The Conference on Business Accountability for Human Rights: Addressing Human Rights Issues in Global Supply Chains will bring together government and NGO leaders, scholars, practicing lawyers, business people, and members of the faith community to focus on human rights issues in global supply chains from the perspective of human rights compliance. At this inaugural event the discussion will focus particularly on business accountability with respect to labor exploitation, including modern day slavery, human trafficking, child labor, wage theft, and related issues in global supply chains. The conference will feature plenary panels, breakout sessions, scholarly discussion, and brief presentations by the winners of a student writing competition.

The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law is pleased to announce a call for papers to be presented in the course of this conference. Click here for details and submission information.

This conference has been reschduled for April 7 and 8, 2022.
A virtual program discussing how the public and private sectors can work together to safeguard human rights is now scheduled on October 28, 2021. More details to come.

Addressing Human Rights Issues in Global Supply Chains

To be held on April 7 and 8, 2022 at The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law

Conference Agenda

April 7th

2:00 – 2:15pm
Welcome & Conference Overview

2:15 – 2:45pm
Opening Speaker

2:45 – 4:00pm
Plenary Panel: Human Rights Challenges in Global Supply Chains - The Need for Cross-Sectoral Commitments to Driving Systemic Change

  • Focus: Current perspectives on human rights in global supply chains from the viewpoint of business, government, regulatory agencies, NGOs, faith communities, and victim advocates.
  • Topics: COVID-19 pandemic impact on supply chain transparency; progress in addressing human rights issues to date; areas of greatest challenge; the landscape beyond 2021; and opportunities to work together going forward to safeguard vulnerable people and effect lasting change.

4:00 – 4:15pm
Break [light refreshments]

4:15 – 5:30pm
Breakout Sessions
Tentative Topics:

  1. Supply Chain Management Operational Approaches and Successes
  2. The Impact of Public Policy and Regulation, including transnational efforts on Supply Chains
  3. Leading Technology and Trends in FINTECH
  4. The Effectiveness of Public/Private Partnerships

5:30 – 6:15pm
Brief reports out by Breakout Groups

6:15 – 7:30pm
Reception [hors d’oeuvres]
Keynote Speaker: The Hon. Kevin Hyland, O.B.E.

April 8th

8:00 – 9:00am
Registration & Continental Breakfast

8:30-9:00am
Student Writing Competition winner presentations

9:00 – 9:15am
Welcome & Outline of Day’s Programs

9:15 – 10:00am
Intelligence/Data Community’s Presentation of Areas of Key Concern [Intelligence reports made available to all attendees]

10:00 – 11:00am
Plenary Panel: The Opportunities & Challenges of Transnational Regulation & Other Approaches in Addressing Human Rights Issues in Global Supply Chains

  • Focus: Transnational regulation and voluntary efforts
  • Topics: Successes and problems with transnational regulation, positive impacts and shortcomings of industry codes and other voluntary cooperation models, transborder human rights compliance, promising models for international cooperation going forward

11:00 – 11:15am
Break [light refreshments]

11:15am – 12:30pm
Breakout Sessions: Industry-Specific Challenges
Tentative Topics:

  • Financial Institutions
  • Pharma
  • Apparel
  • Hotel and Hospitality
  • Survivor Advocacy
  • Challenges for Small Business & Community Organizers

12:30 – 1:15pm
Brief report out by Breakout Groups

1:15 – 2:15pm
Networking Lunch

2:15 – 2:45pm
Closing Speaker: Dr. Peter Ajak

2:45-3:15pm
Closing Reception [refreshments]