Skip to Main Content Return to the New England Law | Boston home page

Business and Human Rights

The Center for International Law and Policy’s focus on Business and Human Rights enables students to engage in the current global effort to hold corporations accountable for activities that negatively impact human rights.  CILP participates in the global dialogue spearheaded by Professor John Ruggie, who as special representative to the United Nations General Secretary drafted the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), which were unanimously approved by the UN Human Rights Council in 2011.

The “Ruggie Principles” have created an international framework that has galvanized civil society, governments, and companies to explore how to assure that human rights norms are better respected in business practices.  Significantly, this movement enjoys support from numerous multinational companies, many of which have begun to integrate compliance mechanisms into their everyday operations.

To promote UNGPs and discuss their implementation, the UN created a working group that convened its first annual forum in December 2012.  Over 1,000 participants attended, including governments and business representatives.  CILP attended the 2013 meeting and plans to continue to be an active participant in this discussion.

Students attending a UN session New England Law students participating in a Human Rights Committee session at the UN.

CILP contributes to the ongoing development of the UNGPs by offering assistance at the level of civil society and at the United Nations.  Recent Business and Human Rights projects include: