Month: January 2022

Resist or Embrace: Environmental Human Rights Advocacy at International Human Rights Organizations

Friday, February 18, 2022
12:00pm - 1:30pm
Virtual Event


Bi Zhao is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Whitworth University. She specializes in international relations and methodology, with a substantive focus on democratic legitimacy in global governance, non-state actors, and international environmental politics.

About this Event:

In the first of three Economic & Social Rights Group events planned for this spring, Dr. Bi Zhao will present her research entitled “Resist or embrace: environmental human rights advocacy at international human rights organizations."

-Prakash Kashwan & Shareen Hertel (ESRG Co-Directors)

This event is virtual and will be hosted on Zoom. Click the link above to register to attend. The event will be recorded.

The Economic & Social Rights Group (ESRG) is an interdisciplinary monthly gathering of faculty and graduate students who meet to share ongoing research and to discuss current scholarship around economic and social rights. It is the central to the mission of the Research Program on Economic & Social Rights.

The Research Program on Economic & Social Rights brings more than a dozen UConn faculty together with over 30 affiliated scholars from across the United States and Canada. Together, we have generated numerous graduate and undergraduate courses, several edited volumes, multiple co-authored articles, and the National Science Foundation-funded Socio-Economic Rights Fulfillment Index (SERF Index).

Model Contract Clauses for Human Rights

Wednesday, February 9, 2022
12:30pm - 1:45pm
Virtual Event

About this Event:

A presentation and discussion of the American Bar Association’s Model Contract Clauses for Human Rights Project.

Presenters: Prof. Sarah Dadush, Rutgers Law School, Olivia Windham Stewart, & David Snyder, American University

Commentator: Prof. Erika George, University of Utah


Sarah Dadush is a Professor of Law at Rutgers Law School. Her scholarship explores innovative legal mechanisms for improving the social and environmental performance of multinational corporations. She established and directs the Law School's Business & Human Rights Law Program and co-leads an ABA Business Law Section Working Group that has developed a comprehensive toolkit for upgrading international supply contracts to better protect workers’ human rights. Before joining the Rutgers faculty, Dadush served as Legal Counsel for the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), a specialized agency of the United Nations based in Rome. Prior to that, she was a Fellow at NYU’s Institute for International Law and Justice and an Associate Attorney at the global law firm, Allen & Overy. She received her J.D. and LL.M. in International and Comparative Law from Duke University School of Law in 2004.

Olivia Windham Stewart is an independent business and human rights specialist based in the UK, and a Senior Fellow and Deputy Director of the Business and Human Rights Law Program at the Center for Corporate Law and Governance, Rutgers Law School. As an independent specialist, Olivia has worked on a range of projects to increase corporate accountability and due diligence across sectors, including an OECD due diligence alignment assessment, a European Citizens’ Initiative for Living Wages, a range of multistakeholder initiatives in the garment and footwear industry and research, training and facilitation projects on labour rights and BHR issues for a number of organisations across sectors. Prior to working independently, Olivia was on the Labour Rights team at Laudes Foundation (formerly C&A Foundation) and at Impactt UK. She has worked extensively in production countries around the world, particularly in South and South East Asia and has been a contributing member of the Principled Purchasing Project to draft model contract clauses to protect human rights in international supply chains since March 2020. Olivia holds a MSc with Distinction from SOAS University, London.

David V. Snyder is professor of law and director of the Business Law Program at the American University Washington College of Law. His work is primarily in contracts and commercial law, including their international and comparative aspects. He has been a professor of law at Tulane and Indiana (Bloomington) and has been a regular visiting professor at the University of Paris II (Panthéon-Assas) since 2012.  He has also been a visiting professor at Boston University and William and Mary. He is a graduate of Tulane Law School and Yale College and clerked on the Fifth Circuit.

Erika George is the Samuel D. Thurman Professor of Law at the University of Utah's S.J. Quinney College of Law and directs the Obert C. and Grace A. Tanner Humanities Center at the University of Utah. She teaches constitutional law, international human rights law, international environmental law, international business transactions, international trade and seminars on business and human rights, inequality, and corporate citizenship and sustainability. She was the Interim Director of the University's Tanner Center for Human Rights and the University's 2018-2019 Presidential Leadership Fellow. She is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and serves on the board of the American Bar Association Center for Human Rights. She earned her B.A. with honors from the University of Chicago and her J.D. from Harvard Law School, where she served as Articles Editor of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review. She also holds an M.A. in International Relations from the University of Chicago. She is the author of Incorporating Rights: Strategies to Advance Corporate Accountability (Oxford University Press, 2021).

This event will not be recorded.

This event is sponsored by the Business and Human Rights Initiative, a partnership founded by Dodd Human Rights Impact, the UConn School of Business, and the Human Rights Institute.

Rights Beyond Words: Mapping Human Rights Scholar-Organization Partnerships

Wednesday, February 16, 2022
2:00pm - 3:30pm
Virtual Event


Zehra Arat is a Professor in the Department of Political Science at UConn. She studies human rights, with an emphasis on women’s rights, as well as processes of democratization, globalization, and development.

Shareen Hertel is a Professor in the Department of Political Science at UConn, jointly appointed with the Human Rights Institute. Her research focuses on changes in transnational human rights advocacy, with a focus on labor and economic rights issues.


For this February edition of the HRI Colloquium Series, we will consider NGO-Scholar Engagement, the topic of an upcoming paper from Zehra Arat & Shareen Hertel.


For a sneak preview of their talk, here is the abstract of their forthcoming work: "For many human rights scholars, human rights is more than intellectual curiosity; it is the motivation for their work. They try to use their research and expertise to improve human rights conditions and work with policy makers and advocacy groups. This paper explores the complexities of partnerships between scholars and human rights organizations and groups (HROGs). Focusing primarily on the experience of social science and humanities scholars with a range of HROGs, we identify areas of tension, as well as the political implications of such engagement. The paper thus marks a critical step toward developing a more formal typology of such relationships that can be used to further explore variation in human rights outcomes stemming from such collaboration."

This event is virtual and will be hosted on Zoom. Click the link above to register to attend. The Colloquium will be recorded.

Human Rights Implications of UConn’s Future Climate Venture Studio

Friday, February 17, 2023
12:30pm - 2:00pm
Hybrid Event

Dodd Center for Human Rights - Room 162 & Zoom

About This Event:

The Economic & Social Rights Group welcomes you to join us for a roundtable discussion centered on how human rights issues intersect with the work of one of UConn's newest ventures in climate research. 

The Future Climate Venture Studio brings together UConn, a national and global leader in interdisciplinary climate research; R/GA Ventures, a venture studio operator and early-stage investor; CT Next, Connecticut’s innovation agency; and additional partners from energy finance, venture capital, and technology.

The Studio’s mission is to identify, support, and collaborate with the startups addressing the most critical dimensions of the climate challenge, including decarbonization, alternative energy, planetary resilience, social impact, and more.

Our Discussants:

Abhijit (Jit) Banerjee, Ph.D.
Associate Vice President for Research Innovation and Entrepreneurship,
Office of the Vice President for Research

Lyle Scruggs, Ph.D.
Department of Political Science

Oksan Bayulgen, Ph.D.
Department Head & Associate Professor,
Department of Political Science

Michael Rubin, Ph.D.
Director, Human Rights Research & Data Hub
Assistant Research Professor, Human Rights, Engineering & Business

This event will be hosted both in-person and on Zoom. All are encouraged to join us. Register for updates and the Zoom link.

This event is hosted by the Research Program on Economic & Social Rights at the Human Rights Institute.