international courier company Hermes announced a ground-breaking deal. Their collective-bargaining agreement – the first ever recognition deal of its type – has potentially enormous implications for gig...

16 April 2019

By Mick Rix, National Officer, GMB Union

Rights and Wrongs - Can Machines Override Human Judgment on Air Safety?

Over the years, air travel has become remarkably safe – in 1977, four out of one million flights met with accidents; today, the number of flights has grown exponentially, and the accident rate has fallen to 0.4 out of a million. Air travel is safer...

28 March 2019

By Salil Tripathi, Senior Advisor, Global Issues, IHRB

Acting on India’s POSH Act

Workplace Sexual Harassment Law Needs Effective Implementation 

For more than a year, India has been stunned by women journalists, students, actors, and other women professionals throughout the country who have gone public with accounts of sexual...

21 March 2019

By Anita Cheria, Director, OpenSpace

Dangerous Words, Deadly Weapons

Business Leadership Needed to Confront Growing Extremism

The horrific killing of at least 50 people in two New Zealand mosques is a tragic reminder of twin viruses attacking our societies - growing anti-immigrant, nationalist and racist rhetoric...

19 March 2019

By Scott Jerbi, Senior Advisor, Policy & Outreach, IHRB

Migrant Worker Updates from the Gulf and South East Asia

IHRB's Migrant Workers Programme staff members provide updates from Qatar, Thailand and Myanmar on sector-wide progress. For more information on the work and upcoming events of IHRB and the Leadership Group for Responsible Recruitment, visit our...

14 March 2019

Rights and Wrongs - Amazon and New York: Lessons for the Extractive Sector

The unraveling of Amazon’s plans to set up its second headquarters at Long Island City in New York is a unique moment in the annals of corporate interface with communities opposed to their presence. 

In most instances, companies have won the...

25 February 2019

By Salil Tripathi, Senior Advisor, Global Issues, IHRB

Rights and Wrongs - Gandhi’s Lessons for Davos

The global elite who effectively control many of the levers of power in the world, met last week in Davos for the annual  World Economic Forum

The Forum is often criticised for being a talk-fest of the wealthy with few opportunities for the poor...

29 January 2019

By Salil Tripathi, Senior Advisor, Global Issues, IHRB

Reflections from the 2018 Sporting Chance Forum

The 2018 Sporting Chance Forum brough together 250 high-level delegates from a broad range of stakeholders to drive progress toward a world of sport that fully respects human rights. 

Representatives of affected groups, sports bodies, governments,...

23 January 2019

Women’s Rights Still Seen Through the Foggy Lens of Biases, Discrimination, and Injustice

As we mark the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), it is becoming increasingly clear that in spite of great strides in protecting human dignity, inequalities continue to persist and are deepening more than ever. It...

21 December 2018

By Dr Harpreet Kaur, Business and Human Rights Specialist, United Nations Development Programme, Bangkok Regional Hub

Seeking Safety, Seeking Opportunity, Seeking Rights - Reflections on the Migrant Caravan in Mexico

On this International Migrants Day 2018, let’s take a moment to consider the struggles of the thousands of men, women and children who in recent months joined the so-called migrant caravan hoping for a better life in North America. 

Violence,...

18 December 2018

By Evy Peña, Communications Director, Centro de los Derechos del Migrante

The Governance Legacy of Mega-Sporting Events: A Golden Opportunity to Promote Human Rights

Human rights’ next of kin is the global anti-corruption movement. These two efforts increasingly work in tandem, creating the conditions in which humans flourish. Their synergy has at least two explanations. Most obviously, we know that corruption...

07 December 2018

By Andy Spalding, Professor of Law, University of Richmond School of Law

Channelling Sir Geoffrey Chandler on the History and Future of Business and Human Rights

I write from Tokyo this week where I am honouring a longstanding commitment to address business and human rights issues. But there is nowhere in the world I would rather be today - professionally or personally - than with you at the Bonavero...

06 December 2018

By Bennett Freeman

Rights and Wrongs: Best Or Loudest?

