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About the IBHRP

The European Union and the United States share the largest economic relationship in the world, generating about 65% of the world’s GNP. We share core values about democracy, market economics, and the rule of law, and have actively, but with distinct political positions and means, promoted open economies and economic globalization.

We also share a commitment to human rights. Recently, however, it has been recognized that there is a tension between principles of market economics in international business activities on one hand, and human rights on the other. In both the EU and the U.S., there is an emerging set of legal principles that requires private actors in international business operations to comply with human rights standards. In both the EU and the U.S., normative arguments for corporate social responsibility are taking legislative and judicial shape, putting human rights on the agenda of internationally operating business enterprises.  

The Stanford-Vienna International Business and Human Rights Program (IBHRP) aims to examine how the current legal framework for international business activities intersects with national and international human rights standards. Using a comparative and transatlantic perspective, IBHRP will conduct law and policy-oriented research. Our goal is to develop a transatlantic agenda for the EU and the U.S. to join forces to protect human rights world-wide in an international business environment. It is IBHRP’s objective to rethink and to analyze the relevant current und future challenges involved.

Key elements of IBHRP activities include conferences, seminars, workshops, meetings, research projects, courses, joint study programs, and continuing education programs.

The IBHRP has been established in 2009 and is a joint international initiative of Stanford University and the University of Vienna. In Vienna, the IBHRP is embedded in University of Vienna's Research Platform "Human Rights in the European Context" coordinated by the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights. The IBHRP is co-directed by Siegfried Fina, Associate Professor of Law, Department of Commercial and Business Law, University of Vienna School of Law; and Helen Stacy, Senior Fellow, Freeman Spogli Institute, Stanford University and co-ordinator, Human Rights Progam in the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law.

Research Centre Human Rights

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