!

The CEE&CA Summer Academy

on Human Rights and Business

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For information on future editions of the CEE&CA Summer Academy contact us at ceeca-academy@pihrb.org  

27 November 2022 – 6 December 2022 (on-line)

Visit the webinars page!

About the Academy – overview

The Central and Eastern Europe & Central Asia Summer Academy on Business and Human Rights (The Summer Academy) is organized by the Polish Institute for Human Rights and Business (PIHRB; Polish: Polski Instytut Praw Człowieka i Biznesu) and the Ukrainian Yaroslav Mudryi National Law University (Ukrainian: Національний юридичний університет імені Ярослава Мудрого) in partnership with the Global Business Initiative on Human Rights and in collaboration with the International Committee of the Red Cross, the UNDP, the CEECA Resource Hub and the CEE Business and Human Rights Association. The Summer Academy has also profited from the support and advice of the Steering Committee.

The Summer Academy is open to passionate people who want to leave a positive mark on the world by driving implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) in their sectors and organizations and helping others to understand what is needed to ensure greater respect for human rights on the part of business organisations.

The aim of the Summer Academy is:

  • to raise participant awareness on the business and human rights (BHR) agenda and standards with the goal to enhance respect for human rights by business and the effective functioning of legal and non-legal remedies for human rights in cases of business caused violations;
  • to provide a systematic knowledge and understanding of the impact of business on human rights, the role of the state and non-state actors in the process of the proper implementation of business and human rights standards; good practices will be provided;
  • to form skills to monitor (benchmark) human rights risks in business operations;
  • to raise awareness as to the process of developing National Action Plans on Business and Human Rights and other policy and legislation developments;
  • to create and develop a network of BHR experts and to raise awareness of business and human rights in the region of Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

Pariticipants of the Summer Academy will obtain the knowledge, skills and competences that will allow them to support the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in their respective countries, which will contribute to improvement in the respect for human rights in the context of business operations across the region.

They will also gain the opportunity to become members of the CEE&CA BHR Summer Academy Alumni Network (CEECA BHR Alumni Network) and those who obtain the Diploma – subject to their consent – will be listed as BHR Contact Points for their respective country on the CEECA BHR Resource Hub.

 

The (Full) Summer Academy will be held online via Zoom and will consist of two parts:

  • Core Summer Academy – 21-27 September 2022 (5 working days i.e. 21-23 September and 26-27 September with weekend break in between).
  • Four webinars held between October and December 2022.

The first three days of the Summer Academy dedicated to BHR core knowledge and theory, will follow the polycentric governance system underpinning the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, i.e. respectively the division into (I) the State duty to protect human rights, (II) the corporate responsibility to respect human rights and (III) access to remedy pillars. Knowledge gained during those days will lay the groundwork and prepare the participants for two practice-oriented days of workshop sessions and meetings with practitioners.

 

Upon completion of the Core Summer Academy, participants will be issued with a Certificate of Participation. Those participants who also take part in a minimum three out of four webinars and write a short paper for the e-publication will be issued the Diploma of the Summer Academy.

Finally, a minimum of three participants who write the best papers for the e-publication will be invited to present those papers at the BHR conference in spring 2023 in Poland, with the organizers covering their full flight and accommodation costs during the conference.

The Summer Academy 2022 is part of a broader project 'Lighthouse-keepers: Business and Human Rights Cooperation Network’ led by the Polish Institute for Human Rights and Business (PIHRB) in partnership with the Ukrainian Yaroslav Mudryi National Law University (Ukrainian: Національний юридичний університет імені Ярослава Мудрого), the Icelandic Association for Sustainable Democracy Alda (Icelandic: Alda – félag um sjálfbærni og lýðræði), the Icelandic Ombudsman for Children (Icelandic: Umboðsmaður barna).
The project benefits
from a grant under the Active Citizens – Regional Fund from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, through EEA Grants. See more about the project, HERE.

Regional context

The Business & Human Rights (BHR) framework has acquired particular relevance during the last decade. Business actors have a significant impact on the enjoyment of human rights by people within the field of their modus operandi, and must therefore consider the risks that their operations might create and that can violate or contribute to violating human rights. The impact that a business enterprise may have on human rights can affect various actors: its own employees but also employees of its suppliers and across their value chains, customers, migrants, vulnerable groups (children, persons with disabilities, elderly people, etc.), communities and many others.

