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About the International Conference " Business and Human Rights : International Law Challenges, European Responses"

Transnational business activities are important drivers of growth for developing and the leastdeveloped countries. However, business activities can also negatively impact the enjoyment of human rights. In some cases multinational corporations have even been accused of grave human rights abuses on the territory of the States where their subsidiaries are incorporated. The relationship that exists between the development of business activities and the protection of human rights is addressed by international law. Some international legal instruments, especially the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (OECD Guidelines) and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) have blazed the trail in this field. As the parent companies of many multinational enterprises are incorporated on the territory of European countries, the latter’s domestic legislation and the EU legal framework are worthy of examination. In fact they play a crucial role in establishing how the business activities of European multinational corporations should be conducted and which remedies can be activated when corporate human rights violations occur, thus providing specific responses to the challenges posed at international level. This Conference focuses on several different legal instruments and legal areas, including: the international legal framework on Business and Human Rights (B&HR); domestic legislation and related practice and case law implementing it in Europe; the European Union (EU) legal framework on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), corporate behavior, and private international law; the EU trade and investment policy and the international agreements thereby negotiated or concluded. On the basis of the examination of these legal instruments, the Conference aims at identifying the solutions offered in Europe to the B&HR international law issues and at providing an overall assessment of their effectiveness.