Author: Stephen Park

Industry experts discuss the intersection of business and human rights in the college space

via The Daily Campus

With its athletic and academic programs garnering national acclaim, the University of Connecticut boasts far-reaching influence which in turn, solicits closer scrutiny by the greater public. When the school’s licensed apparel came under fire in 2005 for unethical sourcing, members of the community were called upon to serve on a task force for sweatshirt labor, eventually giving rise to the current President’s Committee on Corporate Social Responsibility (PCCSR). With pressure from UConn’s heavily active Human Rights Institute and the collegiate community, the university seeks to remain socially responsible in its business endeavors with policies such as the Vendor Code of Conduct and continuous collaboration with peer institutes and organizations. On Nov. 20, the school’s Business and Human Rights Initiative hosted a roundtable on collegiate sourcing addressing those concerns in the current economic climate and in the face of COVID-19, featuring representatives from apparel manufacturers and those involved in corporate social responsibility in college spaces and beyond.

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Human Rights, Business Practices — and a Generation Ready to Make a Difference

via UConn Business

During the 10 years that Rachel Chambers worked as a barrister, practicing employment and discrimination law in the British courts, she occasionally wore formal attire: a full-length robe and a white, horsehair wig.

No wig is required in her role today as a UConn postdoctoral fellow and professor, where her international legal experiences, recent work for the United Nations, and passion for social justice prepared her to teach BLAW 3252: “Corporate Social Impact and Responsibility.”

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Waterbury Hosts Business and Human Rights Lecture Series

via UConn School of Business

The series is made possible by a gift from the David and Joan Reed Faculty Fellowship, which this year awarded the honor to Shareen Hertel, a professor of political science, member of the steering committee for the UConn Business & Human Rights Institute, and a human rights advocate. Hertel used the award, one of the top teaching honors bestowed on UConn faculty, to create the lecture series.

“Every day, each of us makes scores of decisions about what to eat, wear and use—yet we don’t often have the chance to stop and reflect on who made those products or how our consumption choices affect the environment and the broader world around us,” said Hertel.

The lecture series titled “Politics and Human Rights in Global Supply Chains” gives students and faculty the chance to hear from experts who have grappled with managing global supply chains for decades, she said.

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Press Release: Shareen Hertel Hosts Reed Fellowship Lecture Series

Business and Human Rights Initiative
University of Connecticut
Press Release

STORRS, CT (February 15, 2019) – Professor Shareen Hertel (Political Science and Human Rights) has been awarded the David and Joan Reed Faculty Fellowship, one of the top teaching honors at the University of Connecticut. As the Reed Faculty Fellow, Hertel is hosting a lecture series Politics and Human Rights in the Global Supply Chain at UConn’s Waterbury campus, which is co-sponsored by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) and the Center of Excellence for Teaching (CETL) at UConn.

Three lectures are slated for the spring 2019 semester, centered around the themes of global supply chain management, business ethics and compliance, and innovative design for social and environmental sustainability:

  • The first lecture, “Respect for Human Rights: An Imperative that Makes Good Business Sense”, on Wednesday, February 20, features Mark Nordstrom, former Senior Counsel-Labor and Employment Law at GE.
  • On Wednesday, March 13, Bob Werner, formerly of Timex and current Advisory Board Chair of UConn’s Center for International Business and Education Research (CIBER), will deliver a talk “Business and Human Rights: The View From the Field”.
  • Finally, on Wednesday, April 10, Deborah Leipziger, Senior Fellow in Social Innovation at the Lewis Institute, Babson College, will present “Human Rights and Business: Creating a Lexicon and Blueprint for Transformation”.

Nordstrom and Leipziger have been key contributors to the Business and Human Rights Initiative at UConn. In March 2017, Nordstrom participated in the Roundtable on Business and Human Rights. The following October, Nordstrom and Leipziger served as panelists for the Initiative’s conference on Stakeholder Engagement in Light Manufacturing, for which Leipziger authored the white paper.

Hertel is a member of the Initiative’s steering committee and has undertaken research on stakeholder dialogue regimes with the support of the Initiative.

The Reed Fellow Lecture Series reflects the ongoing engagement of the Initiative’s faculty members in the field of business and human rights. The series is free and open to the public but advance registration is required. Click here to register for the lectures. All lectures will be held at UConn’s Waterbury campus main building, rooms 113-119. For more information, call the OLLI office at 203-236-9924/9925 or email

For more information on UConn’s Business and Human Rights Initiative, please visit:

Investors Won’t Tolerate Corporate Misdeeds, Inhumanity

via UConn School of Business

Investment titan Amy Domini, widely considered a leading pioneer in socially responsible investing, came to UConn and shared what can only be described as good news.

Investor demands have radically changed the way corporations do business, and it is nearly impossible to find a major company today that isn’t re-examining or inventing policies that address human rights and environmental protection, she said.

“I don’t believe that companies have the right to make money from the destruction of our future,” she said in a keynote address titled, “How Responsible Investors Have Enabled Business to be a Solution to Human Suffering.”

The program was organized and hosted by the Business and Human Rights Initiative, of which the School of Business is a partner. Her keynote address kicked off a two-day symposium, which attracted leading scholars and practitioners from around the world to discuss the “human face of finance.”

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Amy Domini’s Keynote at Symposium on Finding the Human Face of Finance

On September 20-21, 2018, the Business and Human Rights Initiative hosted a Symposium on Finding the Human Face of Finance. Amy Domini, Founder and Chair of Domini Impact Investments, delivered the keynote address, entitled How Responsible Investors Have Enabled Business to be a Solution for Human Suffering”. Her remarks are re-printed here.

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Business and Human Rights Initiative Welcomes Post-Doc Rachel Chambers

via Human Rights Institute

This August, Rachel Chambers joined the Human Rights Institute as the first Postdoctoral Fellow in Business and Human Rights. Over the next year, she will engage in independent scholarly research in the field of business and human rights and teach in the Human Rights major. This fall, Rachel will be teaching BLAW/HRTS 3252 – Corporate Social Impact and Responsibility.

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Human Rights and the Supply Chain

via UConn Today

When a white paper was issued earlier this year from a recent UConn conference addressing how to protect human rights and promote social and environmental sustainability in the light manufacturing sector, the document became the most recent addition to resources that help the 200 students pursuing either major or minor studies in human rights.

One of the classes these students can take is an interdisciplinary class, Assessment for Human Rights & Sustainability. Over the past four years, students in the class have examined how companies assess their global supply chains to ensure designs and business practices that promote positive social and economic development, while minimizing the environmental impact on the communities where they make products.

The class was developed by Shareen Hertel, an associate professor of political science with a joint appointment in the Human Rights Institute, and former UConn engineering professor Allison MacKay, who now is a professor and chair of civil, environmental, and geodetic engineering at Ohio State University.

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