The Business & Human Rights Academy

How we can support your organisation in strengthening your capacity to work on human rights 

The Academy aims to increase knowledge and respect for human rights in the policies and practices in the business sector.

Go from respecting, to actively promoting and furthering human rights in your operations and value chains.

By moving from ensuring that your practices do no harm to human rights, the RWI Academy can empower you and your company to become agents for positive change.

The finance sector needs transparent validation processes and impactful tools for change when the target companies for investments face human rights issues. As an independent institution with integral and outstanding reputation in the field of human rights, we can assist in such cases.

Three tools to empower your organisation

The Academy works in three ways to help strengthen the internal knowledge of human rights in your company or organisation.

We make sure that your company have a relevant and up to date understanding of the human rights implications of your operations and value chain, and we help you engage to strengthen policies and practices.

The Academy is a mutually beneficial platform through which we – and you – will explore and test modalities for your company to play a significant role as agents for positive change within the broader frameworks of the UN SDGs and human rights system.

1. Analysis

The Academy supports with advanced analysis of the human rights risks that you face in your respective environments; given your specific value chains, products, and locations.

Many investors and companies operate in contexts where social and political environments are in a state of change. The risks you face in value chains and customer facing operations constantly vary. Expectations from external stakeholders change, too.

We can help ensure that your company have access to and is familiarised – in a tailor-made and understandable way  – with the best international research. We assist in setting up procedures for internal reviews and best practise in decision making, that are essential tools.

We are well placed to lead and facilitate such analysis with our in-house in-depth knowledge of the Business and Human Rights field. We operate internationally and had have access to the best scholars and institutions such as Prof. John Ruggie and lnstitute for Human Rights and Business (London). Also, we draw knowledge and insight of global developments from our activities in Africa, MENA­ region and Asia.

Cooperation in an effective and tailor-made manner with you, we will implement the Academy while and through drawing upon and putting together the best resources needed.

We welcome analysists and representatives from companies to work with our scholars on specific projects and challenges. We carry out, on a regular basis, analyses of primarily regulatory instruments in business and human rights.

Such analyses are based on our understanding that all forms of regulation (business self-regulation, public regulation, hybrid forms and partnerships) must be explored and their interactions understood in order to protect human rights in the global economy.

2. Education

A fundamental role of the Academy is to inform and to educate.

While front runners and ethical companies and investors show a growing maturity in their ESG programmes, knowledge and expertise is still lacking. We can help amend this.

Many organisations rely on analytics procured from various service providers for their portfolio management or value chain reporting. Often however, in-house expertise on business and human rights per se is not enough to use the analytics in the best way. Worst case, lack of knowledge on how to interpret data, can lead to missed opportunities to address human rights issues in the value chain. Strengthening in-house expertise allows your company to sharpen your human rights strategies and policies – as well as your decision making when confronted with  various human rights issues.

Summer schools for trainees and young talents

Apart from tailored educational programs for specific companies and/or sectors, we host summer schools for young business leaders on recent developments within their field or particular topics of interest to a cross sectorial group of leaders.

Summer schools can take place in Sweden, in webinars and in countries in which we operate. Among the trainings, we have  developed various blended learning formats. We are particularly adept to pursuing learning experiences on business and human rights that involve multiple stakeholders and multiple academic disciplines.

3. Engagement

A third component of the Academy is a more in-depth engagement with you and your organisation. On this level, we tie together education and analysis segments. Our job is to concretely support on how to for example tailor your policies and strategies to address the specifics in your environment.

Building on an analysis of the risks that you face, we can support in how to prioritise among these, while still adhering to standards governing corporate human rights responsibilities.

We believe that there are interesting opportunities taking this work a step further, and work towards your organisation becoming an actor for positive developments and human rights change.

In moving from what is sometimes referred to as the “do no harm” principle, many corporations are in favor of getting support in how to move in to the “doing good” phase, where their policies and practices not only avoid harming human rights, but actively support the realisation of the same.

To set this in motion, we start out by discussing with your management or board, departing from the legal and moral responsibilities, to where they intersect with a business case and shareholder value.

A good example: how to move investor companies from an exclusion to an inclusion list. To make this possible, a system assessing the efficiency of different modes of active ownership is needed and so are skills to discern if actions are likely to promote the realisation of human rights. Management responsibility in the decision making will be a focal point in order to minimise risks in the business operation.

Towards new tools and opportunities 

We believe that close collaboration and partnerships will result in new tools and perspectives.

