Side Session | 6 June
Building Labour Rights into Business Education
Organized by ILO in collaboration with the Global Business School Network and the University of Geneva
In June 2021, different stakeholders gathered during the RBHR forum for a side session on Reimagining Business School Education with Responsible Management and Human Rights. At the time, they called for greater integration of BHR in business school curricula, sharing examples of promising practices such as the creation of dedicated BHR centers in two higher education institutions: NYU Stern School of Business (2013) and the University of Geneva/Geneva School of Economics and Management (2019).
Two years later, it is timely to take stock of the progress made and listen to business school educators and stakeholders from within and outside the region on innovative practices. These include the recent Memorandum of Understanding between the International Labour Organization, the Global Business School Network and the University of Geneva to increase the inclusion of labour rights in business school education. Within this MoU, lecturers from different countries – including Indonesia, New Zealand, and Australia – gathered in Geneva in December 2022 on the occasion of the 11th UN forum on Business and Human Rights to co-design teaching material and therefore support other lecturers who wish to teach these issues with their students.
About the session
Lecturers from different countries have co-designed one of the first teaching resources on labour rights for business school audiences, focusing on the topic of decent work in fishing. Lecturers who have participated in this global initiative and pilot tested this course in Indonesia, Switzerland and France will present this resource and share their experience engaging with students on such issues.
Building on this experience, the panel will discuss current efforts to integrate labour rights in business school curricula and possible next steps.
The main objectives of this session are to:
Inform the audience on how future business leaders are being equipped with the knowledge and skills to deal with contemporary business and human rights challenges
Present the newly developed “Promoting decent work and the elimination of forced labour in the fishing industry” teaching resource
Discuss possible strategies to accelerate the integration of labour rights issues in Asia-Pacific business education
Panelists will reflect on the following questions:
How are business school students being educated on business and human rights challenges?
What are the key concepts and skills students can learn in business schools to tackle decent work deficits they will meet once in the labour market?
How can business school lecturers from different universities cooperate to develop material for collective use?
What bridges exist between business school education, United Nations specialized agencies, and other relevant stakeholders?