Business, Conflict & Human Rights Course

Learn and exchange about challenges and best practices for responsible business in conflict contexts.

This course is organized in collaboration with SAFESTAINABLE.

Course topic

What is needed for businesses to operate responsibly in volatile areas? The course explores this question from various angles. It discusses state of the art international standards on business and human rights and ways for companies to implement them. It sheds light on the roles and strategies of companies, governments, international organizations and civil society in promoting responsible business practices.

Program overview 2016
Program overview 2015
Program overview 2014

Your benefits

  • Become familiar with relevant regulations, and initiatives at national and international levels
  • Learn about best practices and improve your ability to practically implement and promote responsible business conduct
  • Develop a tailor-made action plan for one of your current projects to guide future implementation
  • Better understand the perspectives of other stakeholder groups
  • Enlarge your network of international practitioners and experts

This course is an ideal preparation and complement to the participation at the UN Forum on Business and Human Rights, taking place in Geneva in the days after the course.


This course is designed for practitioners from business, civil society and government involved in promoting responsible business in volatile areas. It may be particularly interesting for participants attending the UN Forum on Business and Human Rights in Geneva, taking place from 27 – 29 November just after the course.

The course will be held with a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 25 participants.


Leading scholars and experienced practitioners from swisspeace and Safestainable facilitate this course. External speakers include highlevel representatives from companies, governments and civil society organizations.

Course Coordinators:
Dr. Sibel Gürler, swisspeace & Hanspeter Heinrich, Safestainable

Ron Popper, formerly ABB
Stephan Suhner, Arbeitsgruppe Schweiz-Kolumbien ASK
Claude Voillat, ICRC

Faculty list 2016
Faculty list 2015
Faculty list 2014

Structure & methodology

The course consists of preparatory reading and a 3-day on-site training. Course methodologies include expert inputs, peer exchange, case studies, exercises, skills training and self-study.


Successful participants are awarded a Confirmation of Participation. This course can be taken as one module (2 ECTS) of the Certificate, Diploma and Master of Advanced Studies in Civilian Peacebuilding programs offered by swisspeace and the University of Basel.

Any questions about this course?

Please take a look at the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). If you cannot find the information you are looking for, our staff will happily answer your questions (contact us).