Participating in the United Nations Forum

A London Met student has been offered the opportunity to participate in a United Nations Forum.
Date: 6 October 2017

Laura Perez Estevez, an MA Human Rights and International Conflict student at London Metropolitan University, has been invited to attend the UN’s 2017 Business and Human Rights forum, which takes place on the 27 – 29 November in Geneva.

Laura has been invited to attend based on her dissertation topic: “Do corporations have a responsibility to respect human rights?”

Since 2011, the UN has been holding an annual forum about human rights and businesses, which involves stakeholders (business associations, non-government organisations and governments), who are present to discuss how this important issue should progress.

Furthermore, some government institutions also participate in the forum discussion to address the governance gaps that are formed when states are too weak to impose regulations that could affect the attractiveness of investments of transnational enterprises.

Laura said: “The experience of having studied my MA in London Met has enriched me personally and professionally in every way, but the possibility of participating in the annual meeting concerning Human Rights and Business organized by the United Nations with the support of the university is undoubtedly a lot more than I could ever imagine.

“I feel motivated and eager to experiment and continue my academic development with this wonderful experience that will certainly mark a before and after in myself.”

The forum’s topic has been a long-standing debate, which dates back to the 1970’s. Non-Government organisations and victims of human rights abuse are advocating for an international binding treaty to regulate human rights abuse committed by businesses. Corporations, on the other hand, are pushing for ‘voluntary measures’ and codes of conduct.

Each year, the forum debates a different aspect of the topic in detail. This year focuses on the third pillar – the development and analysis of remedy measures that are already available for the victims.  

It provides a wonderful opportunity to learn about this area in greater detail and to network with professionals and other students.