We have, among other things, outlined the need and format for an e-tool to measure and enhance local capacities in mining areas, based on field work in gold mining areas in Ghana and Peru.

Also, we have worked with architect firms to assist them with their human rights challenges working in difficult countries or just wanting to be able to consult their clients better at home.

Why us?

In the post-Covid-19 period the Human Rights and Business agenda will increase in importance contributing to the building back of communities.

Many actors have long seen the human rights segment of the broader ESG or CSR agendas to be the more challenging to work with in a meaningful way,. They are seen as harder to measure than for example environmental standards. This is now slowly beginning to change.

We have a long track record in the field of human rights and business. Bringing to the table our combination of well documented academic expertise and our extensive global programmatic experiences, we strongly believe in our quest for strengthening the respect for human rights in the business sector in Sweden and beyond.

We have experience from industries such as manufacturing, shipping, extraction, and architecture.


Currently, we have two senior staff members working on issues related to business and human rights. They possess deep knowledge on the topic. Dr. Radu Mares has published extensively on issues related to human rights and business for the past fifteen years. Senior researchers at the RWI have developed research, educational and applied tools that currently used in the RWI programmes worldwide.


To match the initial ambitions of the Academy, funding for additional two persons is needed to further strengthen from the academic, consultancy and business competencies the two staff members already provide. These should be knowledgeable in the field of human rights and business including the financial sector and with a strong profile in education and engagement.

Our ambition is to make sure that the Academy is self­ sustained with funding from services, course fees and consultancies as well as research funding from relevant donors.

For more information, please contact:

Morten Kjaerum


Morten Kjaerum

Affiliated Professor

Phone: +46 46 222 12 63

Morten Kjaerum has been Director of the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law in Sweden since 2015.  In 2013 he was awarded an honorary professorship at the University of Aalborg, Denmark. Mr Kjaerum was the first Director of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) in Vienna, Austria from 2008 to 2015 and he was Director of the Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR) from 1991 to 2008 and developed it within 17 years from a small organisation to a large internationally recognized institution. He started his career in the non-governmental sector at the Danish Refugee Council.

Mr. Kjaerum was a member (2002-2008) of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD). He was appointed by the UN Secretary General as member of the UN Voluntary Fund for Technical Cooperation (VFTC) in the Field of Human Rights and of the Voluntary Fund for Financial and Technical Assistance in the Implementation of the Universal Periodic Review.

Mr Kjaerum serves and has served on numerous boards among others he was chair of the International Coordination Committee for National Human Rights Institutions and he chaired the group of Directors of EU Agencies. He has also served as Chair of The Board of the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE). He is at the Board of Centre for Democracy and Technology (CDT), Human Rights Profile Area of Lund University and Humanity in Action. He serves on the advisory Board to the Institute of Human Rights and Business and the Organisation New Europe (Nyt Europa).

Mr. Kjaerum lectures regularly for various target groups, among them master students at the programme co-organised by RWI and the faculty of Law at Lund university and students of the medical professions He has written extensively on human rights issues and most recently co-edited the books Covid and Human Rights, Routledge (2021) and Human Rights and Poverty Research Handbook, Edward Elgar, (2021).

Mr Kjaerum has written extensively on various human rights issues.

Curriculum Vitae

Edited books

Covid-19 and Human Rights, Eds. Morten Kjaerum, Martha Davis and Amanda Lyons, Routledge, 2021

“Human Rights and Poverty”, Eds. Marta Davis, Morten Kjaerum, Amanda Lyons, Research Handbook, Edward Elgar, 2021

Academic Articles

State reports”, Elgar Encyclopedia of Human Rights, Eds. Christina Binder, Manfred Nowak, Jane A. Hofbauer and Philipp Janig, On-line edition 2021

The post-crisis human rights agenda” (Covid-19 and Human Rights, Eds. Morten Kjaerum, Martha Davis and Amanda Lyons, Routledge, 2021 p. 293-308)

“A new agency and so what? Considerations from the first director of FRA – giving flesh and blood to the founding regulations.” (Human Rights Policy and evidence-based policy, Eds. Rosemay Byrne and Han Entzinger, Routledge, 2020 p. xx-yy)

“Go Local, preserve the global: re-engage to build trust in democracy and human rights” (Menschenrechten Gestalt und Wirksamkeit verleihen – Making Human Rights Work, Eds. Patricia Hladschik and Fiona Steinert, NMV Neuer Wissenschaftlicher Verlag, Wien, 2019, p. 153-162)

