Human Rights in Business Program (HRIBP)

The Human Rights in Business Program (HRIBP) is dedicated to promoting respect of the human rights of people affected by business activities around the world. We believe that business practices and human rights must be brought into alignment, and that business success depends on embedding respect of human rights into the core of corporate culture. HRIBP advances human rights in businesses through applied and policy relevant research on key human rights and business issues, educational activities to raise awareness about the corporate responsibility to respect human rights, and support of practical initiatives focused on actively channeling business activities to positively impact on human rights. All those affected by economic activities must be part of the solution. Therefore, HRIBP works in a collaborative fashion with businesses and their stakeholders, providing a neutral convening space to identify common ground on means to improve governance and foster rights-respecting business practices.

HRIBP's Areas of Work


A core project of HRIBP is the Accountability for the Security Sector in Risk Environments(ASSURE) project. ASSURE seeks to foster respect for human rights by private security companies operating around the world through strategic engagement with industry leaders and key stakeholders in government, civil society, and academia. As a global industry operating in complex environments, private security companies and their clients and stakeholders have had to identify means to address pressing human rights challenges and fill the governance gaps left by home and host states unwilling or unable to regulate the industry. ASSURE’s objectives are to contribute to the development of industry standards – the Center is member of the civil society pillar of the International Code of Conduct Association, a Geneva-based multi-stakeholder initiative dedicated to ensuring private security providers respect human rights and humanitarian law;  to raise awareness about industry standards and best practices, and to improve companies’ ability to adhere to standards and uphold human rights in their operations; and to conduct and disseminate policy and business relevant research on the private security industry.

Networked Expertise in Support of Human Rights Impact Assessment

The Center is joining forces with American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, Scientific Responsibility, Human Rights, and Law Program; American Bar Association’s Center for Human Rights, Business and Human Rights Project; and NomoGaia to bring multidisciplinary expertise to bear on the corporate due diligence process. The project connects thought leaders and practitioners in the fields of natural and social sciences, business, human rights, and law to create a network to foster the gathering, sharing, and use of information necessary to facilitate the corporate responsibility to respect human rights. The goal of the project is to make multinational business a force for positive development and human rights protection worldwide through promotion of corporate Human Rights Impact Assessments (HRIA). Our objectives are to generate and promote consensus on HRIA methodological standardization and good practices; share information on HRIA via a web-based portal, the HRIA Knowledge Hub; foster a multidisciplinary network of experts on HRIA; share knowledge and educate experts in related disciplines, areas of practice, and fields of impact assessment on HRIA; and transparently test pilot good practices in interdisciplinary HRIA methods.

Events & Activities

The Business and Human Rights Series: Together with the International Bar Association and the American Bar Association’s Center for Human Rights, we have been conducting events in the D.C. area to raise awareness in the business and legal communities about the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, discuss key business and human rights issues, and showcase efforts to promote responsible business conduct.

January 2017: U.S. National Action Plan on Responsible Business Conduct: Initial Reflections on the Way Here & the Road Ahead

May 2016: Companies and Climate Change: Legal Liability and Human Rights Challenges After Paris/COP21

July 2015: FIFA and the World Cup

April 2015: Business and Human Rights Conference: Trends, Challenges, and the Road Ahead

December 2014: Mega Sporting Events

July 2014: Doing Business in Burma

May 2014: The Evolution of a Corporate Idealist

May 2014: Best Practices and Lessons Learned

February 2014: Implementing the U.N. Guiding Principles

Other Past Events

Human Rights Reading Group: Finding Solutions for Business and Human Rights Dilemmas

ISO 18788: The New Standard for Responsible Security Operations Seminar

Workshop on Training Private Military and Security Companies


Transnational Governance Through Standards and Codes of Conduct

Certifying Responsible Private Security Companies: Assessing the Implementation of Transparency and Disclosure Provisions Report

Montreux Five Years On: An analysis of State efforts to implement Montreux Document legal obligations and good practices

Who We Are

Rebecca DeWinter-Schmitt, Program Director (pro bono)

Yasmin Mansour, Herman Schwartz Israel Human Rights Law Fellow