Last week, Jack Dorsey, the chief executive of Twitter, visited India. He met a few leading women activists and journalists who use the social media platform extensively, in order to understand better how they felt about the space his company...

27 November 2018

By Salil Tripathi, Senior Advisor, Global Issues, IHRB

Rights and Wrongs - Tech Inequity?

On 1st November 2018, some 17,000 Google employees in more than 40 offices across the world left identical notes on their desks, saying “I’m not at my desk because I’m walking out with other Googlers and contractors to protest sexual harassment,...

07 November 2018

By Salil Tripathi, Senior Advisor, Global Issues, IHRB

Rights and Wrongs - Business as Usual in Saudi?

One by one, global companies are trying to distance themselves from the Saudi Arabian Government.

The immediate provocation is the shocking disappearance and murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. On October 2, Khashoggi went to the Saudi...

22 October 2018

By Salil Tripathi, Senior Advisor, Global Issues, IHRB

What the OHCHR’s Accountability & Remedy Project Adds to the Treaty Discussions

In June 2014, the Human Rights Council raised some eyebrows by creating not just one, but two parallel processes on corporate accountability in human rights-related cases.  The first process, set out in Resolution 26/9 called for the establishment...

19 October 2018

By Margaret Wachenfeld, Managing Director, Themis Research; Senior Research Fellow, IHRB

Increasing Access to Business Practice is Key to Scaling Respect for Human Rights

Finding effective ways to talk about human rights with colleagues is a common challenge confronted by practitioners working in companies to drive implementation of respect for human rights. 

Whether these discussions happen within one’s immediate...

18 October 2018

By Catie Shavin, Director, Global Business Initiative on Human Rights (GBI)

Do It Just: Has Nike Started a New Trend?

“Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” 

These words, embossed over a close-up photograph of Colin Kaepernick, have already created debate over what many consider a controversial choice by sports company Nike to feature the...

12 September 2018

By Alison Biscoe, Manager, Programmes & Partnerships, Centre for Sport and Human Rights (hosted by IHRB)

Children’s Rights and Business – Stuck in the “Too Difficult” Box?

Businesses impact on the lives of children in a variety of direct and indirect ways.

Children are consumers of products and services, they are dependents of workers, and they might be young workers themselves or, at least, will be future workers...

31 July 2018

By Charlotte Williams, Head of Child Rights and Business – Unicef UK

2018 TIP Report: Despite Shortcomings, An Opportunity for Continued Advocacy in Southeast Asia

The United States Department of State released its 2018 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report on 28th June, ranking 187 countries on their performance in preventing and addressing trafficking for labour and sexual exploitation.

The report was first...

18 July 2018

By Julia Batho, Research Fellow, IHRB

Confronting Chaos and Confusion on Child and Migrant Rights

The US business community faces a tragedy at home.  

In the same week that the United States (US) government announced its withdrawal from the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council and the UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty issued an...

26 June 2018

By Scott Jerbi, Senior Advisor, Policy & Outreach, IHRB

Reflections from the 2018 Global Forum on Responsible Recruitment

The 2018 Global Forum on Responsible Recruitment and Employment took place on the 11th-12th June 2018 in Singapore.

Hosted by the Institute for Human Rights and Business and Consumer Goods Forum, with partners Humanity United, this second annual...

26 June 2018

Eradicating Recruitment Fees is Crucial for Tackling Modern Slavery

Today, businesses, trade associations and organisations from around the world are coming together in Singapore for the 2018 Global Forum on Responsible Recruitment and Employment. They will discuss the importance of responsible recruitment of...

11 June 2018

By Kevin Hyland, UK Anti-Slavery Commissioner

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, Senior Advisor, Strategy & Programmes, IHRB

Which Companies are Serious About Human Rights?

We are beginning to know which companies are serious about human rights as the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark issues its first Progress Report one year on from last year’s pilot.

There is evidence that the ranking is motivating change with a...

