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Center for International Business and Human Rights

The University of Oklahoma College of Law has established the first International Business and Human Rights Center at a U.S. law school. The Center was founded in 2016 with a two-fold mission: (1) to prepare college of law students to address the growing human rights challenges faced by U.S. companies operating abroad, and (2) to provide academic think tank capabilities and expertise to positively influence contemporary international business and human rights ("IBHR") issues, with a particular focus on the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and energy sectors. The Center seeks to achieve this mission by hosting awareness raising events, engaging in legal advocacy on contemporary IBHR issues, offering cutting-edge courses, and producing relevant scholarship.

U.S. businesses are increasingly finding themselves in difficult operating environments abroad that have weak rule of law institutions and significant human rights problems. At the same time, the U.S. Government expects companies to respect human rights and conduct human rights due diligence in their operations, in line with the U.N. Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. A recent survey has found a significant number of companies now have human rights policies and companies more often than not expect their lawyers to serve as the implementers of such policies. These expectations require leadership by the legal community and support for U.S. businesses operating abroad.

The Center’s team is at the University of Oklahoma College of Law in Norman, Oklahoma. Evelyn Aswad, the Herman G. Kaiser Chair in International Law, is the founder and director of the Center. Follow the Center on Twitter: @OULawIBHR 

Updated 09/07/2017 by OU Law: lawcommunications@ou.edu

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