Blog: Business and Human Rights

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April 17, 2013

Today: Clinic Launches New Organization On Business and Human Rights

Event Notice

April 17, 2013

“MSI Integrity: A New Business and Human Rights Organization”

4:30-6:30 pm

Harkness South

Drinks will be served!

Join the International Human Rights Clinic for the launch of the Institute for Multi-Stakeholder Initiative Integrity, a non-profit organization the Clinic has helped get off the ground. MSI Integrity aims to strengthen the ability of multi-stakeholder initiatives, like Fairtrade and the Kimberley Process, to respect human rights, prevent violations, and remedy abuses.

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February 14, 2011

Guiding Principles: Defining the Next Decade of Business and Human Rights

Posted by TYler Giannini

In recent years, Harvard Kennedy School Professor John Ruggie has emerged as the most important person in the field of business and human rights.  On Thursday, from 5:00-7:00 pm in Pound Hall, he’ll speak about the Guiding Principles, the culmination of five years of his work as UN Special Representative on the issue.

UN Special Representative John Ruggie

The Principles will be the defining document for business and human rights for the coming decade. It’s really a privilege to have him come and speak about them, right when they’re in the process of being rolled out and voted on by states later this spring.

Click here for a recent memo Ruggie wrote about follow-up to his recommendations.

This event is sponsored by International Legal Studies, the Human Rights Program, HLS Advocates for Human Rights, and the Harvard Human Rights Journal.

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February 4, 2011

This Just In: Kiobel Petition for Rehearing En Banc Denied

Posted by Susan Farbstein and Tyler Giannini

In a 5-5 split, the Second Circuit today denied the plaintiffs’ petition for rehearing en banc in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co.  We’ll be posting more soon on this crucially important case, in which the panel previously decided that corporations cannot be held liable for human rights violations under the Alien Tort Statute.  In the meantime, we’re posting today’s orders here and here; they make for fascinating reading.

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February 4, 2011

Child Labor in Liberia: Clinic Files Amicus Curiae Brief In Firestone Case

Posted by Susan Farbstein

The International Human Rights Clinic filed another amicus curiae brief in a major corporate Alien Tort Statute (ATS) case today.  The case, Boimah Flomo v. Firestone Natural Rubber Co., brings claims for child labor on Firestone’s rubber plantation in Liberia, alleging that children as young as five were forced to work long hours; to use dangerous tools and hazardous chemicals that often caused serious injury; and that many were unable to pursue their education as a result of this forced labor.

The Clinic’s amicus brief, filed with the Seventh Circuit on behalf of professors of legal history, argues that the history and purpose of the ATS support what the text explicitly provides: jurisdiction extends to all causes in which an alien sues for a tort in violation of international law, including cases against corporate defendants.  Two other amicus briefs in support of the appeal were filed on behalf of Nuremberg scholars and international law scholars.

As usual, our brief was a team effort.  Tyler Giannini and I worked with clinical students Poppy Alexander, JD ’12, Michael Gibaldi, JD ’12, Ryan Mitchell, JD ’12, Lina Peng, JD ’12, and Marissa Vahlsing, JD ’11, who all contributed to the process.

Continue Reading…

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