17 May 2018

By John Morrison, Chief Executive, IHRB

Progress on Embedding Human Rights within Commonwealth Sports Policy

Last month in Queensland, Australia, the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games delivered the first multi-sport event to offer an equal number of medals for both men and women, and featured the largest integrated sports programme in Commonwealth Games...

03 May 2018

By David Rutherford, Chief Commissioner, New Zealand Human Rights Commission

Is Human Rights Advocacy Off Track?

Is the international human rights movement in crisis? Have leading human rights advocates focused too much on “naming and shaming” states into respecting civil and political liberties at the expense of strategies that could ensure greater social...

30 April 2018

By Salil Tripathi, Senior Advisor, Global Issues, IHRB

Human Rights and the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative - A Conversation

Fiona Solomon is the CEO of the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI), a multi-stakeholder initiative dedicated to creating a responsible aluminium value chain, from bauxite mines to computer cases.

She sat down with ASI Standards Committee...

25 April 2018

By Fiona Solomon, CEO, Aluminium Stewardship Initiative , Kendyl Salcito, Executive Director, NomoGaia

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, Senior Advisor, Strategy & Programmes, IHRB

Reflections on the Pakistan Ruling Banning Network Shutdowns

In late February 2018, in a landmark judgment, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) ruled that shutting down telecom networks was illegal, rejecting the State’s rationale that security considerations made such shutdowns necessary.

Pakistan has a history...

23 March 2018

By Haroon Baloch, Journalist and Digital Rights Researcher

Facebook and Cambridge Analytica - Where Lies Privacy?

It is the cardinal rule of the Internet that anything you say in cyberspace lives in perpetuity, and there is no such thing as complete privacy.

Users can use cryptographic tools to protect their communications, change their passwords repeatedly,...

20 March 2018

By Salil Tripathi, Senior Advisor, Global Issues, IHRB

Charities Should be Held to the Same Human Rights Standards as Business

This blog originally appeared on Ethical Corporation.  

The revelations relating to UK-registered but global charity giant Oxfam have caught the attention of media worldwide. Allegations of sexual abuse have also surfaced over recent days involving...

26 February 2018

By John Morrison, Chief Executive, IHRB

Regulate First. Ask Questions Later.

There is a remarkable lack of concern on the part of policy makers about the dearth of evidence for the effectiveness of the international standards they push at business.

So it was with some anticipation that I read Roel Nieuwenkamp’s recent IHRB...

02 February 2018

By Mark Taylor, Trustee and International Advisory Council Member, IHRB

How to Build an Evidence Base for Policies on Corporate Responsibility

Last December I was asked to speak to the European Parliament to discuss trends in policies on responsible business conduct. I presented the state of play of the various soft law (not legally binding) instruments that exist on human rights and...

26 January 2018

By Roel Nieuwenkamp, Chair, OECD Working Party on Responsible Business Conduct

New Framework Agreement - Significant Progress in Protecting the Rights of Migrant Construction Work

The construction industry in Qatar is an important part of the country’s economic development and will remain so for the foreseeable future. The sector relies on migrant workers who everywhere in the world are vulnerable to exploitation and abuse.

...

22 January 2018

By Jin Sook Lee, Gender & Campaign Director, Building and Wood Workers' International, Sarah Tesei, Director of Social Innovation and Human Rights, VINCI

A Year of Growing Momentum to Protect Migrant Rights in Southeast Asia

Today, International Migrants Day, 18 December 2017, is a timely moment to review recent efforts in Southeast Asia on labour migration governance, ethical recruitment, and protection of migrant workers’ rights, particularly in the context of supply...

18 December 2017

By Julia Batho, Research Fellow, IHRB

Realising Ethical Recruitment by Remediating Worker-Paid Recruitment Fees

At the end of November 2017, droves of company executives, human rights specialists, and diplomats from around the world will travel to Geneva to attend the UN Forum for Business and Human Rights. The theme of the conference this year is “Realizing...

20 November 2017

By Nikhil Eapen, India Director, Equidem Research

The Power of Collective Investor Action to Safeguard Human Rights

We are living in a time of tremendous upheaval, and also great promise.