In the very diverse regions of Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia, countries continue to experience a low level of awareness on business and human rights. This is due to many factors, including the absence of strong democratic institutions and rule of law guarantees, a shrinking space for civil society, corruption, ineffective remedy systems for the victims of business-related human rights abuses, as well as the result of a low level of trust among actors in society.

The region is facing many challenges to ensure corporate responsibility for human rights, in particular on labour issues (informal employment, the unprotected status of gig-workers, the gender pay gap and gender segregation of the labour market, youth unemployment, wage arrears, weak guarantees of the freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining, forced labour), occupational safety and health, environmental safety, discriminative practices as a part of particular business models (e.g. discriminative advertising), the lack of effective mechanisms for communication between local communities and business, etc.

The COVID 19 related economic crisis had a devastating impact on working conditions, which even before the pandemic were not meeting the ‘decent work’ standard and social protections in a region that historically has been suffering from weak trade unions and labour rights, as well as ineffective remedies for business-related human rights abuses. The war in Ukraine and armed conflicts on the territories of other countries of the region significantly increase human rights risks, and the human rights impact of the corporate sector in times of emergencies could be especially sensitive.

The region-specific challenges require better regulation, more effective enforcement of existing regulations and contextual, bottom-up and inclusive initiatives and strategies developed in collaboration with all the stakeholders concerned in order to implement the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), the global authoritative standard from the UN on responsibilities of states and companies, effectively, and improve the human rights record of companies operating in the region.

The Summer Academy builds on the challenges and lessons learned on how States and businesses, in cooperation with the civil society sector in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia are discharging their respective duties and responsibilities across the three pillars of the “Protect, Respect and Remedy” Framework of the UNGPs. It also aims to provide individuals who want to drive change in their respective organisations and societies, with the necessary knowledge, skills and tools to enable that.

Learning Outcomes

 

The CEE&CA Summer Academy aims at providing participants with the core Business & Human Rights knowledge as well as the skills and tools essential to operate in this field. Examples from different areas of the world and on different themes will allow the identification of cross-regional and cross-cutting issues and enable a global and multidimensional understanding of the topic and ability to follow and understand the relevant developments at a national, regional and international level. Additionally, by being based on a participatory approach, the Summer Academy also aims at developing and reinforcing personal critical reflection and peer-to-peer learning, as well as writing skills.

Upon completion of the CEE&CA, Summer Academy participants will have gained:

  • An understanding of human rights in a business context
  • Knowledge about key BHR standards, documents and approaches as well as key new trends
  • A capacity to discuss specific areas and cases of concern
  • Insights into how to kick-start implementation of the UNGPs in the company/organization and how to operationalise the UNGPs in business day-to-day practice
  • The ability to identify multi-faceted aspects of BHR issues
  • Understanding of the progress and obstacles to ensuring greater respect for human rights by business and a recognition of the more viable forms of cooperation, and hear from the point of view of companies, states and affected rights-holders.

Lecturers

The Summer Academy brings together an outstanding faculty of eminent international academics, educators and professionals to provide a unique learning experience spanning both theory and its practical application.

A full list of the lecturers of the CEE&CA Summer Academy on BHR complete with their bios is provided in the downloadable booklet.

Prof. Gudmundur Alfredsson

Senior Associate at the Stefansson Arctic Institute

Maxime Belingheri

Human Rights Manager, L’Oréal

Dr Nadia Bernaz

Associate Professor of Law at Wageningen University

Prof. Jernej Letnar Černič

Full Professor of Human Rights and Constitutional Law at the New
University

Dr Rebecca DeWinter-Schmitt

Associate Program Director, Investor Alliance for Human Rights

Prof. Ekaterina Deikalo

International Law and Business & Human Rights Expert, Belarusian Helsinki Committee

Prof. Janet Dine

Professor of International Economic Development Law, Centre for Commercial Law Studies, Queen Mary University of London

