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Financial Reform - Making the Human Rights Case

In announcing his financial reform proposals last week, US President Barack Obama pledged: “never again will the American taxpayer be held hostage by a bank that is too big to fail.

This commitment underlies his proposals for regulatory reform of...

27 January 2010

By Mary Dowell-Jones, Research Fellow at the Human Rights Law Centre, University of Nottingham

Small Change - Why Business Won’t Save the World

What’s the best way for business to contribute to realizing human rights? I’ve been pondering that question over the last few days in the light of Google’s decision to oppose censorship and protect the email accounts of activists in China, going so...

19 January 2010

By Michael Edwards

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

The Institute’s Challenge

The idea behind the Institute for Human Rights and Business is that impacts by companies on human rights need, firstly, to be much more widely understood and publicised. Secondly, we need to find mechanisms that can integrate the process of...

15 December 2009

By Chris Marsden, Patron, IHRB

Timberland - Business Willing to Engage but a Multi-Stakeholder Effort Needed

IHRB's Executive Director John Morrison wrote a compelling post in late September about the need for rapid scaling of progress on human rights – a view we wholeheartedly share. It has taken us 15 years to get to where we are – to create what can...

30 November 2009

By Jeffrey Swartz, President & CEO, The Timberland Company

The Bitter Harvest of Uzbek Cotton

Once again in Uzbekistan this autumn, another bitter harvest is ending. Observers from different regions around the country are reporting that between 1.5 and 2 million teenagers, as well as children as young as nine years old, are missing school...

24 November 2009

By Bennett Freeman

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

The Business of Migration - Migrant Worker Rights in a Time of Financial Crisis

The Institute for Human Rights and Business is embarking on a three-year process of addressing the role of the private sector in migrant worker protection. The increased risk of abuse of migrants’ rights within the current financial crisis, coupled...

06 October 2009

By Frances House, Deputy Chief Executive, IHRB

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

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

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

Food Security and the Private Sector - Thinking about Human Rights?

This week the UN released its latest findings on the extent of world hunger. The report – marking World Food Day 2009 and its theme - "Achieving food security in times of crisis" - makes for grim reading.

More than one billion people around the...

16 September 2009

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

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

This op-Ed was originally published on

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

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