From existential threats like the ravages of climate change that threaten public health and global water and food supplies, to an unprecedented migrant and refugee crisis...

26 October 2017

By David Schilling, Senior Program Director, Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility

Japan’s Technical Intern Training Programme - Learning the Hard Way?

In September 2017, 37 member states endorsed an appeal during the UN General Assembly for urgent action on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8.7. This is the target that advocates immediate progress to eradicate human trafficking, forced labour,...

16 October 2017

By Takeshi Hayakawa, IHRB Visiting Researcher 2016, Jon Barnes, Independent Researcher; Research Fellow, IHRB

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, Head of Migrant Workers Programme, IHRB, William Rook, Senior Advisor, Strategy & Programmes, IHRB

Facebook’s Problem with Political Ads - Can Human Rights Due Diligence Help?

Last week, in response to growing public pressure, social media giant Facebook agreed to provide information to U.S. Congressional investigators on advertising purchased by Russian-linked accounts seeking to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential...

28 September 2017

By Scott Jerbi, Senior Advisor, Policy & Outreach, IHRB

A Landmark Standard for LGBTI Rights

Over the past year, we at the Institute for Human Rights and Business have worked closely with the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to develop a new initiative to support companies in respecting and promoting...

26 September 2017

By Salil Tripathi, Senior Advisor, Global Issues, IHRB

When Leaders Talk About Collective Action at the UN this Week They Should Not Forget Human Dignity

This week, heads of state from around the world - with some notable exceptions – have made their annual pilgrimage to New York for the United Nations General Assembly.

Global leaders face a host of real time geopolitical challenges, from North...

20 September 2017

By John Morrison, Chief Executive, IHRB

International Arbitration of Business and Human Rights Disputes - Answers to Key Questions

International arbitration uses private arbitrators to resolve disputes of many kinds that arise between parties from different countries. The parties must consent to its use and they participate in the selection of the arbitrators.  Could it be used...

01 September 2017

By Robert C. Thompson

Women’s Health in Global Supply Chains - Re-Envisioning the Business Role

The Family Planning Summit in London this week is re-invigorating efforts to ensure that women and girls around the world are able to plan their families and their futures. A main focus is on strengthening public health services and on building...

11 July 2017

By Erika George, Professor of Law, University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law, David Wofford, Vice President, Meridian Group International

Responsible Recruitment - Turning Principles into Practice

Today an estimated 21 million individuals still face conditions of what the United Nations refers to as ‘modern’ forms of slavery. Of that number, 14 million individuals are victims of labour exploitation specifically.

Such violations of...

16 June 2017

By Didier Bergeret, Director, Social Sustainability and the Global Social Compliance Programme, The Consumer Goods Forum

Beyond a Simple Trading of Powers: An Alternative Future for the Global Mining Industry?

Observers of the mining industry, including those who are watching from the inside, have witnessed a growing demand for governments to safeguard people and the environment, and for business leaders to take greater responsibility in the prevention...

12 June 2017

By Deanna Kemp, Trustee and International Advisory Council Member, IHRB, John R Owen, Associate Professor, Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining, University of Queensland, Australia

Caveat Emptor – Why Companies Should Avoid Tendering for Offshore Refugee Processing

In a remote corner of the Pacific Ocean, the Australian government has created an island of despair, where refugees fleeing persecution are trapped and live in appalling conditions, while companies are awarded lucrative contracts to manage their...

08 June 2017

By Peter Frankental, Economic Relations Programme Director, Amnesty International

Why the G20 Labour and Employment Statement Matters

The recent G20 Labour and Employment Ministers statement, issued under the German chair of the G20 during 2017, has not received much media attention. Such statements come and go, not many stick in the mind. One of the exceptions was the scrabble to...

30 May 2017

By John Morrison, Chief Executive, IHRB

New Guidance to Ensure Ethical Recruitment of Migrant Workers

Among sustainability issues that have come to light in recent years, recruitment of migrant workers has rapidly gained attention as a global phenomenon frequently synonymous with egregious violations of human rights such as forced labour and human...

