Call for Papers: Business and Human Rights



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IFIM Law Review


Call For Paper 

Theme: Business and Human Rights 

Historically, the Human Rights framework developed on the understanding  that States were the only subjects of international law. Traditionally, therefore,  much of the Human Rights’ obligations were given to the States. However,  with the rapid rise of globalisation, today, many Multi-National Corporations  (MNCs) and International Financial Organisations (IFOs) have become bigger  players than some of the states. The resources at their disposal, both human  and capital, are enormous. Some of these MNCs/IFOs are even capable of  influencing policy making (see Outer Space regime for example). Therefore,  slowly, but surely, the human rights framework is being expanded to include  the MNCs/IFOs into its ambit. In 2011, the United Nations adopted the  Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGP-BHR). This year  marks the 10-year anniversary of the UNGP-BHR. It is an appropriate time to  assess the success and failures of the UNGP-BHR in the last ten years.  

In the domestic sphere, however, States have always had the obligation of  protecting and upholding human rights. Here, States’ obligations arise from  their commitment under international law and under domestic law. In the  recent past, the Indian government has had run-ins with social media  platforms Facebook and Twitter. Claims of breach of privacy have been made  against these social media platforms. It has also been argued that these sites  have failed to check propagation of hate-speech, which has resulted in loss of  life in some cases. In the past, human rights defender were allegedly attacked  by MNCs/IFOs in India. When taken to court, some of the MNCs/IFOs try to  take the defence of sovereign immunity. A 2018 decision by the Supreme  Court of the United States of America ruled that IFOs cannot claim absolute  immunity (Jam et. al.). 

In this background, the IFIM Law Review calls for expressions of interest for a  research colloquium. Researchers are encouraged to submit their works in  progress which specifically answer some of the following questions or their  likes:

● What has been the impact of the UNGP-BHR in safeguarding human  rights? 

● What kind of liability mechanisms have developed since the adoption of  the UNGP-BHR? 

● What is the efficacy of the existing liability mechanisms of the heads of  the MNCs/IFOs? 

● What has been the response of parliamentary committees as far as human  rights’ violations by the MNCs/IFOs are concerned? 

● To what extent can the social-media platforms be held responsible for  violation of human rights, under domestic laws of a state? 

● To what extent can the heads of the MNCs/IFOs be held individually  liability for violations of human rights? 

● How can the Artificial Intelligence, used by MNCs/IFOs, be brought  under the purview of human rights regime?  

Early career scholars, PhD candidates, post-graduate students and under graduate students are encouraged to submit an abstract (300 words) of their  works to by 25th August 2021. Selected abstracts will  be notified by 31st August 2021. Draft papers (5000-8000 words) for the  Research Colloquium will be due by 30th September 2021. The Colloquium  will take place virtually on 23rd October 2021.  

Post the Colloquium, authors of best fifteen papers will be asked to submit a  revised version of their paper to by 10th November  2021. These paper will be published in the IFIM Law Review by 15th December 2021

For any question, please write to

The Colloquium is being organised by Aman Kumar, Assistant Professor,  IFIM Law School, Bengaluru, India.


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