Artem Donets

Managing partner, attorney; Law Firm Donets & Partners

Beata Faracik

Co-founder and President of the Board at the Polish Institute for Human Rights and Business

Tomislav Ivančić

Advisor, Global Agricultural Supply Chains, Responsible Business and Investment, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

Bartosz Kwiatkowski

Director of the Frank Bold Foundation

Dirk Hoffmann

Senior Advisor, Danish Institute for Human Rights

Assistant Prof. Chiara Macchi

Lecturer in Law at Wageningen University & Research – Law Group

Dr Claire Methven O’Brien

Baxter Fellow and Lecturer in Law at the School of Law of the University of Dundee

Dr Siniša Milatović

Business and Human Rights Specialist, UNDP HQ

Prof. Peter Muchlinski

International Commercial Law, the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London

Umida Niyazova

Executive Director of Uzbek Forum for Human Rights

Ron Popper

Chief Executive Officer, The Global Business Initiative on Human Rights

Prof. Anita Ramasastry

Faculty Director, University of Washington, School of Law

Ashley Nancy Reynolds

Associate at the International Committee of the Red Cross; Office of the Economic Advisor

Dr Agata Rudnicka

University of Lodz, Faculty of Management

Andrea Shemberg

Chair, The Global Business Initiative on Human Rights

Ella Skybenko

Eastern Europe/Central Asia Senior Researcher & Representative

Justyna Weryk

Sustainable Development Manager, LPP S.A.

Dr Olena Uvarova

Associate Professor of Law, Head of the International Lab on BHR at Yaroslav Mudryi National Law University

Steering Committee

  • Prof. Gudmundur Alfredsson (Senior Associate at the Stefansson Arctic Institute);
  • Dr Nadia Bernaz (Associate Professor of Law at Wageningen University);
  • Dirk Hoffmann (Senior Advisor, Danish Institute for Human Rights);
  • Dr Claire Methven O’Brien (Baxter Fellow and Lecturer in Law at the School of Law of the University of Dundee);
  • Prof. Peter Muchlinski (International Commercial Law, the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London);
  • Ron Popper (Chief Executive Officer, The Global Business Initiative on Human Rights);
  • Dr Agata Rudnicka (University of Lodz, Faculty of Management).

More about Steering Committee Members…

Organizational issues

Important dates

Application deadline: August 8, 2022 (23:59 CEST).

Applicants will be informed about the results of the admission process by: August 21, 2022.

Summer Academy:

  • CORE Summer Academy – September 21-23 & 26-27, 2022.
  • The time zone of all Core Summer School activities is Central European Summer Time (UTC+2).

Attendees will be required to familiarize themselves with the pre-Summer Academy reading material and recordings.

  • Webinars: Four webinars will be held across October and December 2022.

Submission of the short papers for e-publication: February 2023

Online format

The Summer Academy will be conducted via video conferencing software such as Zoom or/and Big Blue Button.

Participants must have access to appropriate computing facilities as well as a reliable internet connection to enable full participation in the online sessions.

To ensure active participation in the session, it is expected that participants will be signed into the meeting platform under their full name and surname and will have their cameras turned on. In special circumstances, participants can request permission from the organizers to be relieved from this obligation.

Pre-reading material

For best learning outcomes, participants should have the background knowledge necessary to follow a course by reading through the course instructions and materials as well as listening to a series of short recordings provided prior to the Summer Academy to the accepted participants.

Language

All sessions of the Core Summer Academy will be conducted in ENGLISH. All reading material and pre-reading material will also be in English.

All four webinars will be held in English with simultaneous interpretation into Russian (via Zoom).

The presentations will be shared with participants in both English and Russian.

Cost

CEE&CA Summer Academy is free of charge for the accepted participants, on condition that they will participate to a minimum of 90% of classes held.

This is possible thanks to the grant under the Active Citizens – Regional Fund from Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway, through EEA Grants and in-kind contribution provided by the CEE&CA partners, which cover the majority of the organizational costs of the Summer Academy, which are approximately 550 Euro per participant.

However, the admitted participants will be required to pay a small deposit of 25 Euro to ensure that minimum administration costs are covered in the case of their withdrawal before the end of the Core Summer Academy. The deposit will be returned to participants upon completion of the Core Summer Academy.

