Dear participants,

welcome to this spring's semester course (FS22). Our elective module will introduce you to the concept of human rights and the interlinkages between human rights and the business world. Human rights issues have become quite a significant topic in the general discussion about the role and responsibility of modern enterprises with regards to societal challenges. At the same time, a growing number of regulatory frameworks have emerged in many countries around the world, which affect business actors.

In Switzerland, there had been a public vote about the so-called "Responsible Business Initiative" (in German: "Konzernverantwortungsinitiative") in November 2020. The initiative intended to establish a legislation, which would have obliged enterprises to engage more for human rights in their business conduct, even in the global supply and value chains of their products. While the initiative was rejected, eventually, the high number of favourable votes have shown that the topic is of growing concern for the Swiss public. In the first part of the module, we will elaborate and discuss essential aspects of Business and Human Rights. At the end of the semester, you will work on case examples and analyse human rights risks and due diligence processes.

The materials of the module will be uploaded on Moodle throughout the semester.

I'm looking forward to seeing you in the lecture soon. If you have any questions before the official start of the course, please do not hesitate to get in touch (; +49 176 24884523)

Best regards,