The BHRE strives to produce high quality, policy-relevant research on the social and sustainability impact of global business activities and to serve as a platform for engagement between academia and stakeholders, including non-governmental organisations, governments and public bodies and industry. We work with key organisations and practitioners in the field in order to reach the wider society and have a positive impact in advancing the protection and promotion of human rights and sustainable development. 

Academic Networks

The members of the BHRE are involved in numerous international academic networks and have links with other research groups and centres in the UK and across the world, including:

International Learning Lab on Procurement and Human RightsThe Learning Lab on Public Procurement and Human Rights is a network of academics, non-governmental organisations and procurement professionals which main aim is to facilitate the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) in the context of public procurement. To accomplish this goal, the Learning Lab is mapping procurement law and practice in selected countries, developing good practices reports, and convening decision-makers so they can share innovations. We are also developing on-line tools and guidance and sharing them with governments and purchasing consortia to further advance socially responsible public procurement. The Learning Lab is managed by the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR-USA), the Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR), the Harrison Institute at Georgetown University Law Center (USA), and the Public Procurement Research Group at the University of Nottingham’s School of Law. The BHRE is part of its International Steering Committee and leads the Electronics Hub of the Lab.

Business, Conflict and Human Rights NetworkThe BCHR Network brings together researchers, practitioners and NGO representatives from various fields with the aim of researching and analysing the role of business in conflict situations as well as the violations of human and peoples’ rights and other social and environmental impacts that such involvement may have. It also looks at the potential role of companies in relation to peace building. The Network holds annual conferences on this topic. Dr. Olga Martin-Ortega has been a founding member and currently serves in its interim managing group.

BHRight Initiative: The mission of the BHRight Initiative is to promote teaching and research on Business and Human Rights (BHR) across law,management and other social science disciplines within academic institutions and reaching beyond academic institutions to engage with business entities and other stakeholders. It is coordinated by Professor Karin Bauhmann at the Cophenhagen Business School.

CEIDA (Research Network on Corporate Social Responsibility in Extractive Industries in Developing Areas), ESADE: This initiative brings together scholars and practitioners working on mining issues and community relations under the leadership of Professor Pep Maria, Institute for Social Innovation, ESADE. 

Interest Group on Business and Human Rights of the European Society of International Law: This Interest Group was created in 2011 to bring together academic, practitioners and those with an interest in the topic in the framework of the European Society of International Law. Its main aim is to foster debate and collaboration among its members and to organise research workshops to discuss the fast developing advances with regards to the dynamic between economic activities and actors and the enjoyment and fulfillment of human rights. Dr. Olga Martin-Ortega was a founding member of the Group and served as a member of its Coordinating Committee until September 2015.  

Procurement Law Academic Network (PLAN): We are members of this permanent global network of academics interested in public procurement law and regulatory policy, coordinated by the Public Procurement Research Group at the University of Nottingham, UK.

We are also members of the Global Network for the Study of Human Rights and the Environment and the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law.

External Stakeholders

The BHRE aims to produce policy relevant research on the social and sustainability impact of global business activities. In their work they engage with key organisations and practitioners in the field in order for their work to reach the wider society and have a positive impact in advancing the protection and promotion of human rights and sustainable development.

Engagement with non-governmental organizations: The BHRE is a member of the international network on human rights and sustainability in electronics Good Electronics, which brings together networks, organisations and individuals that are concerned about human rights, including labour rights, and sustainability issues in the global electronics supply chain, including trade unions, grass roots organisations, campaigning and research organisations, academia, and activists. The members of the BHRE have supported and advised the international organisation Electronics Watch from its origin ( . Dr. Martin-Ortega and Dr. Outhwaite belong to its Advisory Group and Dr. Martin-Ortega is a member of its Board of Trustees.

Engagement with the industry: Dr. Martin-Ortega has participated as an expert in the HP Living Progress Programme to reform and innovate in sustainability and responsibility of the HP supply chain. The HP Living Progress Exchange Report 2015 is available here.

Engagement with public authorities and public bodies: In 2015 Dr. Martin-Ortega was also elected as a member of the Board of Directors of the London Universities Purchasing Consortium (LUPC, ). Andy Davies, Director of the LUPC, said on her recruitment: “we are delighted to welcome Olga as a new member of the Board, and are sure she will highly contribute to achieving our goals to push the sustainability agenda even further”. 

Media engagement and wider dissemination of research: Dr. Outhwaite and Dr. Martin-Ortega regularly attend media calls. Dr. Martin-Ortega contributed to the latest report of the investigative journalistic organization Danwatch: “Servants of servers” (October 2015). Dr. Outhwaite and Dr. Martin-Ortega regularly contribute to non-academic dissemination. In 2015 their article on the electronics industry supply chain featured in the LUPC magazine Linked with the article “Electronics with heart”, which is distributed to several hundred public bodies.

Header Photo Credit: A Weavers' Dream, Ata Adnan@