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Barbara Linder


T: +43 1 4277-22342

E: barbara.linder@univie.ac.at




“Human Rights Responsibilities of Development and Export Credit Agencies- To which Extent does Corporate Social Responsibility Contribute to Human Rights Compliance of Public Agencies?” (working title)

The research project will explore new ways of mainstreaming and ensuring a human rights based approach to development and poverty reduction by means of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). It will focus on development and export credit agencies in four European countries namely Austria, Germany, Sweden and France that have signed the UN Global Compact. The starting point lies in their double role as legally private corporations acting on a public mandate and therefore equally disposing of public authority and increased human rights responsibilities.The research question to be explored consists in the analysis whether CSR can function as a common human rights accountability mechanism for public and private development actors by enhancing internal human rights responsibilities of their own conduct and by setting and monitoring certain conditions for their private sector project partners, which oblige them to pursue a human rights compliant business conduct. The aim and ultimate outcome of the study lies in the elaboration of recommendations towards a CSR-based human rights accountability mechanism bridging the gap between public and private development actors. By strengthening this way the common accountability for a human rights based approach to development the results will feed into the overreaching development goal of poverty eradication.


Barbara Linder completed her law studies at the University of Vienna and specialized with a Masters Degree in Human Rights and Democratisation (E.MA) at the European Inter University Centre in Venice, Italy. Her Master thesis dealt with conflicting issues between religion and human rights and analysed the impact of religious values on AIDS prevention in the Philippines and the United States.

She started her professional career in the field of development cooperation working for UNICEF and the Austrian Development Cooperation. Since 2007 she has been acting as a legal researcher for the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights. She worked on asylum law, Austrian police and security services, children’s rights, and finally specialized in human rights and business.

Research Interests

Barbara Linder’s research interests include
◦human rights and business,
◦labour rights
◦human rights in development cooperation
◦asylum law

Positions/Work Experience/HR Experience

◦September – December 2005: Research Assistant, UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre, Child Protection/ Child Rights Unit, Florence, Italy.
◦February 2006- January 2007: Project Manager, Education, Austrian Development Agency, Vienna, Austria.
◦February 2007- date: Legal Researcher, Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights, Vienna, Austria.

Co-organised Conferences

Labour Rights and Responsibilities (LARRGE) conference (CSR tool development and implementation) held in Vienna, September 2009; organisation and participation.

Publications and Research Reports

2011: Datenschutz und Corporate Social Responsibility: Stärker zu zweit! (Data protection and CSR: stronger as a pair), in: Nothing to hide – nothing to fear?, Jahrbuch Menschenrechte 2011, Böhlau, Vienna 2011, 226-242, together with Stefanie Dörnhöfer and Astrid Steinkellner
2010: LARRGE, Labour-Rights-Responsibilities-Guide, Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights (ed.), together with Astrid Steinkellner and Tom Sorell, EU-PROGRESS project, published on http://www.larrge.eu/en/larrgeguide/larrge-guide-inhaltsverzeichnis.html; Vienna 2010
2009: Ex-post Evaluation of the Ilisu Dam and HEPP Project (Human Rights Matrix, Human Rights Impact Assessment-Turkey, Human Rights Checklist, Recommendations) (consulting report)
2008: Alternative Report on the Implementation of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography, (NGO shadow report)
2008: Final Report on Quality Assurance of First Instance Asylum Procedures in Austria, (consulting report)
2005: Freedom of Religion and Human Rights- Conflicting Values? The Impact of Religious Values on AIDS Prevention: A Case Study of the Philippines and the United States, (master thesis, University of Padua)

Studies Abroad

1999- 2000 Erasmus Exchange Program, Besancon, France
2004-2005 European Master in Human Rights and Democratisation, Venice /Padua, Italy

Courses taught

Seminar on Human Rights and Business, together with Prof. Manfred Nowak, spring 2011


Forschungszentrum Menschenrechte
Universität Wien

Hörlgasse 6/9
A-1090 Wien

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