Business and Human Rights – What is Your Company’s Responsibility?
Recorded on July 9, 2014 (90 minutes)

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External stakeholders increasingly expect companies to demonstrate that they are respecting people’s human rights.  The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights are reflected in business standards ranging from IFC Requirements and the Equator Principles to OECD Standards for Multinational Corporations.  There are also increasing regulatory disclosure requirements for companies in national law and there is a proposal to create a binding international treaty.  Want to know what all the noise is about? Don’t know where to get started? Want to know what human rights has to do with business?

This webinar is an opportunity to hear from three experts and further understand elements of business respect for human rights.  Ursula Wynhoven, the General Counsel as well as the Chief, Governance and Social Sustainability for the United Nations Global Compact, will review the international framework for business and human rights with an emphasis on expectations of and opportunities for companies in the extractive sector.  An illustration will be provided of evolving expectations and opportunities relating to business engagement with Indigenous Peoples.  Yadaira Orsini, Senior Programme Officer for Latin America at International Alert, will share her experience with conflict sensitive business practice with some highlights on case studies.  Nili Safavi, Human Rights Expert at BP, will conclude the webinar with insights on implementing business and human rights internally, speaking from her own perspective as well as that of IPIECA, the oil and gas industry association for environmental and social issues.

Roper Cleland is Senior Manager for the Social Responsibility Working Group at IPIECA. Before joining IPIECA, Roper worked in international development and human rights organizations, including on an Access to Justice program in Sri Lanka and on indigenous peoples programs.  She is also a trustee at Concordis International, a peace-building organization with expertise in East Africa.

Roper holds a BA in Liberal Arts from Vassar College and an MA in Social Anthropology of Development from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

Yadaira Orsini is a political scientist from Javeriana University and holds a Master’s Degree on Security Studies in the Superior School of War, both in Bogota. She has worked as a researcher on business, conflict and human rights issues in think tanks in Colombia and Brazil and has worked as Social Responsibility and Human Rights Coordinator in Occidental Petroleum in Colombia.

Ms Orsini has experience in the work with communities and national and multinational companies from the extractive sector and others such as agribusiness and construction, in addressing security and human rights issues, stakeholder engagement and conflict transformation.

Currently, Ms Orsini is working in International Alert as Senior Programme Officer for Latin America, where she coordinates the work on business and human rights issues with extractive companies, civil society organizations and state agencies in Colombia, Peru and Ecuador.

Ursula Wynhoven is the General Counsel as well as the Chief, Governance and Social Sustainability for the United Nations Global Compact, the UN’s corporate sustainability initiative. She is a member of the office’s Executive Team.

In addition to managing legal affairs and governance matters, Ursula founded and is overall responsible for the office's work programs on the various dimensions of social sustainability, including human rights and labor principles, women’s empowerment, business and children, indigenous peoples' rights, and human trafficking, and on business and the rule of law.

Ursula joined the UN Global Compact in 2002. Ursula worked in private legal practice and government human rights agencies in both Australia and the US before joining the UN. Ursula has also worked for the Secretariat of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development on the Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, the OECD’s corporate responsibility initiative.

Among other academic qualifications, Ursula has two Masters of Law degrees - from Columbia Law School, where she was also a Human Rights Fellow, and from Monash University Law School in Australia. She has been an Adjunct Professor in Corporate Sustainability, Transnational Business and Human Rights at Fordham Law School in New York since 2007. She is admitted to practice law in jurisdictions in Australia, United States (California), and England and Wales. Ursula is also a Trustee of the Parker School of Foreign and Comparative Law and a Girl Scout troop leader.

Nili Safavi is BP’s Human Rights Expert.  She is a member of BP’s Environment and Social Responsibility Team within the Central Safety and Operational Risk function based in Sunbury, UK. 

Nili is responsible for: helping BP to align more closely with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights; providing human rights expertise and support to BP businesses, segments and functions; developing internal tools, guidance and standards on respecting human rights and integrating into business processes; and
developing capability within the company through training, workshops and online materials. 

Prior to joining BP, Nili worked for DNV as a social responsibility consultant, advising clients across a wide range of industries on managing human rights, labor rights and societal issues and impacts.  She has worked for the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on protecting human rights in humanitarian emergencies and natural disasters and for NGOs on humanitarian assistance to refugees and internally displaced persons.   Nili began her career working  at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office investigating and prosecuting white collar financial crime and later worked at an International Law form on international arbitration and litigation cases. 

Nili is of Iranian origin, grew up in New York City and now resides in London.  In addition to English, she speaks fluent French, Farsi and Spanish.