Summer Institute Addresses Business and Human Rights in the Asia Pacific

Singapore, 18 July 2012 — The 5th annual Summer Institute in International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and Human Rights is taking place from 16 to 26 July 2012 in Singapore and focus on the topic of business and human rights.

The Summer Institute is a regionally based workshop held in partnership with organizations in Southeast Asia to consider key IHL and human rights issues, past and present, facing the region. Established in 2008 by the Asian International Justice Initiative, a collaborative project between the East-West Center and the War Crimes Studies Center, the Summer Institute is designed for participants working across a broad range of fields and disciplines within the Asia Pacific region or whose work has an Asia Pacific focus. Previous Summer Institute sessions have attracted lawyers, journalists, government officials, and NGO workers from more than 15 countries.

The 2012 Summer Institute is a unique collaborative effort of organizing institutions from Asia, the United States and Europe involving the East-West Center (EWC), U.C. Berkeley’s War Crimes Studies Center (WCSC), the Singapore Management University (SMU) School of Law, the University of Zurich Competence Centre for Human Rights, the Human Rights Resource Center for ASEAN (HRRC), and the International Institute for Child Rights and Development (IICRD). It is hosted by SMU in Singapore, and is made possible through generous contributions by multiple sponsors, in particular the Centre for International Law (CIL) at the National University of Singapore and the audit and consultancy group Mazars.

This year's course is the first to host representatives of the UN Working Group on human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises, which has recently published its first official report. Puvan Selvanathan, who serves as both Asia representative and Working Group Chair, will shed light on the new UN mechanism's practical scope and engage with participants on how to maximize the mechanism's impact in the region. The Summer Institute will also bring together leading organizations, such as the Institute for Human Rights and Business and EarthRights International, who will discuss the findings of recently launched reports focusing on corporate responsibility within the region.

The Summer Institute faculty includes distinguished practitioners and experts from the region and beyond, including Rafendi Djamin, Indonesia Representative to the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights; Ong Keng Yong, Singapore’s High Commissioner to Malaysia; Mark Hodge of the Global Business Initiative on Human Rights; and Hans Petter Graver, Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Oslo.

For further information, please visit the East-West Center