“Review: Realising Roma Rights” (Human Rights Quarterly, Vol. 40, no 3, 2018, p. 707-711)

”A Future for the Rule of Law and Division of Power?” (Pre-Genocide -Warnings and Readiness to protect, Eds. Anders Jerichow og Cecilie Felicia Stokholm Banke, Humanity in Action, 2018, 164-72)

”Er der en fremtid for retsstaten og magtens tredeling?” (Advarsler før folkedrab, Eds. Anders Jerichow og Cecilie Felicia Stokholm Banke, Columbus, 2018, 173-181)

”Hvordan sikres en stadig stærkere beskyttelse af menneskerettighederne i Europa?”, Morten Kjaerum, (Hvis EU er Svaret… Ed. Anne-Mette Wehmüller, Lindhardt og Ringhof Forlag, 2018)

“Human Rights Politics in Times of Confusion. How to Move Forward”, (Zeitschrift für Menschenrechte, Jahrgang 11, 2017, nr 1, p158-165)

‘Administering human rigths’: The experience of the EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency. Co-author with Jonas Grimheden and Gabriel Toggenburg. (Research handbook on EU Administrative Law, eds Carol Harlow et al., Edward Elgar Publishing 2017)

Att skydda mänskliga rättigheter I normgivning och praktik, Co-author with Anna-Sara Lind, (Mänskliga rättigheter i det offentliga Sverige, ed Anna-Sara Lind & Elena Namli, Studentlitteratur, Lund, 2017)

From International Law to Local Communities: The Role of the United Nations in Realization of Human Rights. (UN Chronicle, vol LIII, number 4, February 2017, United Nations 2017)

The Right to a Future: Human Rights, Armed Conflict and Mass Migration – The Raoul Wallenberg Legacy. (Suffolk Transnational Law Review, Vol XXXIX, No 3, 2016)

Human Rights: Early Days or Endtimes?, (Ikke kun retsfilosofi, Eds. Nis Jul Clausen, Jørgen Dalberg-Larsen og Hans Viggo Godsk Pedersen, Jurist- og Økonomforbundets Forlag, 2016.

The Fundamental Rights Agency and Civil Society: Reminding the gardeners of their plants’ roots.
Co-author with Gabriel Toggenburg, European Diversity and Autonomy Papers, EDAP 2012/2

NHRIs in the European Union: Status Quo Vadis?
Co-author with Jonas Grimheden,
(Making People Heard, Ed. Asbjørn eide, Th. Møller & Ineta Ziemele, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2011)

Combating Racial and Related Discrimination,
(International protection of Human Rights: A textbook, Ed. Catarina Krause & Martin Scheinin, Åbo Akademi University Institute for Human Rights, 2009 – updated 2012.)

DJØF’er i det lokale og globale – en udfordring for demokratiet,
(Udsyn og fremsyn – en jubilæumsbog om DJØFERNE, JØF, 2009)

Racial Discrimination Convention and Monitoring,
(Encyclopedia of Human Rights, Ed. David P. Forsythe, Oxford University Press, 2009)

National Human Rights Institutions: A Partner in Implementation
(The First 365 days of the United Nations Human Rights Council, The UN 2007)

Diverse artikler til den Store Danske Encyclopædi
(Den store Danske Encyclopædi, 2006)

Schutz und Förderung der Menschenrechte durch nationale Menschenrectsinstitutionen: Eine lokale Verplichtung mit globaler Bedeutung,
(Jahrbuch Menschenrechte, 2006)

The UN reform Process in an Implementation Perspective
(Human Rights in Turmoil, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2006)

Article 4 – Prohibition of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, 2006
Article 5 – Prohibition of slavery and forced labour, 2006
(Commentary of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, EU Network of Independent Experts on Fundamental Rights, 2006)

The Protection Role of the Danish Human Rights Commission
(The Protection Role of National Human Rights Institutions. Ed. Bertrand G. Ramcharan. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2005)

Human Rights for Immigrants and Immigrants for Human Rights
(International Migration and Security, Opportunities and Challenges. Ed. Elsbeth Guild and Joanne van Selm. Routledge, 2005.

Reservations to Human Rights Treaties and the Vienna Convention Regime. Conflict, Harmony or Reconciliation
(The Raoul Wallenberg Institute Human Rights Library. Ed. Ineta Ziemele. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2004).

