Lecturing on Business and Human Rights in China
Professor Bård Anders Andreassen from the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights visited several universities in China for a lecturing tour on Business and Human Rights 23-30 May.
Professor Bård Anders Andreassen lecturing for students at Renmin University in Beijing.
The first lecture took place at the Research Institute for Human Rights at China University of Political Science and Law (CUPL). Professor Andreassen presented on “International Financial Institutions and Human Rights Obligations”. The teachers and students participating engaged in a heated discussion on the relationship between soft law and hard law in this field, as well as international investment law and international human rights law.
Professor Andreassen concluded that international financial institutions have an enormous impact on the way business actors deal with human rights.
Business and Corporate Social Responsibility
Another lecture on "Business and Corporate Social Responsibility" was organized by the Human Rights Center at Renmin University. Together with Dr. Liang Xiaohui, Deputy Chief Economist of China Textile Information Center and Principal Investigator of China Textile Industry Federation Social Responsibility Office, Professor Andreassen introduced several issues on the right to development, the Sustainable Development Goals, the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and the commercial and human rights treaties that are closely linked to social responsibility or international human rights law. Dr. Liang also introduced the development of corporate social responsibility in China as well as China’s practice in outward investment.
Implementation and Enforcement
The last stop was the Institute for Human Rights at Fudan University in Shanghai. Professor Andreassen gave a lecture to the Master students on “Business and Human Rights: Implementation and Enforcement”. By discussing why and how conducting business may have significant impact on human rights, he mapped out some of the important developments in the human rights and business discourse during the last decade. Andreassen held that human rights have extended the corporate social responsibility approach and shifted the focus towards human rights compliance. In addition, he introduced the methodology of human rights research and analysis which was well received by the students.
Professor Andreassen also met other partners such as Peking University and Wuhan University to discuss matters of future cooperation on human rights education.