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...

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

Commentary 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...

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

Commentary 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

Commentary 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

Commentary 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

Commentary 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

Commentary 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

Commentary 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...

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...

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