25 May 2017

By Valentina Gurney, Associate Program Director, Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility

Mapping the Sport, Development, and Peace Agenda - Where are Human Rights?

Can sport and physical activity be a useful tool in promoting tolerance and respect as well as a central element in strategies to achieve better health, education and social inclusion?

On 6 April each year, including today, the International Day of...

06 April 2017

By Guido Battaglia, Head of Responsible Trade Programme, IHRB

Killing Investigators Blinds Us All

For those who follow the news, the horrors that people suffer in war seem more visible now than ever before. Yet, there are moments when the hidden contours of war’s violence are driven home to us through the sacrifice of outsiders.

There are...

04 April 2017

By Mark Taylor, Trustee and International Advisory Council Member, IHRB

John Locke and Brexit - What will Happen to the UK’s Greatest Ever Export?

Today, the UK Government has triggered Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, which formally begins the process of disentangling the UK from a body that Churchill himself helped inspire. Whatever the rights and the wrongs of the decision, it is...

29 March 2017

By John Morrison, Chief Executive, IHRB

Home Government Incentives Toward Responsible Business Conduct

The ‘governance gap’- the gap between where law extends compared to where business activity goes - was a driving force behind the creation of the UN ‘Protect, Respect, Remedy’ Framework and Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UN Guiding...

22 March 2017

By Margaret Wachenfeld, Managing Director, Themis Research; Senior Research Fellow, IHRB

Shifting Sands in Myanmar

Some of the poorest people in Southeast Asia are those that test their luck drilling for oil in the sand and mangrove swamps of the Rakhine State in Myanmar (Burma). There is no mechanical drill, everything is done by hand. To reach a depth of 100m...

16 March 2017

By John Morrison, Chief Executive, IHRB

A Contentious Connection - Business and Women’s Rights

The relationship between business and women’s rights activists and advocates has always been contentious, and more frequently, rife with suspicion and hostility, especially in the global South.  This is not, unfortunately, without reason.

Not only...

08 March 2017

By Srilatha Batliwala, International Advisory Council Member, IHRB

The Case for an Australian Modern Slavery Act

Australian consumers, businesses, and now lawmakers, are waking up to the brutal reality of modern slavery within Australia and the slave trade fuelling global supply chains.

Many people and organisations unwittingly benefit from modern slavery...

27 February 2017

By Shaeron Yapp, Consultant, Walk Free Foundation, Fiona David, Executive Director of Global Research, Walk Free Foundation

Q&A on the Stronger Together Construction Initiative

The UK Modern Slavery Act has encouraged many businesses to examine how their activities impact the rights of others. The Act requires companies to engage with key challenges relating to risks of forced labour and trafficking. Customer-facing...

16 February 2017

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 corporate leaders...

02 February 2017

By Salil Tripathi, Senior Advisor, Global Issues, IHRB

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

Why Should a Worker Pay for a Job?

The Problem

We all know that global supply chains rely on low-waged workers. Migrant workers from poor areas travel overseas for employment to provide for their families. Developing economies count on remittances from their overseas workers to feed...

10 January 2017

Standing Rock Sioux - A Model for Protection of Planet and its People

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe met with representatives of Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) on October 30, 2014 and learned of their plans to build the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), a 1,172 pipeline from North Dakota to Illinois that would carry...

21 December 2016

By David Schilling, Senior Program Director, Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility

From Deal Maker to Diplomat? Business and Human Rights Questions for Rex Tillerson

What does the nomination of ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson to be the next United States Secretary of State mean for the business and human rights agenda?

The selection of Mr. Tillerson is the latest move by a President-elect who campaigned on the...

19 December 2016

By Scott Jerbi, Senior Advisor, Policy & Outreach, IHRB

Recruitment Practices Must be Part of Sustainable Development Strategies

One in every 17 workers is a migrant worker. Their efforts are a ubiquitous feature of all global supply chains. There is little that we eat, wear or use that has not seen the involvement of migrant workers at some stage of its production.

Migrant...

