Business and Human Rights: A Tool for Lecturers

In 2017, RWI, together with academic partners in China, identified a need for a new teaching resource in ‘Business and Human Rights’ area.

Radu Mares, Senior Researcher and thematic lead for the Business and Human Rights area, says:

“Despite a growing interest among lecturers and students to understand the social and environmental impacts of corporate activity, teaching materials in this diverse and fast moving area of human rights have been lacking.”

The compendium is a tool for lecturers.

“It will help them prepare lectures and seminars. It will also give them a wide range of carefully chosen materials that will support them in quickly creating more rewarding and interactive classroom experiences”, says Radu Mares. “The design of the compendium is meant to appeal to teachers from various academic disciplines.”

The compendium was developed in two versions.

The first version was initially developed for China (in Chinese) and the second for Cambodia (in English). The compendium will be published in 2021.

Radu Mares has worked closely together with academics from China and Cambodia to make the extensive compendium a reality.

“I think that this collaboration has been relevant to all lecturers in the two countries”, says Radu Mares. “Thanks to the process, we have further developed our capacities.”

A significant aspect of the compendium is that it emphasises the human rights standards, state obligations, and oversight mechanisms created in the last 70 years so that the impacts, responsibilities, and roles of the  business sector are properly contextualized and not seen merely as ‘corporate voluntarism*’.

“We will strive to keep the compendium up to date and complement it with other forms of support – print and digital – such as a textbook, e-learning modules, e-platforms for uploading new materials, training schools for teachers, and networks of academics and trainers interested in this area.”
Radu Mares, Head of the Thematic Area ‘Economic Globalisation and Human Rights’

*Corporate voluntarism here refers to integration of social and environmental aspect in business decisions on a voluntary basis and in response to societal expectations.
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