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Business and Human Rights: Moving Forward, Looking Back 

September 23 - 24, 2013, West Virginia University
Conference Chair: Jena Martin (WVU College of Law)

The West Virginia University Festival of Ideas in conjunction with the West Virginia University College of Law invites the submission of papers and abstracts for its conference entitled "Business and Human Rights: Moving Forward, Looking Back." The conference will examine the United Nations' recent work on business and human rights issues, an area that has grown substantially in the last ten years. Highlights of the subject's growth include the United Nations' establishment of a Working Group on Business and Human Rights and its adoption of the Guiding Principles for business and human rights. Participants will use these two major events as a focal point for discussing the roles that corporations, civil society, and states can all play in advancing the cause of human rights.

TOPICS: Potential topics for the conference include: Implementation - a discussion of best practices for implementing the Guiding Principles; the History of Business and Human Rights - examining the history of business and human rights as a precursor to the work in its present form; and The Framework - examining what principles or philosophies should be used to guide the business and human rights agenda. We also plan on holding a panel that highlights one of the issues that the Working Group is focusing on for their upcoming Forum in December: small and medium business entities and their role in the extractive industry. We plan on submitting the findings from this discussion to the Working Group.

During the second day of the conference, a special discussion group will bring together experts from a disparate number of fields, such as labor, trade, investment, and corporate social responsibility. The aim is to spotlight the impacts a business and human rights agenda has on different disciplines. Rather than following the format of a typical panel, the discussion group will be a less structured session that will allow both experts and participants to engage in a lightly moderated but productive conversation.

Please submit papers on substantial, original, and unpublished research related to all aspects of business and human rights, including but not limited to the topics discussed above. Other topics of particular interest include current agenda items from the Working Group's mandate. In addition, we encourage submissions of interdisciplinary research including research in law, practice, and economics.

Papers that are selected for the conference are expected to be published as part of an edited volume on the subject. Initial submissions in response to the Call for Papers can be either full drafts (of no more than 15,000 words) or detailed abstracts (of no more than 1,000 words). Scholars that have their abstracts accepted in lieu of a paper are expected to have a final draft submitted by September 1. Participants whose papers are selected will be responsible for their travel arrangements to the conference; however, the conference will pay for invited participants' lodging during the conference.

REQUIREMENTS: Each paper submitted should be an original that has not been published in a prior work.

From SSRN.

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