13 December 2016

By Neill Wilkins, Head of Migrant Workers Programme, IHRB

Protecting Workers Building Sporting Venues –  Progress in Qatar

Mega-sporting events focus attention on human rights, however, it is often for a fleeting moment. It requires a great sense of urgency if improvements are to take place. In construction, it means a big, but temporary surge in activity for stadiums,...

28 November 2016

By Jim Baker

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

Dakota Access Pipeline and the High Cost of Violating Indigenous Rights

Growing concern in the United States over the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) – a 1,172-mile, 30-inch diameter pipeline that will connect the Bakken and Three Forks production areas in North Dakota to Patoka, Illinois – has resulted in a...

26 September 2016

By Rebecca Adamson, Indigenous Economist, serial social entrepreneur, and trustee Calvert Social Investment Funds

Draghi Must Accept ECB Contributes to Inequality

This letter was originally published in the Financial Times (subscription needed).

Sir, We were intrigued to read your report, “Draghi makes appeal for those left behind” (September 14, subscription needed), on the speech by Mario Draghi, president...

20 September 2016

By Motoko Aizawa, Daniel Bradlow, Professor of International Development Law and African Economic Relations, University of Pretoria

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

The Challenge of Criminalising Hate Speech

This commentary was originally published in the Myanmar Times

Since Myanmar’s landmark election in November 2015, the National League for Democracy government has publicly condemned the use of so-called hate speech on several occasions and...

16 August 2016

By Lucy Purdon, Policy Officer, Privacy International; Research Fellow, IHRB

Built Environment Companies Need to Take a Longer Term View on Modern Slavery

It is an obvious but uncomfortable truth that there is no quick fix for modern slavery.  It is too enmeshed in corruption to be solved by box-ticking initiatives. It is too financially rewarding to be given up easily by perpetrators. The...

29 July 2016

By Emma Crates, Freelance journalist

Impact Investing - A New Player in Protecting Human Rights?

This commentary was originally published on openDemocracy.

In 2007, the Rockefeller Foundation devised the term “impact investing”, officially inaugurating a new era in finance and development.

This form of investing channel funds privately to...

27 July 2016

By Motoko Aizawa

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

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

How Companies can use their Leverage to Protect Migrant Domestic Workers

Information gap

In the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), domestic workers – nannies, housekeepers, drivers, chefs and gardeners – are largely excluded from labour law. A majority of domestic workers are migrant women from...

01 July 2016

By Vani Saraswathi, Associate Editor, Migrant-Rights.org & Strategic Adviser, Shelter Me Project

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

Where have the UN Guiding Principles Taken Us and Where Do We Go Next? 

On June 16, 2016, IHRB and the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR) co-organised a commemorative event to mark the five-year anniversary of the unanimous adoption of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs)....

20 June 2016

By Motoko Aizawa, Sara Blackwell, Legal and Policy Coordinator, ICAR

Five Years On - Translating the UN Guiding Principles into Myanmar

On June 16th 2011, the UN Human Rights Council unanimously endorsed the UN Guiding Principles on Business & Human Rights. The Guiding Principles were unprecedented on many levels, including by reaffirming and clarifying state duties to protect...

16 June 2016

By Vicky Bowman, Director, Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business; Advisory Council Member, IHRB

Five Years On - Waves of Progress Demonstrate the Tide has Turned in Colombia

On June 16th 2011, the UN Human Rights Council unanimously endorsed the UN Guiding Principles on Business & Human Rights. The Guiding Principles were unprecedented on many levels, including by reaffirming and clarifying state duties to protect...

16 June 2016

By Luis Fernando de Angulo, Executive Director, CREER; Advisory Council Member, IHRB

Five Years On - The UN Guiding Principles in Kenya, a Three Legged Stool

On June 16th 2011, the UN Human Rights Council unanimously endorsed the UN Guiding Principles on Business & Human Rights. The Guiding Principles were unprecedented on many levels, including by reaffirming and clarifying state duties to protect...

