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Business and Human Rights in Conflict

The CHRC has been developing research on Business and Human Rights since it started its work. Dr. Olga Martin-Ortega has been involved in several projects and working groups which explore the impact of business activities and working methods on human rights and the options of international legal regulation. Several exciting initiatives are currently underway:

  • The Research Group on Private International Law and Human Rights: lead by Professor Francisco Zamora Cabot this group integrates a series of prestigious Spanish academics working on the issues of business and human rights and the highly recognised practitioner Mr. Henry S. Dahl. The other members of the group are:  Juan José Álvarez Rubio,  José Luis Iriarte Ángel, Olga Martín-Ortega, Alberto Muñoz Fernández , Lorena Sales Pallarés, and Nicolás Zambrana Tévar. The  Research Group is has produced some outputs including:
    • The Group contributed to the work of the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights by responding to the call for input in March 2012.  
    • In May 2012 the research group held its first conference on “Empresas y Derechos Humanos: El estado de la question”, at the University of Castellon (Valencia, Spain).
  • The European Society of International Law Interest Group on Business and Human Rights: Dr. Olga Martin-Ortega is currently member of the board of this ESIL Interest Group, together with Dr. Marta Requejo Isidro and Dr. Freya Beatens. The group has a specialised blog and met for the first time in the ESIL Biannual Conference in Valencia, 13-15 September 2012.
  • Dr. Olga Martin-Ortega has also been involved with an international research project led by the University of Sevilla (Spain) on “The responsibility of Spanish transnational corporations with regards to human rights: towards a general framework for public policy”. This project was coordinated by Dr. Marquez Carrasco and financed by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology. The three years project aimed at analysing the complex discussion surrounding the responsibility of transnational corporations with regard to the respect of human rights in the specific context of Spain. The international team of researchers included Dr. Olga Martin-Ortega, Dr. Marquez Carrasco (University of Sevilla), Dr. Memo Kamminga (Maastricht University), Dr. Elisabeth Salomon (Universidad Pontificia Catolica de Peru), Dr. Dr.Fabrizio Marrella (European Inter–University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation -EIUC); Dr. Wouter Vandenhole (Antwerp University); Dr. Patrick Macklen (University of Toronto); Vanessa Casado (Universidad Pablo Olavide de Sevilla) and ); Dr. Assier Martinez de Bringas; Dr. Marco Aparicio Wilhem (University of Girona); Dr. David Bondia; Dr. Jaume Saura Espata (University of Barcelona) Dr. Pablo Gutierrez Vega; Dr. Miguel Angel Martinez Lopez and Dr. Luis Rodriguez Pinero (University of Sevilla).

The CHRC has held several seminars on the topic, including a research workshop on Business and Human Rights in Conflict (2007), which sought to explore the role of private sector in situations of armed conflict, with focus on specific case studies, legal responses and policy, advocacy and business responses.