2016 Tentative Meeting Schedule

The tentative schedule for the 2016 Human Rights & Business Roundtable is provided below. Please note that dates are subject to change due to unforeseen scheduling conflicts or in order to fit with the personal schedules of presenters. We will however make every effort to maintain the schedule as closely as possible.

Please note that attendance at the Roundtable is by invitation only.
If you are interested in joining the Roundtable, please contact Hannah Blyth.


March 17

Public Health Emergencies: The Risk to Operations and Communities
  Agenda and Downloads
Pandemics such as Ebola can become serious public health crises, as was seen recently in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. But they can also become serious security issues as well, both in terms of the authorities’ ability to keep order, but also for business operations. This problem can become even more acute in remote locations, where a company site may have the only functioning health clinic for miles around, and companies that may be in a state of lock-down might be confronted by local communities desperate for help. This roundtable will examine how public health crises can represent a serious security risk for companies and communities, with an emphasis on the need for robust emergency preparedness.
Photo credit: United Nations


June 16

Mandatory Versus Voluntary: Solutions to Conflict Minerals
  Agenda and Downloads
Without a doubt, the issue of conflict minerals in fragile and conflict-affected areas such as the Democratic Republic of Congo is a serious human rights concern, with linkages to armed groups and organized crime, and the widespread use of child labour in deplorable conditions. Though the problem is clear, finding a solution is not easy. Section 1402 of the Dodd-Frank Act sought to address this issue legislatively, and five years on, its success is unclear. This Roundtable will examine two distinct, but interrelated issues: how to effectively attempt to manage illegal and artisanal mining, and whether legislation is, or can be, a viable answer to complex political, social, and economic problems in countries a world away.
Photo credit: J.J. Messner/FFP


Sept 27

Beyond CSR: Sustainable Models for Private Sector Led Development
  Agenda and Downloads
The concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has evolved rapidly in recent years. In the past, CSR often centered on business supporting development goals through charitable giving such as building schools or medical clinics for local communities. However, in recent years the view of CSR has expanded to focus more on long-term, sustainable benefits that can be brought to communities, often through private-public partnerships. Indeed, some contemporary CSR efforts have begun to focus on the role of business in supporting supporting structural reform, such as peace building, the protection of human rights, and the inter-relationship with economic development. This roundtable will draw upon developing research on the significant role that private sector actors can play in promoting peace and stability, highlighted by the recent report by the Initiative for Global Development. The discussion will explore key arguments for where, why, and how private sector actors can contribute to the prevention of conflict; and how this can inform and extend the UN policy discussion around Responsibility to Protect.
Photo credit: Hannah Blyth/FFP



The Influence of Investors on Business and Human Rights
  Agenda and Downloads
When it comes to security and human rights, a company’s approach may be impacted in many ways, and different stakeholders will have varying levels of influence. As the adage goes, “money talks” and, as such, investors can have significant influence on company operations simply by virtue of applying conditions to their investment and monitoring compliance and performance to those standards. This Roundtable will examine the steps taken by investors to raise security and human rights standards, such as the International Finance Corporation’s Performance Standards, and the potential for multilateral and commercial investors alike to effect even more change in the future.
Photo credit: Stock



Business Approaches to Mitigating the Risk of Violent Extremism
  Agenda and Downloads
Terrorism and violent extremism continues to be a threat to societies across the globe. Although attacks on metropolitan areas gain headlines, the risk of terrorist attack on company employees, operations or assets presents a unique and potentially deadly risk for companies operating in fragile and conflict-affected areas. This Roundtable will examine the approaches taken by companies to mitigate the risks of violent extremism on their operations, and how it affects security decisions and their relationships with governments and local communities.
Photo credit: U.S. Department of Defense

* Exact date to be finalized in approximately 1-2 months in advance of each Roundtable. Please note that dates are subject to change.