16 June 2016

By Rose Kimotho

Responsible Recruitment and Tackling Forced Labour

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) defines forced labour as:

“all work or service which is exacted from any person under the menace of any penalty for which said person has not offered himself voluntarily.”

Almost 21 million people are...

14 June 2016

By Justin Bettey, Head of Content and Stakeholder Relations, Sedex

The Infrastructure We Don’t Want - OECD Infrastructure Advice to the G20

This commentary was originally published on the Heinrich Böll Foundation website

As global growth has stalled over the last few years, the Group of 20 countries (G20) has made infrastructure investment a centerpiece of its policy work, expecting...

08 June 2016

By Motoko Aizawa

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

Time to deliver on responsible supply chain commitments

As G7 leaders meet in Japan later this week, will we see scaled up joint action to ensure that all business activity, wherever it takes place, is undertaken in ways that respect the rights of workers and communities and enhance economic,...

26 May 2016

By Scott Jerbi, Senior Advisor, Policy & Outreach, IHRB

Central banks and human rights - Signs of alignment

This commentary was originally published on RightingFinance and reproduced here with permission.

The work of central banks is not easily understood and often takes place out of direct public view. Equipped with traditional macroeconomic tools of...

13 May 2016

By Motoko Aizawa

Employer Pays - Time for a New Model in Migrant Worker Recruitment

Over 30 years in addressing supply chain human rights issues has taught me that regardless of industry sector, or whether a company has a cross border supply chain or one that is wholly domestic, there is a substantial likelihood that migrant labour...

04 May 2016

By Edward E. Potter, International Advisory Council Member, IHRB

Looking Back, Looking Ahead: What lessons should we learn from past UN efforts to adopt a Code of Co

What rules should govern the behavior of transnational corporations (TNCs) and other businesses, both in the countries in which they are established and where ever they operate around the world?

In the 1970s, states sought to answer this question...

16 April 2016

By Karl P. Sauvant

Restoring the Beauty of the Game

For those who 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

We are Losing Sight of Why Protecting Privacy is Important for our Security

The UK Government’s Investigatory Powers Bill (IPB) is a new and controversial piece of proposed surveillance legislation. The recent review of the IPB by the UK Parliament (the “Second Reading”) offered the first opportunity for MPs to debate its...

18 March 2016

By Lucy Purdon, Policy Officer, Privacy International; Research Fellow, IHRB

Lessons from Glasgow – Adopting the World’s First Mega-Sporting Event Human Rights Policy

Sport has faced no shortage of troubles of late. Revelations and allegations of misdeeds continue to blight many major sports. FIFA’s governance is still under the spotlight, match-fixing allegations in tennis have come to the fore, Qatar’s approach...

02 March 2016

By Kenny Stewart

Who should assess complaints under the OECD Guidelines – civil servants or independent experts?

A lot of faith has been placed on National Contact Points (NCPs) as a non-judicial remedy. But can this be justified when those assessing complaints tend to be government officials with a background in trade and business, rather than human rights...

26 February 2016

By Peter Frankental, Economic Relations Programme Director, Amnesty International

Alternative Mining Indaba - Meaningful Company-Community Dialogue Remains a Key Challenge

The 7th annual Alternative Mining Indaba (AMI, Indaba meaning ‘conference’), hosted by the ecclesiastical Economic Justice Network, took place from 8-11 February 2016 in Cape Town, South Africa. The AMI has grown steadily since its inception in...

25 February 2016

By Ida Westphal

Designing a Better Global Financial System – Why Do Human Rights Matter?

How would you design a global financial system that is fit for purpose in the 21st century? What steps are required to ensure more inclusive and sustainable financial decision-making that can serve the needs of economies and societies? 

Over the...

11 February 2016

By Margaret Wachenfeld, Managing Director, Themis Research; Senior Research Fellow, IHRB

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

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

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

Evolving Expectations: The role of Export Credit Agencies in promoting and exemplifying responsible

Export Credit Agencies are a significant source of global financing and insurance, specifically with regard to financing of large scale projects and business opportunities in developing countries.  

For example the Economist Intelligence Unit...

11 January 2016