National Human Rights Institutions Implementing Human Rights
(Human Rights and Criminal Justice for the Downtrodden. Essays in Honour of Asbjørn Eide, ed. Morten Bergsmo, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2003)

Human Rights Organisations and the Formation of Refugees Regimes
(Global Changes in Asylum Regimes. Closing Doors. Ed. Daniéle Joly, Palgrave MacMillan, 2002)

Who is Supervising Human Rights?
(Menneskerettens udfordring – ideologi eller videnskab? Ed. Kirsten Hastrup, Akademisk Forlag, 2002. (In Danish.)).

Refugee Protection Between State Interests and Human Rights: Where is Europe Heading?
(Human Rights Quarterly, May, 2002).

Refugees: The Parakeets of Human Rights Standing
(Discrimination and Toleration, ed. K. Hastrup and G. Ulrich, Kluwer Law International. 2002).

Human Rights, State Security and Burden-Sharing: People or States First?
(Journal of Refugee Studies, Vol. 14, No. 2, June 2001, Oxford University Press).

Universal Human Rights: Between the Local and the Global
(Human Rights on Common Grounds: The Quest for Universality, ed. K. Hastrup, Kluwer Law International, 2001).

New Trends in the Prohibition of Torture at International Level
(Global Law Review, official Chinese law review, Vol. 23, Autumn 2001. (With Lisbeth Ilkjaer)).

Human Rights and Cosmopolitism
(Politologiske Studier, University of Copenhagen, Vol. 4, No. 2., May 2001. (In Danish)).

Non-custodial Measures and Alternatives to Detention
(EU-China Human Rights Dialogue, ed. Manfred Nowak and Xin Chunying. Verlag Österreich, 2000).

Refugee Law and Human Rights: the Non-refoulement Article in the Convention against Torture
(EU-ret & menneskeret, Vol 6, No. 2. Copenhagen: Jurist- og Økonomforbundets Forlag, 1999. (In Danish)).

Article 14
(The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: A Common Standard of Achievement, ed. Gudmundur Alfredsson and Asbjørn Eide. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1999).

Human Rights and Administration of Justice
(Beijing/Copenhagen: China Legal System Publishing House, 1999. (With Liu Hainian and Lin Li)).

Judicial Reform and Human Rights in Changing Societies
(Copenhagen: The Danish Centre for Human Rights, 1998).

Racial Discrimination and Other Forms of Discrimination
(Social kritik, No. 55. Copenhagen: Selskabet til fremme af social debat, 1998. (In Danish)).

Human Rights in the New Europe and a Globalised World
(Grundloven og menneskerettigheder i et dansk og europæisk perspektiv, 1997. (In Danish)).

Human Rights Implications of the Development of the Concept of Temporary Asylum in the Nordic Countries
(Nordic Journal of International Law, No. 64, 1995).

Refugees between Human Rights and Humanitarian Law
(Udlændingeret, ed. Morten Kjaerum and others. Copenhagen: Jurist- og Økonomforbundets Forlag 1995. (In Danish)).

Civil Society and Conflict Prevention
(Den Ny Verden, Vol. 28, No. 2, 1995. Copenhagen: Centre for Research Development, 1995. (In Danish)).

Temporary Protection in Europe in the 1990s
(International Journal of Refugee Law, Vol. 6, No. 3, 1994. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994).

The Contribution of Voluntary Organizations to the Development of Democratic Governance
(NGOs and Refugees: Reflections at the turn of the Century. Copenhagen: SOCPOL, 1993).

The Concept of Country of First Asylum
(International journal of refugee law, Vol. 4, No. 4, 1992. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993).

Article 14
(The Universal Declaration of Human Rights – A Commentary. Scandinavian University Press, 1992).

Refugees and their Role in the European House
(International Journal of Refugee Law, Special Issue: 1990).

Visa Policies and Carrier Sanctions
(Asyl i Norden, ed. Morten Kjaerum and others. Copenhagen: 1990. (In Danish)).

The Procedure for Manifestly Unfounded Asylum Applications – the Danish Immigration Law §53a
(Juristen. Copenhagen: 1986. (In Danish)).

The Bottom Line of Decency
(Biskop for Herren og så mange andre. Festkrift til Kjeld Holms 60-års dag. Forlaget ANIS. 2005 (In Danish)).

National Human Rights Institutions: Overlap or supplement
(Festskrift til Hans Gammeltoft-Hansen. Jurist og Økonomforbundets Forlag. 2005 (In Danish)).

The Multiplicity of the Human Being
(Danmark på afveje. Kritik af den herskende orden. Ed. Stig Dalager og Per Schulz Jørgensen. Socialpolitisk Forlag, 2004 (In Danish)).

