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Bridging the Gap: the Human Rights Zone

In the final session, we will consider whether the concept of a human rights zone for business decision-makers helps to bridge business law and human rights. Early in his mandate, the UN Special Representative on Business and Human Rights John Ruggie observed that business law and human rights are “often viewed as distinct legal and policy spheres, populated by different communities of practice.” As we have seen, these disparate realms are pulled together–sometimes in surprising ways; but there are also powerful tensions between them. In the final session of the workshop, we return to the question that we considered at the outset: what do we mean when we speak of “the corporate responsibility to respect human rights?” As a way to bring the many threads of discussion together, I introduce the heuristic of the human rights zone for corporate decision-makers. The last half of the final session is reserved for open discussion on questions raised by the participants and an attempt to forecast the “future of business and human rights.”

Main objective of today’s discussion:

  • To introduce the concept of the human rights zone for corporate decision makers and to elicit opinions about its usefulness for bridging the disparate realms of business law and human rights.

This workshop has no pre-requisites and is open to all students.

For more information and workshop materials, visit: https://canvas.harvard.edu/courses/53562


December 6, 2018
1:15 pm - 3:00 pm
Event Category:


WCC 3036 Room


Malcolm Rogge
Graduate Program