Taking place online over three weekends between September and November, this annual Masters-level course explores the links between human rights violations and corporate activity, and the importance of international standards in strengthening respect and protection of human rights. Content will focus on what corporate human rights due diligence means in practice for businesses.

The course is hosted by the Department of Comparative Politics, University of Bergen, the Rafto Foundation for Human Rights, and the Institute for Human Rights and Business. The faculty includes experts from major international organisations and internationally acknowledged academic institutions, and global corporations, and offers ongoing interactions with these practitioners. The full 2020 faculty can be found below.

For more details (including costs), visit the University of Bergen website or contact Twitter for announcements on additional offerings between now and September 2021 intake.


2020 Course Overview

This course provides an in-depth appreciation of the way business impacts human rights, and the steps that are necessary to ensure that corporate conduct does not harm human rights, but contributes towards the realisation of rights. Sessions will comprise a mixture of lectures, seminars, group presentations and role play.

Training and discussion will focus on:

  • examining the ethical and legal standards, duties, and expectations of companies;
  • giving practical guidance for developing corporate strategies and due diligence consistent with international human rights standards;
  • emerging sector-specific and thematic issues on the human rights and business agenda, issues of contemporary relevance such as operating during pandemics and dealing with challenges of technology;
  • assessing the effectiveness of existing and proposed national and international standards, both mandatory and voluntary;
  • dilemmas where local standards and rules vary from and sometimes contradict global standards or policies;
  • case studies in a range of industries, delivered by business experts.

Topics for 2020 will include: UN human rights frameworks (international standards, including the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, UN Global Compact, Sustainable Development Goals, OECD National Contact Points); corporate due diligence in extractive, renewable energy, consumer products, agriculture, apparel; ethical investment and financing; corporate benchmarking; corporate complicity and international human rights law; ethical trade and labour rights in the supply chain; the role of unions; human rights defenders; business in conflict zones; remedy; just transition and climate. 

Special focus will be given in 2020 to the business and human rights implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, and to non-discrimination in the light of the Black Lives Matter movement. 


2020 Faculty

  • Maryam Al-Khawaja - Rafto Laureate, human rights defender, Bahrain
  • Sanyu Awori - Project Lead, Workers' Empowerment, Business and Human Rights Resource Centre
  • Nnimmo Bassey - Rafto Laureate; Mother Earth Foundation, Nigeria
  • Luisa Book - Engagement Lead, Fair Jobs Agenda, H&M Group
  • Reidun Brehr-Lånkan - Senior Advisor, Etisk Handel Norge
  • Sigrid Brynestad - Senior Sustainability Advisor, GIEK
  • Froydis Cameron-Johansson - Group Head, International and Government Relations, Anglo American Corp
  • Tina Davis - Special Advisor & Researcher, Coretta and Martin Luther King Institute for Peace
  • Dominique Day - Chair, UN Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent; founder, Daylight
  • Kathryn Dovey - Executive Director, Open for Business
  • Sikhulekile Duma - International and Government Relations Specialist, Anglo American
  • Jonar Johannes Eikeland – Course Coordinator, University of Bergen
  • Frode Elgesem - Chair, National Contact Point, Norway; judge, Borgarting Court of Appeal
  • Erik Hagen - Director, The Norwegian Support Committee for Western Sahara
  • Malin Helgesen - Legal Counsel, Business and Human Rights, Equinor
  • Atle Høie  - Assistant Secretary General, IndustriALL
  • Linda Ingolfsdottir - Strategy Lead, Fair Jobs Agenda, H&M Group
  • Therese Jebsen - Senior Advisor, RAFTO Foundation
  • Scott Jerbi - Senior Advisor, Policy and Outreach, IHRB
  • Harpreet Kaur - Business and Human Rights Specialist, UNDP Asia-Pacific
  • Jostein Hole Kobbeltvedt - Executive Director, Rafto Foundation for Human Rights
  • Sudarshana Kundu - Co-executive Director, Gender at Work
  • Camille Le Pors - Lead, Corporate Human Rights Benchmark, World Benchmarking Alliance
  • Marcela Manubens - Global Vice President - Social Impact, Unilever
  • Asria Mohamed - Human rights defender
  • Frank Mugisha - Rafto Laureate, human rights defender
  • Elise Must - Head, Corporate Responsibility, Hydro
  • Sidsela Nyebak - Vice President, Head of Corporate Sustainability, Statkraft
  • Åsne Burgess Øyehaug - CSR Manager, Group Sustainability, Norsk Hydro
  • Beena Pallical - Rafto laureate; Chair, Dalit Arthik, National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights
  • Ron Popper - Chief Executive, Global Business Initiative on Human Rights*
  • Anita Ramasastry - UN Working Group, Business and Human Rights; Professor of Law, University of Washington*
  • Nick Robins - Professor in Practice - Sustainable Finance, London School of Economics, UK
  • Pia Rudolfsson Goyer - Founder, Ahead for Business and Human Rights*
  • Mark Taylor - Researcher, FAFO*
  • Salil Tripathi - Senior Advisor, Global Issues, IHRB
  • Wesley Wilson - Head of Agriculture, Food and Beverage, World Economic Forum


2020 Course Outcomes 

Upon completion of the course, the student should be able to:

  • demonstrate a thorough knowledge of human rights standards and of how they apply to companies;
  • demonstrate a specialised understanding of the human rights challenges facing companies;
  • understand the need for corporate due diligence and identify ways of undertaking it;
  • understand how to identify if practises are consistent with human rights standards;
  • analyse why corporate conduct arouses suspicion in many parts of the world;
  • discuss and assess risks as well as provide possible solutions regarding the human rights challenges facing companies;
  • develop strong, sophisticated approaches based on due diligence assessment methods and tools companies use in order to ensure respect for human rights;
  • understand the human rights challenges companies face;
  • communicate and evaluate these challenges on a detailed and sophisticated level;
  • explore various options of engagement with human rights, including with organisations that may be hostile to companies.


2020 Requirements and Outputs

This course is available to masters students, professionals and anyone interested in business and human rights. A bachelor degree or equivalent and/or at least two years’ work experience required. The course is with 15 ECTS credit points. Students will be required to:

  • write and deliver a presentation either as a group or individually*;
  • complete a take-利来w66老牌home paper of not more than 4,500 words, to be submitted within a month after it has been handed out (Grading scale A-F).

*Due to Covid-19, in 2020 the mandatory oral presentation is replaced with an individual mandatory written presentation on one of the topics covered by this course.

Watch some one minute videos from faculty:


And some one minute videos from alumni: