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The Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences in Vietnam together with the Vietnam Programme at the Norwegian Centre for Human Right, University of Oslo, call for papers to an international conference on business and human rights to be held in Hanoi, Vietnam, on 27-28 June 2013. The Conference is inter-disciplinary and aimed at bringing together scholars and practitioners with an interest in the area.

The huge economic and other types of power vested in transnational corporations may pose serious human rights challenges in local communities in which they and their subsidiaries operate. In recent years there has been a gradual trend in holding transnational corporations more accountable for human rights violations through various voluntary compacts and reporting systems, not least the UN Global Compact, the OECD Guidelines for multinational enterprises, and the ILO Tripartite Declaration.

The potential human rights impact of business enterprises and the recent shift towards holding such enterprises accountable for their conduct raises a series of research questions both as regards legal developments and the actual practice of states and enterprises. Questions regarding home and host state responsibilities, legal strategies for holding corporations responsible under human rights or other sources of law, human rights due diligence of companies, the development of tax regimes, representation of worker’s interests, as well as environmental, social and legal conditions for sustainable development are largely unsettled. The Conference seeks to explore these and other issues with a particular focus on experiences from Vietnam, seen in international and comparative contexts.


We are open to a range of topics relating to business and human rights, but encourage papers with a special focus on:

 Corporate responsibilities and human rights due diligence for companies

 Models of good practice of human rights compliance

 State enforcement mechanisms and the issue of extraterritoriality

 Human rights violations involving transnational corporations and their subsidiaries

 Challenges to implementation of the “Protect, Respect and Remedy” framework

 The effects of implementing the guiding principles, and whether corporations’ adherence to human rights principles makes any difference in practice

 Strategies for improving the human rights performance of corporations

  NGOs role in advancing CSR – its impact on state politics and company conduct

 Disability rights and CSR

The Conference is not limited to a focus on any specific country or region but there is a strong interest in the policies and practices of Vietnam and other countries in Asia, and the corporations operating therein.

Abstracts/paper proposals of approximately 200 words should be sent to Dinh Thi Mai, Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences (dinhthimai(at) and Professor Bård A. Andreassen, Norwegian Centre for Human rights, University of Oslo (b.a.andreassen(at) by 1 March 2013.

The papers presented at the Conference will be considered for publication in a special issue of a journal or an anthology. All papers would be subject to a standard independent review process.


Limited funding is available for travel and accommodation to those presenting. For those wishing to apply, please clearly state the reasons for application, and what you wish to have funded, in a paragraph following your abstract.


For more information please contact Ms. Dinh Thi Mai, Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences (dinhthimai(at)