October 5-6, 2017
Lead Organizer: Shareen Hertel
Co-Sponsors: Research Program on Economic & Social Rights (ESRG), Human Rights Institute | UConn Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER)
This conference explores the challenge of stakeholder engagement in contemporary light manufacturing. Workers in this sector are among the most vulnerable, firms experience some of the greatest competitive pressures, and communities find it difficult to negotiate with companies given the diffuse nature of related supply chains and the risk that making demands will simply push highly mobile firms to leave empowered communities. Existing academic research and policy innovation on stakeholder engagement has focused disproportionately on advances in the extractive sector, and this conference fills a critical gap by focusing on people at the end of the light manufacturing supply chain. Panels will include participants who have explored stakeholder engagement through policy frameworks such as the United Nations Principles on Business & Human Rights, through firm-level and industry-wide monitoring and compliance programs (such as labor rights certification), and through direct involvement in brokering and/or evaluating multi-stakeholder initiatives.