New Human Rights Lab course offers research, writing, and service-learning credits

Class-400Register Now for Spring Course: “Business and Human Rights Advocacy Lab”

What does it mean to be a human rights advocate? This course explores this question with a focus on the exciting, rapidly evolving area of business and human rights. Student teams will work on research projects for outside organizations, such as the UN, NGOs based in India, and multinational companies that are in the process of developing human rights policies. Examples of broad issues that students might work on include child and forced labor, efficacy of voluntary vs. binding rules for corporate conduct, “best practices” for labor rights, and the role of the financial sector and human rights. These collaborative, hands-on projects introduce students to a range of critical policy skills, including legal research, designing and mapping project goals and implementation, client interviewing and, most importantly, writing reports and policy briefs for partner organizations.

In addition to policy projects, class readings and discussions will focus on core debates in the business and human rights field, as well as key ethical challenges of human rights advocacy: What are and what should be the human rights obligations of multinational corporations? Which advocacy strategies have worked in promoting corporate accountability, and which have backfired?  What are the risks and strategic benefits of civil society-corporate partnerships? How should human rights advocates confront the ethical challenges involved in promoting corporate accountability in foreign, and, especially developing, countries?  This course is available for writing, research and service learning credits, and is limited to 10-12 students. Permission of instructor is required. For more information, please contact: Suzanne Katzenstein (sk272@duke.edu)

Business and Human Rights
ICS 317S, Ethics 301S, PolSci 341S;
Requirements Fulfilled: Seminar, EI, R, W, Service Learning