NOTE: Participants can apply to have the deposit fee waived (to be allowed not to pay the deposit), in the case of personal fiscal limitations or other circumstances making such payment impossible.

The participation in a minimum of 90% of all sessions during the Core Summer Academy is required to obtain a Certificate of Participation. [In case participation is affected by the circumstances outside of control of an individual (e.g. blackouts of electricity possibly due to conflict), organizers will work with the affected participant to ensure they have access to the recordings of the missed sessions.]

Participants

The CEECA Summer Academy was designed to address the needs of professionals such as final year students, CSR/RBC/ESG specialists, business executives, government officers, lawyers and policy makers, human rights defenders, civil society representatives, researchers, as well as other public- and private-sector practitioners from Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia countries (see section on Recruitment criteria for the list of eligible countries), who are interested and are/want to be actively engaged in business and human rights work and wish to gain a multidimensional understanding of current developments, key issues and possibilities for change to the established models.

We aim at individuals caring for the social good and committed to driving change in their organizations and beyond.

When you attend the CEE&CA Summer Academy on Business & Human Rights, you will be part of a cohort of max. 25 outstanding participants from different countries and sectors.

Additionally, up to 5 reserve list participants will be allowed to participate in the three first days of the CORE part of the Summer Academy. They will not be required to pay the deposit. A statement confirming participation in the theory section of the Core Summer Academy will be issued upon request.

The selection will be based on the evaluation of the application, as well as taking into account regional representation, and ensuring a gender and professional balance.

Anyone who is uncertain about whether the Summer Academy is suitable for their needs or their background should contact the Summer Academy team for advice: ceeca-academy@pihrb.org

Recruitment criteria

In order to be eligible for the Summer Academy, applicants must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • Be a national / citizen of one of the following countries: Countries belonging to the Eastern European States Regional Group in the United Nations and Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan.
  • Have a good working knowledge of English (proved by certificates but self-certification is also admissible. The organizers reserve the right to organize an online interview to test the English skills of the applicants).
  • Submit an online application form (here).
  • Send your CV/Resume (in ENGLISH, PDF only) and letter of motivation (in English, PDF only) explaining why you want to attend the course and how you will use the knowledge obtained in the future.
  • Have at least a basic knowledge of human rights confirmed by either attendance of a university course (add a scan of grades obtained to your email), or completing a non-academic course on Human Rights (please add certificate(s) or any other evidence of attendance).

Note: It is possible for an applicant to be accepted conditionally. In such a situation s/he will be requested to complete, prior to the Summer Academy, an online course on Human rights organized by the Council of Europe, Amnesty International or the United for Human Rights Platform (Basic Human Rights course is available in several languages incl. English and Russian).

All applicants who submit their completed applications on time will be informed about the outcome of their applications via email by August 21, 2022.

Certificate and Diploma

a.     Certificate of Participation

At the end of the Summer Academy, participants who have participated to a minimum of 90% of the classes scheduled between 21-27 September and who have completed all the discussions and quizzes will receive a free certificate confirming their participation.

All participants who receive the Certificate of Participation will have the opportunity to become members of the CEE&CA Summer Academy Alumni BHR Network. Membership of the network will be free of charge to Alumni.

 

b.     Diploma of the CEE&CA Summer Academy

The Diploma of the CEE&CA Summer Academy Participants will be granted to those participants, who:

  • meet the criteria for receiving the Certificate of Participation, and
  • take an active part in a minimum of 3 out of the 4 webinars organized between October and December 2022, and
  • write a short, three to five page long paper on a BHR topic under the supervision of the SA faculty member for inclusion in the post-SA e-publication.

Thanks to collaboration with the CEE&CA Resource Hub, participants, who  receive the Diploma, will be listed – subject to their prior consent – on the CEE&CA Resource Hub as BHR contact points for their respective countries.

In addition, the authors of a minimum of the 3 best papers will be invited to present them at the conference organized in the spring 2023 in Poland. Organizers of the Summer Academy will undertake to secure funds to cover the full costs of their flights and accommodation for the duration of the conference.

