Commentary

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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

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