Dialogue with Authoritarian States
(Udenrigs, No. 2., 2004 (With Tina Johannesen) (In Danish)).

Human Rights and the European Charter
På vej mod Europas forfatning, ed. Charlotte Antonsen og Peter Norsk. Peter la Cours Forlag, 2003 (In Danish)).

Human Rights – A Living Reality
Verden i forandring IV – Temaartikler om menneskerettigheder. Ed. Henning Nielsen, Jesper Gronenberg and Tomas Bech Madsen. Odense Universitetsforlag, 2001. (In Danish)).

The EU-Charter on Fundamental Rights: Nice Words or Increased Protection?
(Udenrigs, No. 1, 2001. (In Danish)).

The Big Brother Society
(Lov & Ret; Vol. 8, No. 4, 1998. Copenhagen: Advokatrådet, 1998. (In Danish)).

The Fight  Against  Discrimination  and  Ensuring  Equality
(Amsterdamtraktaten og menneskerettighederne. Ed. Eva Ersbøll and others. Copenhagen: The Danish Centre for Human Rights, 1998. (In Danish)).

Temporary Human Rights
(EXIL, Vol. 4, No. 2, 1995. The Danish Refugee Council, the Danish Centre for Human Rights, Department for Minority Studies, University of Copenhagen. Copenhagen: 1995. (In Danish)).

Global Responsibility and Global Solution: Asylum Policy
(Europa perspektiv 93: status og perspektiver for samarbejde i Europa, ed. Morten Espelund og Carl Thaarup Hansen. Copenhagen: Handelshøjskolens forlag, 1993. (In Danish)).

The Contributions of Voluntary Organisations to the Development of Democratic Governance
(The Role of Voluntary Organisations in Emerging Democracies: Experience and Strategies in Eastern and Central Europe and in South Africa, ed. Ann McKinstry Micou and Birgit Lindsnæs. Copenhagen: The Danish Centre for Human Rights, 1993).

Human Rights in Denmark
(Mennesker og rettigheter, Vol. 11, No. 1, 1993. Oslo: Scandinavian University Press, 1993. (In Danish)).

Minorities on the International Agenda: International Discourse on Minority Issues
(Geografisk Orientering, No. 1, 1993. Brenderup: Geografforbundet, 1993. (With Lene Johannesen) (In Danish)).

Human Rights: the Flight to Europe
(Social kritik,  No. 22/23, Nov.1992. Copenhagen: Selskabet til fremme af social debat, 1992. (With Christian Horst). (In Danish)).

The Evolving Role of UNHCR in the Broader UN perspective
(Problems and Prospects of Refugee Law, ed. Vera Gowlland and Klaus Samson. Geneva: The Graduate Institute of International Studies, 1992.

Myth and Reality in the Refugee Debate
(Mennesker & rettigheder, No. 1, 1991. Oslo: 1991. (With Arne Piel Christensen). (In Danish)).

Minorities on the International Agenda
(International Horisont, No. 4, 1991. Copenhagen: 1991. (With Lene Johannesen) (In Danish)).

The Role of Airline Companies in the Asylum Procedure
(Ed. Morten Kjaerum. Copenhagen: The Danish Refugee Council, 1988).

Relevant networks and professional links:

Member of the Executive Committee of the Association of Human Flights lnstitutes that today count more than 70 institutes at all continents;

Member of the advisory board of the lnstitute for Human Flights and Business, London

Chairing the Board of Trustees for the UN High Commissioner for Human Flights (advisory committee to the High Commissioner);

Regular contact and interaction with the World Bank

Regular contact and interaction with relevant EU, Council of Europe and OSCE;

Publications and activities:

  1. Academic articles in peer reviewed books and
  2. Speeches and presentations: Ikea, AP M0ller, Sweden-China Trade Council etc
  3. Business and human rights briefs, samt impact assessment of Quizzr:

Brief 1: Three baselines for business and Human Rights:

Brief 2: Regulating in a Transnational Context: Three Foundational Principles:

Brief 3: Policy Developments in Six Policy Channels:

Brief 4: A Two-Track, Multi-Channel Regulatory Model. Human Rights in the extractives industries: QuizRR lmpact Assessment:

Summer School planned for ltaly but cancelled due to Covid:

Global China: Resistance and Adaptation

Winter School on Human Flights and Business, Bangkok, 2019

Round-table for business on Human Flights in Iran, Stockholm 2018

Corruption and Human Rights

Roundtable on Anti-Corruption and Human Rights:

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