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Josef Korbel School of International StudiesSié Chéou-Kang Center for International Security & Diplomacy

Mining in South Africa

Sié Center Research

Business and Human Rights

The project on Business and Human Rights at the Sié Center encompasses existing and new initiatives at the University of Denver that explore the human rights impacts of business activities and the role business and civil society can play in protecting internationally recognized human rights. Currently, the project has three components: 

Multi-stakeholder Initiatives: Opportunities and challenges for civil society, government, and business: In September 2014 the Sié Center, in cooperation with the Daniels College of Business, will host a two-day workshop that will explore how civil society, business, and government can contribute to multi-stakeholder initiatives (MSIs) aimed at improving business behavior related to human rights. The Sié-Daniels workshop will convene academics and practitioners to explore the most current empirical and theoretical work on MSIs and the business and human rights field. It will focus particularly on the different roles civil society and business organizations play.

Corporations and Human Rights Database Project (CHRD): Businesses are often implicated in human rights violations. Yet the patterns behind the abuses, how to prevent them, or best practices in terms of remedy remain systematically unstudied and thus unknown. Which sectors of industry, countries, or regions are most likely to perpetrate these violations? Which corporate, state or global policies or practices are most likely to prevent or reduce them? The Corporations and Human Rights Database Project aims to answer these questions. The CHRD team is creating a database of allegations of corporate human rights abuses from 2000 through today. Findings from the CHRD will inform practitioners, policymakers, and academics alike.

Private Security Monitor: The Private Security Monitor is a research project that promotes access to information concerning the world-wide use and regulation of private military and security services. Its web portal draws together all publicly-available regulations, reports, publications, and data on this industry, thus allowing researchers, regulators, and consumers of private security services to be informed and demand better governance, oversight, and behavior of private security forces operating worldwide.


The Business and Human Rights project is managed in collaboration with the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver and the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces. Support is also provided by the Society for Advancement of Management Studies (SAMS) and the Social Sciences Foundation at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies.

Research Team

  • Dr. Deborah Avant, Sié Chéou-Kang Chair for International Security and Diplomacy at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies
  • Dr. Tricia Olsen , Assistant Professor, Department of Business Ethics and Legal Studies at the Daniels College of Business, University of Denver