Focus Areas

The Center focuses its scholarship, legal engagement, events, and courses on the energy and extractive sectors and Internet & Communication Technology (ICT) companies.  In its legal engagement, the Center prioritizes providing academic think tank support to multi-stakeholder initiatives in these fields.

In December 2016, Professor Aswad was admitted as an academic participant in the Global Network Initiative.  This multi-stakeholder initiative is composed of companies (Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo!, Linkedin), NGOs (Human Rights Watch, Center for Democracy & Technology, Committee to Protect Journalists, Human Rights First, PEN American Center, etc.), investors (Boston Common Asset Management, Calvert Investments, Trillium Asset Management, Walden Asset Management, etc.), and academics.  The mission of this initiative is to help companies provide their services without negatively impacting the international human rights to free expression and privacy of users.

The Center also closely follows the work of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights.  Over fifteen years ago, the United States and the United Kingdom formed this multi-stakeholder initiative, which includes companies (Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Hess Corporation, Shell, etc.), NGOs (Human Rights Watch, The Fund for Peace, International Alert, etc.), and governments (Australia, Canada, Colombia, Ghana, The Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and United States).  The mission of this initiative is to help companies in the energy and extractive sectors engage the security they need to conduct their operations without negatively impacting the human rights of local populations.