Business & Human Rights: Implications for Management, Knowledge Needs and Teaching

This conference addresses the significance of Human Rights for responsible business. Human Rights issues are increasingly significant in relation to business communication, due diligence and risk management, human resources and labour, supply chain management, finance, public procurement, non-financial reporting and beyond.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016 - 08:30 to Thursday, May 19, 2016 - 17:00

The conference addresses the significance of Human Rights for responsible business from two perspectives: Management and teaching. Both turn around knowledge needs for responsible business practices.

Keynote speakers:

  • Dr. Michael Addo, member of the UN Working Group on Business & Human Rights and Senior lecturer at Exeter University
  • Maria Anne van Dijk, Head of Environmental, Social and Ethical Risk Policy at ABN Amro – Sustainable Banking
  • Björn Fasterling, Professor, EDHEC Business School, Lille

The Business & Human Rights (BHR) regime has matured in recent years. The UN Global Compact (UNGC) refers to human rights in Principles 1 and 2. The UN Guiding Principles, authored by political scientist and former UN Assistant Secretary General Professor John Ruggie (Harvard University) as holder of a special mandate under the UN Secretary-General were adopted by the UN in 2011 following the 2008 UN Framework on Business and Human Rights. Both are referenced by the UN Global Compact as part of its human rights guidance.

The UN Guiding Principles have had considerable influence on a number of business governance instruments, including the ISO 26000 Social Responsibility Guidance Standard, the 2011 revision of OECD’s Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, and Performance Standards of the International Finance Corporation (IFC). Mandatory CSR reporting in some countries, the EU’s 2011 Communication on CSR and its new Directive on non-financial reporting are all informed by the UN Guiding Principles. Recent revisions of EU public procurement rules offer increased opportunities for social criteria (including human rights) to be considered. Common to these developments is an increased connection between economic activities and human rights as issues of relevance to business, with human rights due diligence a key issue, process and sometimes requirement.

The explicit or implicit role that human rights play for responsible business requires awareness among managers exercising a broad range of tasks in relation to procurement, finance, supply chain management, risk management, human resource management, communication and non-financial reporting and beyond. The responsible manager of the 21st century is expected to have knowledge of what human rights are and how to identify and communicate human rights issues, not least in the many contexts in which they do not come ‘nicely packaged’ as human rights. Simultaneously, responsible management education at business schools is increasingly expected to equip students as future managers to understand, identify and work with human rights issues.

Bringing together practitioners from businesses and from educational institutions the conference promotes insights on responsible management in regard to human rights; on teaching needs from the business perspective; and on teaching opportunities and strategies.

The conference audience is business managers as well as educators and decision makers at business schools/institutions of higher education.
The first day brings out business perspectives setting out challenges and opportunities of human rights in a business context, sharing experiences and bringing forth insights on the needs and advantages of enhancing managers’ knowledge on human rights.
The second day brings out insights on transforming the need for knowledge into educational practice, strategies and opportunities for promoting BHR teaching at business schools.

Presentations will address a series of key issues across sectors and diverse global perspectives. Among the issues addressed is the significance of Human Rights for responsible business in relation to:

  • Communicating Human Rights issues within the organization and to external stakeholders
  • Supply chain management
  • Human resources and labour
  • Finance
  • Public procurement
  • Due Diligence
  • Non-financial reporting

Registration deadline: 25 April 2016.

Please click here to sign up.

The page was last edited by: Communications // 07/20/2018