By bringing together the ILO and a global network of business schools who are committed to transforming business education, the MoU will create opportunities to pool academic, policy-oriented and practical expertise on key labour issues that affect responsible business conduct; including child labour, forced labour, discrimination, lack of workers’ representation, social dialogue, labour migration and fair recruitment. The intention is to develop a comprehensive toolbox of resources and equip business schools with accurate, relevant material to teach 21st century management skills to their students.
The collaboration between the ILO and these leading academic institutions in the field of business and human rights is intended to extend beyond the MoU. It has already led to the development of teaching materials on forced labour in the fishing industry. A technical workshop was held at the University of Geneva in November, with business school educators, ILO experts, and representatives of the fishing industry and business and human rights from Indonesia, Ghana and South Africa.
More technical workshops, on the fair recruitment of migrant workers and other relevant topics, are planned.
It will not be enough to form a new generation of human right lawyers, or to include optional courses on human rights in selected curricula. We need future business leaders equipped with the tools, knowledge, and expertise to recognize and address the changing realities of the word of work in a fair and just manner.."Manuela Tomei, Assistant Director General (ILO)
“It will not be enough to form a new generation of human right lawyers, or to include optional courses on human rights in selected curricula. We need future business leaders equipped with the tools, knowledge, and expertise to recognize and address the changing realities of the word of work in a fair and just manner,” Tomei added.
To address human rights challenges in business and advance human rights in practice, it is foundational to train future leaders."Yves Flückiger, Rector of the University of Geneva
To make a meaningful difference in addressing complex human rights challenges worldwide, business schools must work together and connect across sectors."Dan LeClair, CEO of GBSN
“To make a meaningful difference in addressing complex human rights challenges worldwide, business schools must work together and connect across sectors,” says Dan LeClair, CEO of GBSN. “Our commitment for this MoU is to make sure that happens.”
Background informationThe Geneva School of Economics and Management at Geneva University hosts the Geneva Center for Business and Human Rights (GCBHR), the first Human Rights Center at a European business school.
The Global Business School Network has been leading global discussions on business and human rights in business education through its dedicated impact community.
Businesses face new and complex global challenges that their executives need to navigate to ensure success. Increasing consumer awareness on human and labour rights, investment requirements on environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance, and a growing number of due diligence laws, require human rights expertise and new management skills.
Students are demanding that their business schools adapt quickly to these developments by incorporating human rights, including labour rights, into their curricula. They are also asking to be equipped with the necessary skills to take up their role as responsible business managers, decision makers, and global citizens.