The Center is developing the field of business and human rights among young scholars and PhD students. Each year, the Center co-hosts a research summit aimed at young researchers.

The summit presents a unique opportunity to discuss interdisciplinary research in the business and human rights field with experts and other emerging scholars. In April 2016, the inaugural Young Researchers Summit was held in St. Gallen, Switzerland and was co-organized by the Institute for Business Ethics at the University of St Gallen, the Business and Human Rights Journal, and the NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights. 

Florian Wettstein, Professor for Business Ethics at St Gallen University and Editor in Chief at the Business and Human Rights Journal and Dorothée Baumann-Pauly, the Center's Research Director, received over 40 applications from around the globe. They selected 15 projects to be presented at the summit. All other applicants were invited to join a global network of emerging Business and Human Rights scholars. The agenda of the 2016 Summit, including the topics of the presented research topics, can be found here. Two of the 2016 participants, Nana Frishling and Brynn O'Brian, wrote a summary of their experience at the conference, "Inaugural BHR Young Researchers’ Summit an enriching experience."

The 2nd Young Researchers Summit was held in St Gallen April 6-7, 2017.  The 3rd Summit will be held at New York University on April 19-20, 2018. Click here to view our call for abstracts

Photos from the 2016 and 2017 Business and Human Rights Young Researchers Summit

The Summit was an invaluable opportunity for young researchers to critically appraise and reflect upon each other’s work, to share ideas and innovations, to form connections with the growing international research community and to discuss its future elaboration.
— Nana Frishling & Brynn O'Brian, 2016 participants


  • Abe Oyeniyi, "Implementing Pillar II of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights through the lens Article 46 (C) of the Malabo Protocol and the Corporate Crimes Principles." (University of Capetown)
  • Romola Adeola, "Business and development-induced displacement in Africa: what role can the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights serve?" (University of Pretoria)
  • Rachel Chambers, "An evaluation of extraterritorial techniques to bring human rights standards to bear on corporate misconduct." (University of Essex)
  • Ludovica Chiussi, "Corporate-Based Codes of Conduct:
    A Boomerang Effect for the Principle of Legitimate Expectation?" 
     (University of Oslo)
  • Kim Dae-Wook, "Assessing Diffusion of the Corporate Social Responsibility in China from a Business and Human Rights Perspective." (Seoul National University Seoul)
  • Vivian Kube, "Legal protection against corporate human rights abuses through EU Investment Policy." (European University Institute)
  • Daniela Heerdt, "The Business of Mega Sporting Events: Towards Human Rights Obligations for International Sports Organizing Bodies." (Tilburg Law School)
  • Berit Knaak, "Integrating Human Rights in Business - The Role of Companies' Framing of Human Rights Conflicts." (University of St. Gallen)
  • Erin Leitheiser, "Do corporations want to be political? How firms’ work impacts the politicization of the institution of business." (Copenhagen Business School)
  • Rajiv Maher, "Does Corporate Human Rights Due Diligence lead to gaining a Social Licence to Operate? A gold mining project in Chile." (Trinity College Dublin)
  • Sarah McGrath, "Corporate accountability and transitional justice: An examination of post-apartheid South Africa." (University of New South Wales)
  • Johannes Norpoth, "Labor Governance as Transnational Legal Ordering - A Socio-Legal Analysis of the Reception of Post-Rana Plaza Instruments in Bangladesh." (Ruhr-University Bochum)
  • Michelle Staggs-Kelsall, "A State of Flux: Shared Responsibility between States and Corporations in Situations of Contested Sovereignty." (University of Nottingham)
  • Ioana Tuta, "Conceptual analysis of the due diligence component of the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights focusing on the ‘means-end decoupling’ proposition." (Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies)
  • Rebecca Wolitz, "A pharmaceutical corporate duty to rescue and an alternative proposal." (Yale University)

2016 Participants

  • Romola Adeola (University of Pretoria)
  • David Birchall (City University of Hong Kong)
  • Nana Frishling (University of New South Wales, Sydney)
  • Samantha Goethals (Oxford Brookes University)
  • Dilan Gözükara (University of Zurich)
  • Anneloes Hoff (University of Oxford)
  • Brynn O’Brian (University of Technology Sydney)
  • John Paul Ongeso (University of Witwatersrand)
  • Ahmed Shahid (University of Sydney)
  • Kirsten Stefanik (University of Western Ontario)
  • Veronica Torres (University of Greenwich)
  • Franziska Wohltmann (University of Erlangen-Nürnberg)
  • Liang Yu (Maastricht University)