Education & Advocacy

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The UNAA Business and Human Rights Workshops build capacity to monitor and manage corporate human rights risks and impacts, providing practical guidance on how to integrate human rights considerations into everyday business practices.

The workshops provide professional training on the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles - the global standard of practice on business and human rights - and the essential strategies and tools needed to:

  • Develop and implement a corporate human rights policy;
  • Establish a human rights due diligence process;
  • Address human rights grievances in their own company/organisation; and
  • Manage human rights challenges in their business relationships, for example with business partners, suppliers, security providers and clients.

Bringing together experts and practitioners from across business, government and civil society, the workshops provide a unique learning forum on how to integrate the responsibility to respect human rights into corporate structures and operations, including through partnership and collaboration.

The workshops are held in partnership with Corrs Chambers Westgarth.

Business and human rights practitioners and experts in corporate responsibility and human rights from different sectors contribute to the workshops as facilitators and guest speakers.

Workshop Series 2014 

Workshop 1: Business & Human Rights:
Introduction to the UN Guiding Principles

Facilitated by Shelley Marshall, Co-Founder of Corporate Accountability Research and Senior Lecturer, Business Law and Taxation, Monash University  with guest speakers Daisy Gardener, Corporate Accountability and Fair Trade Advisor, Oxfam Australia and Sarah McGrath, Adviser to the President, Australian Human Rights Commission.

Monday 17 March, 
8:30 am to 12:30 pm

Hosted by Russell Kennedy, Level 12, 469 La Trobe Street, Melbourne

Workshop 2: Corporate Human Rights Due Diligence: Assessment and integration of human rights impacts

Facilitated by Dr Sara Bice, Research Fellow, Centre for Public Policy, The University of Melbourne

Tuesday 8 April, 
8:30 am to 12:30 pm

Hosted by Corrs Westgarth Chambers, Level 36, Bourke Place, 600 Bourke Street, Melbourne

Workshop 3: Corporate Human Rights Policy Development

Facilitated by Dr Suzanne Young, Director of Executive Education and Associate Professor, Department of Management, La Trobe Business School, La Trobe University

Tuesday 13 May, 
8:30 am to 12:30 pm

Hosted by Corrs Westgarth Chambers

Workshop 4: Corporate Human Rights Due Diligence: Tracking and communicating human rights performance

Facilitated by Prof. Ken McPhail, Professor and Head, Department of Accounting, La Trobe Business School, La Trobe University

Wednesday 18 June, 
8:30 am to 12:30 pm

Hosted by Corrs Westgarth Chambers

Workshop 5: Managing human rights in the
supply chain and business relationships

Tuesday 22 July, 
8:30 am to 12:30 pm

Hosted by Corrs Westgarth Chambers

Workshop 6: Addressing adverse human rights impacts: Managing human rights related
complaints, disputes and grievances

Facilitated by Kate Macdonald, Lecturer, School of Social and Political Sciences, The University of Melbourne

Monday 25 August, 
8:30 am to 12:30 pm

Hosted by Corrs Westgarth Chambers




Who are the workshops for?

The workshops provide a practical learning forum for practitioners from all stakeholder groups, on the international and domestic standards and tools available to help prevent and redress business related human rights harm.

The workshops are an essential training program for all corporate responsibility practitioners on the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles - the global standard of practice on business and human rights. In particular the workshops are designed for professionals responsible for or working in:

  • corporate responsibility and sustainability;
  • governance, risk and compliance;
  • health, safety and environment;
  • corporate strategy and change management;
  • public affairs and communications;
  • human resources, people and community;
  • corporate partnerships;
  • stakeholder engagement and external relations;
  • ESG and responsible/ethical investment; and
  • independent auditors;
  • management consultancies; and
  • corporate law and general counsel.

They invite business, government and NGOs professionals wanting to learn more about business and human rights and how to apply the UN Guiding Principles in practice.

Participants who attend the entire series of 6 workshops are exposed to a full package of learning on the business responsibility to respect human rights and will be well equipped to manage business related human rights risks. Participants are also invited to register for one or more workshops in the series according to their particular needs and interests. 

Why Business and Human Rights?

Embedding respect for human rights into business practices is critical for risk management and the achievement of corporate sustainability objectives. In the face of legal, operational, commercial and reputational risks, business leaders are taking proactive steps to implement human rights policies, risk assessment and management strategies in core business and throughout supply chains.

The Australian Government supported the unanimous endorsement of the United Nations Guiding Principles in June 2011. The Guiding Principles are a global reference point for preventing and addressing the risk of adverse impacts on human rights linked to business. They are relevant to Australian businesses whether doing business at home or abroad.

Read more about why human rights are relevant for business, and how Australian business is measuring up. 

What will you learn? 

The workshops are a unique opportunity to learn:

  • How human rights are relevant for business
  • How human rights considerations can be integrated into everyday business practice
  • What practical tools are available to help you operationalise human rights in your organisation and manage human rights risks in your business relationships including the supply chain

In particular, the workshops address:

  • the foundations of human rights and their relevance to business;
  • corporate human rights risks, impacts and opportunities;
  • human rights norms and standards relating to business, including the UN Guiding Principles;
  • the business and legal cases for respecting human rights;
  • the benefits of a human rights approach to risk management and corporate responsibility;
  • the essentials of corporate human rights policy development and due diligence; and
  • the challenges and opportunities associated with managing human rights risks and impacts in the supply chain and other business relationships.

Join our mailing list to receive updates about our Business and Human Rights Series.

For more information about the workshops please contact the UNAA Victoria office on 03 9620 3955 or via email