On October 11, the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice (CHRGJ), in collaboration with the International Network for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR-Net), previewed its Business and Human Rights Documentation (B-HRD) project through a panel event in Geneva where the project was received with great enthusiasm by key U.N. officials and civil society leaders in the field of business and human rights. CHRGJ Faculty Director Smita Narula, who directs the project, CHRGJ associate Jenae Noell, and International Human Rights Clinic member Sravya Boppana '11 travelled to Geneva for the event and also took part in a private civil society consultation organized by the U.N. Special Rapporteur on human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises, Professor John Ruggie.
B-HRD (pronounced “Be Heard”) is a unique web-based portal for business and human rights documentation and advocate-to-advocate strategy sharing. B-HRD has three major sections—an In Focus section that highlights particular situations of abuse and the strategies used by human rights defenders to hold businesses accountable; a Working Papers series that encourages cutting-edge scholarship in the business and human rights field to help inform legal and policy debates; and a searchable Database of human rights reports that provide first-hand documentation on the impact of businesses on human rights. Narula describes the need amongst human rights advocates for a tool like B-HRD: “Advocates from around the world are asking for better documentation of business-related abuses, for more legal and policy options to hold businesses accountable, and for a platform to share their justice-seeking strategies. B-HRD answers this call with a centralized source of information for those who want to learn more, and a forum for those whose voices need to be heard.”
More than three years in the making, B-HRD has been developed with active participation of members of the International Human Rights Clinic, including current member Jimmy Pan '12. CHRGJ expects to publicly launch B-HRD as a multilingual site (with French and Spanish versions) within the next few months.
Posted October 15, 2010