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Human Rights in Development Cooperation and Business

Human Rights in Development Cooperation and Business

For many years, the LBI of Fundamental and Human Rights (LBI-GMR) has worked successfully in the area of Human Rights in Development Cooperation and Business, both conceptually and in practice. In both fields human rights need to be “translated” to be understood and operationalised. This approach is often called the “added value” of human rights, or, if taken in more depth, a “Human Rights-based Approach”. As these areas are very distinct and specific, a human rights-based approach must be contextualised to meet the objectives and interests of the various actors in these areas.

Both fields have experienced dynamic developments in recent years. For example, companies have been identified as potential new “duty-bearers” of human rights, meaning that they have the responsibility to respect and fulfil human rights in their sphere of influence, complementary to states which are the primary duty-bearers. In development cooperation, a growing number of actors follow a human rights-based approach to development as an effective and universally legitimised means to reach the overall aim of poverty reduction.

BIM offers advice and support on the practical application of a human rights-based approach to development cooperation and business.

Our activities at one glance:

  • Consultancies
  • Research and publications
  • Lectures and workshops
  • Implementation of projects
  • Monitoring
  • Audits

More details on these activities can be found in the specific thematic areas.

Karin Lukas re-elected as Vice-President of the European Committee of Social Rights

© Council of Europe

Karin Lukas has been re-elected as Vicepresident of the European Committee of Social Rights. Together with Giuseppe Palmisano (President), François Vandamme (Vicepresident) and Eliane Chemla (General Rapporteur), she coordinates the activities of the Committee which monitors the implemention of social rights in 43 European states.

Handbook: Dignity at Trial


Persons with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities are among the most vulnerable groups of suspects in criminal proceedings. If they come into conflict with the law, they face a particularly high risk of not experiencing a fair trial. In many cases, their vulnerability due to their illness or disability is not identified in due time or not considered. Their procedural rights, particularly their right to information, their right to access a lawyer, and their right to medical assistance, in particular during deprivation of liberty, are often not adequately ensured.

The Handbook “Dignity at Trial”, which was elaborated during a two year pilot research project (2016-2018) assessing the implementation of the EC Recommendation on safeguards for vulnerable persons suspected or accused in criminal proceedings (2013/C 378/02) draws on broader involvement of professional stakeholders and persons with intellectual and/or psychosocial disabilities who have undergone criminal proceedings.

More Human Rights in the Rare Minerals Supply Chain: Duty of Care – Trade Policy – Public Procurement

More Human Rights in the Rare Minerals Supply Chain: Duty of Care – Trade Policy –  Public Procurement

Rare minerals are key ingredients of industrial production. Their extraction is finite, but the demand for them rises constantly. The provision of rare minerals are high on the political agenda of the European Union and Austria. However, the extraction of such minerals is often connected with massive negative social and environmental consequences. The report  "More Human Rights in the Rare Minerals Supply Chain" analyses several mechanisms of human rights protection in minerals extraction.

International conference “The EU and Human Rights. Findings from the FRAME project”


With a high-rank conference at the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Sciences and Arts in Brussels, the four-year EU research project FRAME celebrated its formal completion on 26 April 2017. Taking a broad approach, FRAME has analyzed the promotion of human rights in all areas of EU external and internal policies and has developed detailed policy recommendations.