Polish Institute for Human Rights and Business (PIHRB) is an independent, non-profit and impartial think tank offering advanced expertise in Human Rights and Business, labour law and relations, social unrest, stakeholder engagement and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), as well as educational and awareness raising programmes.

PIHRB aim is to advance Human Rights and Business/UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) implementation in Poland by contributing through research and activities that influence the everyday practice of all market actors, policy and legislation development as well as educational activities, to improve respect for human rights and sustainable development principles in business context.

Convinced that only enhanced and open cooperation and interaction of all actors can result in most effective and fair solutions for all, PIHRB cooperates with all stakeholder groups, to:

  • Raise awareness and improve business competencies in the area of human rights to help them understand what human rights are and how to respect them in everyday conduct (e.g. presentations at business-oriented events, training, research, publications).
  • Build capacity of NGOs and Trade Unions to enhance effectiveness of their action in the area of human rights and business (e.g. workshops, research, mailing list, publications, coordination of the CSR Watch Coalition).
  • Provide support to the public administration in efforts leading to introduction of legislation and policies promoting and supporting responsible business conduct (e.g. contributing to the consultations, research, member of the Group on SD & CSR).

PIHRB also undertakes educational and awareness raising activities aimed not only at the above mentioned groups, but also at children, youth and students to ensure that the next generation is sensitized to those issues before entering the market (presentations at conferences, organization of seminars, educational events, projects, publications; cooperation with student volunteers, organization of internships).

Since 2018 we are also engaged on pro-bono basis in improving legislative framework and developing tools aimed to help identify and prevent forced labour in Poland, as a coordinator of the Working Group on Workers operating within  Committee on Sustainable Development and CSR, an auxiliary body to the Minister of Funds and Regional Policy and prior to that, the Minister of Innovation and Development. Prior to that we contributed to the work of its predecessors with Ministry of Economy (2014-2015) .

PIHRB:

  • co-initiated creation of the CSR Watch Coalition Poland, to create a representative partner for government in the area of human rights and business.
  • is a member of the international NGOs platforms like European Coalition for Corporate Justice, OECD Watch;
  • in 2019 joined the Electronics Watch Monitoring Partners network
  • cooperates with recognized academic institutions like University of Oslo, University of Warsaw, University of Bergen, Jagiellonian University, Vistula AFIB.
  • cooperates with UN Global Compact Poland providing it with advice on human rights and business. PIHRB is also a member of the UN Global Compact initiative. Our Communication on Engagement for the period 2016-2018 can be accessed here.

In 2019, PIHRB experts, for example:

  • were involved in several projects, such as:
    • Valuing Respect Project by Shift aimed to research and co-create better ways of evaluating business respect for human rights);
    • Improving Access to Remedy in Central & Eastern Europe (in collaboration with SOMO / OECD Watch);
    • Sustainable Market Actors for Responsible Trade with a task to identify the legal barriers  to sustainable and responsible business performance in Polish jurisdiction and help design solution (SMART is a Horizon 2020-funded project coordinated by University of Oslo), as well as
    • several social auditing projects, including as part of the Electronics Watch network.
  • have organized a number of both by-invitation and open events including e.g.:
    • European Coalition for Corporate Justice AGM (May 2019);
    • Seminar on Inclusive Culture in cooperation with and funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (May 2019) Post-seminar publication is available at: https://tinyurl.com/ute37l6 Selected texts from the publication are also reprinted in February 2020 issue of “Personel & Zarządzanie” journal (Personnel & Management);
    • session on ‘Regional dialogue: lessons learned, challenges, innovation – Eastern Europe” during the 2019 UN Forum on Business and Human Rights (UN Forum on BHR) in Geneva in cooperation with the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights (Nov. 2019);
    • session “Regulating for corporate governance that respects human rights. Achieving a step-change in business and society relationships” at the 2019 UN Forum on BHR.(Nov. 2019);
    • CEE Multi-stakeholder consultations as part of the Valuing Respect Project by Shift (Oct.2019) and mini-consultations concerning Business Models Red Flags (Dec.2019).
  • have been involved in teaching and training aimed for students:
    • designed and delivered whole day case-study based workshop as part of the Rights2Be Forum with ELSA Poland (incl. coordination of involvement of 6 experts-mentors from various sectors)
    • delivered guest lectures at the University of Bergen, Norway (Master Course on Business and Human Rights), Vistula University (Warsaw), etc.

Further information about our activities can be accessed at this link: COE 2016-2018

PIHRB brings together a group of experts with advanced academic expertise and on-the-ground operational experience of working with human rights & business issues from variety of perspectives (public sector, trade unions, CSOs & academia as well as experience of advising business), who are recognized for their expertise in Poland and abroad. While PIHRB was established only in March 2014 (formal court registration in April 2014), its key experts and co-founders – Beata Faracik & Joanna Szymonek – have over a 15 year long track record of human rights & business related work (e.g. first international conference on UNGPs in Central&Eastern Europe, translation of UNGPs into Polish, ca. 100 trade unionists/NGO representatives trained on OECD National Contact Point’ complaints procedure) and first-hand work experience from public sector, trade unions, CSOs & academia as well as experience of advising business.

PIHRB does not promote any specific political agenda.

PIHRB is registered as a foundation – entry into the Court’s Register nr KRS 0000505623.

Contact: 

For general information you can contact us at  office@pihrb.org 

If your inquiry concerns specific  project or issue (e.g. collaboration possibility, training, etc.) please contact:  beata.faracik@pihrb.org

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