Welcome dear Reader!
With our first contribution, Sofia and I wish to explain some of the reasons which motivate us to start this blog.
I came to human rights not as an activist, but chose to study International Human Rights Law. Therefore, my first motivation for the blog is to create a platform for debating Business and Human Rights issues from both theoretical and practical angles. Thereby, my focus lies on ascertaining how and where the law can indeed improve people’s lives. For instance, in 2014 civil society organisations successfully lobbied States at the United Nations Human Rights Council to establish an inter-governmental working group which is going to elaborate a legally binding treaty on the human rights responsibilities of transnational and other corporations this year. Already the lobbying for such a treaty was contentious. Critics include Dr. Michael Addo who is member of the Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises since 2011. He feared non-governmental organisations would push too far by demanding that the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights would be implemented as binding international treaty. Assessing the practical value of this treaty to improve people’s lives is only possible if as many different people as possible – future and current academics, business and human rights practitioners and interested members of the public from different societies and countries – join the conversation.
Underlying is my second reason: the world in which we live is very complex and so are the state of human rights in supply chain management, production processes and the consumption of goods. It is tempting to give up in the face of this gigantic Gordian Knot. In line with many different moral, spiritual and/or religious traditions, I think that if we do not at least try debating and applying different approaches to potential solutions, we become accomplices to the human rights abuses and violations which occur in our presence.
Intertwined with this, I wish to create this blog as a space. A space where all those amazing individuals and groups who work on inventing and establishing socio-economic alternatives to the world we know today can present their ideas and projects (check out my upcoming global overview of innovative alternatives). There are millions of people who invest their time and energy into shaping alternative ways to communicate, live and organise our societies. They are regularly ignored by commercial media which is marked by a sensationalist focus on negativity. Hence, this blog is about more than Sofia’s and my thoughts. Ideally, the blog will be what our commentators, contributors and interview partners are making it to be together with us.
Welcome to our blog! Use it as a platform to comment, exchange ideas and present your opinion and/or your project.