Waterbury Hosts Business and Human Rights Lecture Series

March 12, 2019

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

February 15, 2019

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 osher@uconn.edu.

For more information on UConn’s Business and Human Rights Initiative, please visit: https://businessandhumanrights.uconn.edu/.

Investors Won’t Tolerate Corporate Misdeeds, Inhumanity

September 28, 2018

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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Business and Human Rights Initiative Welcomes Post-Doc Rachel Chambers

September 12, 2018

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

September 5, 2018

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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Press Release: White Paper on Protecting Rights at the End of the Line

May 4, 2018

Business and Human Rights Initiative
University of Connecticut
Press Release

STORRS, CT (May 4, 2018) – The University of Connecticut’s Business and Human Rights Initiative has published a White Paper on Protecting Rights at the End of the Line: Stakeholder Engagement in Light Manufacturing, which draws insights from experts across the United States, Europe, Asia, and Latin America on how best to address human rights challenges in global supply chains. The White Paper may be found here.

The report features the findings of a two-day conference hosted in October 2017 at UConn’s Storrs campus, which brought together business representatives, labor and human rights advocates, policy experts and academics (see conference website). Written by policy analyst and author Deborah Leipziger, the White Paper provides an overview of existing multistakeholder initiatives (MSIs); examines emerging trends such as worker-driven social responsibility; highlights examples of innovative business models and tools for protecting human rights in the supply chain; and outlines areas for future research and next steps for the field.

“The level of candor about what works and what doesn’t sets this report apart from others. So does the breadth of perspectives from practitioners around the world,” notes Shareen Hertel, UConn professor of political science and human rights, who spearheaded the conference.

The UConn Business and Human Rights Initiative—a partnership of the Thomas J. Dodd Center, the School of Business, and the Human Rights Institute at the University of Connecticut—develops and supports multidisciplinary and engaged research, education, and public outreach at the intersection of business and human rights. To carry out its mission, the Initiative supports and disseminates research by UConn faculty, convenes events that bring together scholars and practitioners, engages with policymakers, businesses, and stakeholders to advance respect for human rights, and supports student learning and professional opportunities in business and human rights.

This report was written with support from UConn’s Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER).

Press Release: Roundtable Report on Business and Human Rights in an Era of Anti-Globalization”.

December 18, 2017

Business and Human Rights Initiative
University of Connecticut
Press Release

STORRS, CT (December 18, 2017) – The Business and Human Rights Initiative at the University of Connecticut announces the publication of its report on the “Roundtable on Business and Human Rights in an Era of Anti-Globalization”.

The report synthesizes the key findings and conclusions from a high-level gathering of scholars, advocates, and business advisors and leaders designed to explore the implications of the politics of anti-globalism for the study and practice of business and human rights. Convened by the Business and Human Rights Initiative at UConn’s Storrs, Connecticut campus in March 2017, this roundtable explored the challenges and opportunities presented by the upsurge in opposition to global interconnection and global institutions revealed by the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom and the 2016 US presidential election. Organized around three main topics, “Business and Human Rights in an Anti-Globalist Context,” “(Re)Framing the Business and Human Rights Discourse,” and the “Future of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights,” the report concludes with potential next steps and new directions for business and human rights.

“This report confronts fundamental questions about business and human rights in this era of political strife and uncertainty,” said Stephen Park, director of the Business and Human Rights Initiative. “It identifies resources and strategies that companies and human rights advocates can use to build durable and credible commitments to human rights in the business world.”

The Business and Human Rights Initiative, a partnership of the Thomas J. Dodd Center, the UConn School of Business, and the Human Rights Institute, seeks to develop and support multidisciplinary and engaged research, education, and public outreach at the intersection of business and human rights. To carry out its mission, the Initiative supports and disseminates research by UConn faculty, convenes events that bring together scholars and practitioners, engages with policymakers, businesses, and stakeholders to advance respect for human rights, and supports student learning and professional opportunities in business and human rights.

Protecting the Vulnerable

October 26, 2017

via UConn School of Business

UConn Human Rights Conference Gathers Experts to Address Ways to Watch Over Garment Workers

The new shirt that you are wearing is impeccably tailored and bears a prominent designer label, so it must be responsibly sourced.

Right?

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