Shared Space Under Pressure: Business Support for Civic Freedoms and Human Rights Defenders-Guidance for Companies


Monday, October 21, 2019, 12:00pm to 1:15pm


B-L-4 Hauser Conference Room


Join the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy for a talk on business, civic freedom, and human rights guidelines for corporations. Bennett Freeman, Principal of Bennett Freeman Associates LLC will present. Irit Tamir, Director of the Private Sector Department at Oxfam America, will serve as a discussant.



Multinational corporations face growing expectations to take stands on social and political issues at a time when civil society space is closing around the world, both in democracies and autocracies alike.  A recent report, Shared Space Under Pressure: Business Support for Civic Freedoms and Human Rights Defenders, proposes an important and urgent new agenda that presents challenging dilemmas for companies and civil society alike as well as implications for governments and international institutions.  The report establishes a normative responsibility for companies to act in certain circumstances and addresses the spectrum of actions that they can take, referring to recent examples in different industries and regions.

The Shared Space Under Pressure report was commissioned by the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre and International Service for Human Rights and will be presented by Bennett Freeman, its lead author.  Freeman is Principal of Bennett Freeman Associates LLC, Chair of the Advisory Board of Global Witness, and Board Secretary of the Global Network Initiative.  Freeman was Senior Vice President for Sustainability Research and Policy at Calvert Investments from 2006-15 and served as a Clinton presidential appointee at the U.S. Department of State in three positions, including as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor from 1999-2001.