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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.

From CoE Independent Oversight to national implementation - cooperation with & support for NHRIs

Karin Lukas has been invited by the European Network of National Human Rights Institutions and the German Presidency of the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers as keynote speaker at the online High-Level Meeting on the Council of Europe Recommendation on the development and strengthening of effective, pluralist and independent NHRIs, taking place on 26 April 2021 ( 10-13.15h CET).

Virtual Event

Online Event: Taking Stock of the European Social Charter at 60 / 28 April 2021 / 10–13:30

Online Event: Taking Stock of the European Social Charter at 60 – 28 April 2021, 10–13:30

Join the online event marking the 60th anniversary of the 1961 European Social Charter! Expert speakers will focus on ‘taking stock’ of the Charter and our colleague Karin Lukas, President of the ECSR and Head of Program Line Human Rights in Development Cooperation and Business at LBI-GMR, will speak on “The European Social Charter and Equality”.


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.