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Business and Human Rights

  • Enseignant(s):  
  • Titre en français: Business et droits humains
  • Cours donné en: anglais
  • Crédits ECTS:
  • Horaire: Semestre d'automne 2018-2019, 2.0h. de cours (moyenne hebdomadaire)
      WARNING :   this is an old version of the syllabus, old versions contain   OBSOLETE   data.
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The objective of this course entitled "Business and Human Rights" is to equip students with skills to identify, analyze and resolve corporate human rights challenges.

The course capacitates students to be problem solvers, even on the toughest human rights challenges. It develops students’ leadership potential on human rights issues by discussing case studies and frameworks for effectively addressing business and human rights problems in different industries.


Headlines connecting multinational companies and human rights challenges occur with increasing frequency. Particularly in the global business context and in countries in which governments are unable or unwilling to guarantee basic rights for their citizens, corporations are regarded as the only actors that have the power and the resources to prevent or stop gross human rights violations.

Against this background, the United Nations Human Rights Council unanimously endorsed a set of Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in June 2011. The Guiding Principles (GPs) establish an authoritative global standard on the respective roles of businesses and governments in helping ensure that companies respect human rights in their own operations and through their business relationships.

The GPs create a new business reality. Corporations need to figure out what their commitment to respect Human Rights implies in practice, how they can systematically build “respect” for Human Rights into their daily business operations, and how to deal with dilemma situations. In this course we will study examples of how corporations can define universal human rights standards for their industry, enforce these standards, and remedy violations of these standards. We will also discuss how corporations can communicate their practical and sustained action to consumers and investors.

There wiil be high profile guest speakers coming to class.


The course will be based on the textbook "Business and Human Rights - From Principles to Practice" (Routledge 2016):

All other course materials will be made available online.


The course will be taught in English and good communication skills are a must.

The class requires no specific prior knowledge on the topic but an interest in learning how to address pressing but not very-well understood business challenges to make practical progress towards the implementation of human rights.

The course complements the course "Corporate Social Responsibility" and "Unethical Decison-Making" but knowledge about CSR or Business Ethics is not a requirement.

Class participation is limited and interested students must (1) register by emai: before Sept. 1 and (2) attend the first class on Sept. 20, 2018.

The course will be taught on an irregular schedule (Thu. 13.15 - 17.00):

Sept. 20 (1st week presence is obligatory), Sept. 27, Oct. 4, Nov. 1, Nov. 15 (to prepare for UN Forum), Nov. 29 (probably the class will be at the UN Forum if our registration is accepted), Dec. 13 (to wrap up the class)

Students that miss more than 2 classes will have to drop out.


1ère tentative

Sans examen (cf. modalités)  

1. Length of group papers: 8-10 pages (Times New Roman, 1,5 paragraph) 2. Class Participation


Sans examen (cf. modalités)  

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