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.

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

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.

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.

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.

Human Rights Day 2021

Human Rights Day | Civics Education and Democracy Today: Bringing Human Rights Close to Home

Friday, December 10, 2021

Join us for the virtual event.
Register Now

In recognition of this year’s International Human Rights Day – Friday, December 10, 2021 – Dodd Human Rights Impact and the Neag School of Education will host a roundtable focused on supporting the advancement of civics and human rights education in public schools.

With opening remarks from U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, the roundtable will discuss how our students, teachers, schools, and universities can advance democracy and human rights. In particular, we’ll explore how to better foster student voice and democratic participation through civics, human rights education and school-community partnerships.

Welcome & Introduction
Professor Jason Irizarry
Dean, Neag School of Education

Professor Jason Irizarry

Opening Remarks
Miguel Cardona
U.S. Secretary of Education

US Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona

Roundtable Discussion Featuring
Former U.S. Senator Christopher Dodd
Assistant Professor Glenn Mitoma, Director of Dodd Human Rights Impact
Abigail Esposito, Conard High School teacher
Tyler Gleen, Teacher Education M.A. Student, Neag (’22)
Zoe Maldonado, Civic Leadership High School Student (’23)

The day’s events are also part of President Biden’s December 2021 Summit for Democracy, offering an opportunity to listen, learn, and engage with diverse voices committed to a global democratic renewal.

The roundtable is the first event of Dodd Impact’s new initiative Human Rights Close to Home – a three-year pilot program that hopes to directly engage key stakeholders, including educators and youth, in the development and implementation of a model of human rights education for civic action.

Contractual Deterrence and the Ethical Supply Chain

Tuesday, November 30, 2021
1:00pm - 2:15pm
Virtual Event

Workshop on Contractual Deterrence and the Ethical Supply Chain

Presenter: Robert Bird, University of Connecticut School of Business

Discussant: Gastón de los Reyes, Glasgow Caledonian New York College

A harmful byproduct of the global economy is the proliferation of abuses in global supply chains. Too often lead firms and suppliers do not effectively collaborate. Lead firms require human rights and sustainability standards while also demanding extremely low cost goods and fast production deadlines. Suppliers faced with the impossible choice of financial survival or compliance with ethical standards, attempt to evade lead firm demands. The result is an illusion of governance that prioritizes investigations over actual changes and perpetuates “slow violence” against local environments and vulnerable populations.

To respond to this problem, this manuscript proposes a new paradigm I call ‘contractual deterrence.’ Contractual deterrence leverages a centuries-old theory of criminal deterrence, reinterprets it to incorporate a modern understanding of sanctions and rewards, and applies the theory to the contractual context of the modern global supply chain. Contractual deterrence is based upon three prongs: that enforcement of ethical supply chain standards must be predictably certain, equitably significant, and swiftly implementable. This manuscript explores these prongs and shows how the theory advances sustainability and human rights literatures. This manuscript also argues for a new multistakeholder theory of social responsibility that challenges western-dominated thinking and encourages a joint and equal partnership between lead firm and supplier in order to address pressing problems facing supply chains today.

The Business and Human Rights Workshop is dedicated to the development and discussion of works-in-progress and other non-published academic research. The paper will be distributed to registered participants prior to the Workshop. 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.

Human Rights Film+ Series: Tacheles – The Heart Of The Matter

Tuesday, November 16, 2021
12:30pm – 3:00pm
Virtual Event


  • 12:30pm - Film Screening
  • 2:15pm - Post-Screening Discussion with filmmaker Jana Matthes, Sebastian Wogenstein (Center for Judaic Studies), and James Coltrain (Digital Media and Design). Moderated by Heather Elliott-Famularo.

The Human Rights Film+ Series presents Tacheles - The Heart of the Matter, written and directed by Jana Matthes & Andrea Schramm (Germany 2020).

Synopsis: Yaar is a young Israeli living in Berlin, rebelling against his Jewish identity. He accuses his father of suffering from the Holocaust although he never experienced it firsthand. In order to face his own family history, Yaar decides to engage with the Holocaust in a new way: via a computer game. Together with his two German friends, he creates a 1940s Germany in which Jews can defend themselves and Nazis can act humanely. His father is shocked. “Tacheles – The Heart of the Matter” shows how the trauma of the survivors affects the third generation. By blurring the truth and switching the roles of victims and perpetrators - can anyone cope with their own history? Is reconciliation possible with a Computer Game?

Co-sponsors: Human Rights Institute, Dodd Impact, Digital Media and Design, Center for Judaic Studies & Contemporary Jewish Life