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Allen & Overy publishes ninth edition of The Business and Human Rights Review

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12 September 2022

Allen & Overy’s Human Rights Working Group is pleased to announce the publication of the ninth edition of The Business and Human Rights Review.

An aerial view of New York city

As the world recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic, rebuilding resilience and planning for the future continues to take centre stage. The pandemic brought various issues at the intersection between business and human rights to the fore, creating new challenges and exacerbating systemic issues across sectors including healthcare, technology and climate change. Businesses, governments and civil society are under increased pressure but are also presented with a unique opportunity to work together in search of global solutions for these global problems. These issues have been amplified further following the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the humanitarian and global supply chain crisis that followed.

This edition of the Review begins with an interview with Jelena Madir, General Counsel at Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, who explains the importance of stakeholder engagement in working towards the equitable and sustainable use of vaccines, especially when it comes to exiting the pandemic. An insightful analysis of technological advances is provided by Matt Galvin, Research Fellow at Harvard Business School, who discusses how innovative compliance tools developed using data analytics can be deployed to boost the effectiveness of human rights due diligence to help companies detect non-compliance risks in their own organisations.

Dr Isabel Ebert of the United Nations B-Tech Project sheds light on how technology companies can play an important role in providing access to remedy for human rights impacts stemming from or linked with their conduct. Lawmakers are not far behind in this regard, as Sarah Morreau, Bethany Gregory and Justin Tan of Allen & Overy summarise recent legal developments, including a draft European Commission Regulation providing a framework on artificial intelligence.

With COP26 in Glasgow refocusing global attention on the growing urgency of the climate crisis, A&O alumnus Suzanne Spears provides further insight on the need for steps taken to address that crisis to take account of potential adverse effects on human rights and to be consistent with international human rights standards.

The Review also includes an Editors’ Note looking back at an influential speech on the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (the UNGPs) given by Professor John Ruggie, the former United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Representative on Business and Human Rights. Michael K. Addo of the United Nations Working Group on Business and Human Rights builds on this by discussing the future of the Working Group and the UNGPs as well as the important legacy left behind by Professor Ruggie.

For further information on this publication or the issues raised in it, please contact the editorial board at BHRR@allenovery.com.

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