How to apply

 

To apply you need to:

  • complete an online application form, specifying:
    • Surname, name, date of birth, citizenship
    • Address and contact details for any communication
    • Level of proficiency in English
    • Education and professional history

AND

  • send by email to ceeca-academy@pihrb.org:
    • Obligatory:
      • A CV or Resume (PDF only, in English)
      • A motivation Letter (max. 2 page single spaced – PDF only, in English)
    • Facultative:
      • a copy of the documentation confirming a basic knowledge of human rights and a working knowledge of English (certificates, copy of the student grade book with the grade/mark for any Human Rights Course; a certificate of completion of a course in Human Rights provided by another organization, etc.).

The deadline for submitting applications is August 8, 2022, 23:59 CEST.

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis, so we encourage early submissions.

Successful candidates will be requested:

  • to pay by a specified date a 25 Euro deposit, which will be returned to them at the end of the Core Summer Academy held in September, subject to participation in a minimum of 90% of the sessions held. [Note: Participants can apply to have the deposit fee waived (i.e. not to have to pay the deposit), in the case of personal financial limitations or other circumstances making such payment impossible.]

Organizers foresee also a short reserve list. Applicants who find themselves on the reserve list, will be allowed to participate in the first 3 days of the Summer Academy.

How can we help?

Should you have any questions or would require additional information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

CEE&CA Summer Academy Secretariat email: ceeca-academy@pihrb.org

 

We look forward to welcoming you at the CEE&CA Summer Academy!

The call for applications is already closed.

Alumni

We are pleased to announce that the following people have completed the first edition of CEE&CA Summer Academy on Human Rights and Business and have received certificate of attendence:

  • Nodira Abdulloeva (Tajikistan),
  • Gulnaz Baiturova (Kyrgyz Republic),
  • Zarina Bakenova (Kazakhstan),
  • Nurlan Bakirov (Kyrgyz Republic),
  • Ana Dangova Hug (North Macedonia),
  • Krystyna Danikowska (Poland),
  • Sandra Dziel-Latanowicz (Poland),
  • Iryna Fedorovych (Ukraine),
  • Ruhiyya Isayeva (Azerbaijan),
  • Murat Karypov (Kyrgyz Republic),
  • Katarzyna Katana (Poland),
  • Zsuzsanna Kerber (Hungary),
  • Nanuli Khechikashvili (Georgia),
  • Mariusz Kośla (Poland),
  • Akaki Kukhaleishvili (Georgia),
  • Maryna Kupchuk (Ukraine),
  • Dina Massanova (Kazakhstan),
  • Oleksandr Misiats (Ukraine),
  • Gunel Mughanlinskaya (Azerbaijan),
  • Franciszek Nowak (Poland),
  • Nikol Olya (Bulgaria),
  • Valeriia Poiedynok (Ukraine),
  • Snizhana Shevchenko (Ukraine),
  • Małgorzata Szlendak (Poland),
  • Kaja Thiele (Poland),
  • Dilbar Turakhanova (Tajikistan),
  • Ahmad Tural (Azerbaijan).

GDPR Information Clause

The Summer Academy GDPR Information Clause can be accessed HERE

Contact details

SUMMER ACADEMY’S WEBMAIL

  ceeca-academy@pihrb.org

CEE&CA SUMMER ACADEMY CO-DIRECTORS:

  • Beata Faracik, LL.M., PIHRB
  • Dr Olena Uvarova, YMNLU

LIGHTHOUSE-KEEPERS’ PROJECT CO-ORDINATOR:

  • Aleksandra Wardak

LHK Project

The Summer Academy 2022 is part of a broader project 'Lighthouse-keepers: Business and Human Rights Cooperation Network’ led by the Polish Institute for Human Rights and Business (PIHRB) in partnership with the Ukrainian Yaroslav Mudryi National Law University (Ukrainian: Національний юридичний університет імені Ярослава Мудрого), the Icelandic Association for Sustainable Democracy Alda (Icelandic: Alda – félag um sjálfbærni og lýðræði), the Icelandic Ombudsman for Children (Icelandic: Umboðsmaður barna).

The project benefits from a grant under the Active Citizens – Regional Fund from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, through EEA Grants. See more about the project, HERE.

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