Our Purpose

December 10, 2019, the International Law Section and the International Human Rights Committee celebrates International Human Rights Day. In honor of the Committee’s dedication to educating Texas lawyers about international human rights issues, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner is recognizing the Committee. We invite you to join us! Learn more: https://conta.cc/35aCTZX

Bylaws for the International Human Rights Committee of the International Law Section of the State Bar of Texas

(Ver Mas En Español Abajo) Lawyers in the state of Texas whose clients are involved in international business may be confronted more frequently with the human, legal, and reputational risk associated with violations of internationally recognized human rights.  The SBOT International Section’s International Human Rights Committee is charged with providing information and guidance on this topic for practicing lawyers in Texas. Therefore, Committee pursues the following activities:

  1. To study the issues that confront practicing lawyers due to violations of international human rights;
  2. To develop guidance for lawyers practicing in the international arena on the issues presented by international human rights violations;
  3. To provide information on international human rights at the SBOT’s annual meeting, the International Section’s Annual Institute, or at other state or local meetings;
  4. To assist law firms and law schools to further address in their training and education programs the issues of internationally recognized human rights and the issues presented in international law practices;
  5. To encourage lawyers within the International Section and within the SBOT in general to take a leadership role with regard to addressing violations of internationally recognized human rights;
  6. To review the rules of disciplinary procedures of the State Bar of Texas to determine if any amendments would be appropriate in order to further advise and guide the members of the bar on the issue of internationally recognized human rights;
  7. To establish a network of lawyers within the state of Texas with experience in international matters and international human rights to provide technical assistance to lawyers confronted with such issues;
  8. To discuss with government officials and other stakeholders the importance of addressing issues related to internationally recognized human rights by the legal profession in Texas; and
  9. To report to the International Section and the State Bar of Texas on an annual basis on the progress that the Committee has made on each of the goals stated herein.

En EspañolNuestro objetivo

Los abogados del Estado de Texas, cuyos clientes estén involucrados en transacciones internacionales, enfrentan con mayor frecuencia riesgos jurídicos, humanos y en su reputación asociados con violaciones a los derechos humanos reconocidos internacionalmente. El SBOT International Sections{ International Human Rights Committee provee información y orientación en estos temas a los abogados en el ejercicio profesional en Texas.

A tal efecto, el Comité realizará las siguientes actividades:

  1. Estudiar los temas que confrontan los abogados en su ejercicio profesional como resultado de violaciones al derecho internacional de los derechos humanos;

  2. Desarrollar guías para abogados que ejerzan la profesión en el ámbito internacional sobre los temas que puedan presentarse debido a violaciones al derecho internacional de los derechos humanos;

  3. Proveer información sobre el derecho internacional de los derechos humanos en las reuniones anuales del SBOT, el International Section’s Annual Institute, o en cualquier otra reunión local o estatal;

  4. Asistir a despachos jurídicos y facultades de derecho para que aborden en sus capacitaciones y currículo temas de derechos humanos internacionalmente reconocidos y asuntos que se presenten en la práctica del derecho internacional;

  5. Promover que los abogados dentro del Internacional Law Section y, en general, dentro del SBOT, asuman posiciones de liderazgo en la confrontación contra las violaciones a los derechos humanos reconocidos internacionalmente;

  6. Revisar anualmente las normas de los procedimientos disciplinarios del SBOT para determinar la necesidad de reformas que permitan un mejor asesoramiento y orientación a los miembros de la barra en asuntos de derechos humanos internacionalmente reconocidos;

  7. Establecer una red dentro del Estado de Texas, de abogados con experiencia en asuntos internacionales y en derecho internacional de los derechos humanos, para proveer asistencia técnica a abogados que se enfrentan a este tipo de problemas;

  8. Discutir con oficiales del Gobierno y otros actores sobre la importancia que tiene en el ejercicio de la profesional legal en Texas, el trabajar en temas relaciones con los derechos humanos reconocidos internacionalmente; e

  9. Informar anualmente a SBOT y a su International Section sobre el progreso que el Comité haya logardo sobre cada uno d elos objetivos aquí señalados.

Reference Library

  1. Reference Library: Business and Human Rights OVERVIEW:
    1. General Guidance
    2. Sector Specific Resources
    3. Specific Topics
    4. Government/OAS Materials
    5. Texas Resources
    6. Other Resources

     

     

    1. GENERAL GUIDANCE

    Business and Human Rights Principles

    • UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights – Read More

     

    Human Rights Standards

     

    Country Specific Information on Human Rights

    • Amnesty International – Read More
    • Council on Hemispheric Affairs – Read More
    • Derechos.org – Read More
    • Human Rights Watch – Read More
    • Oxfam International – Research and Publications – Read More
    • Refworld Country Information Collection – Read More
    • U.S. State Department Human Rights Reports – Read More
    • World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples – Read More

     

     

     

    Guidance for Lawyers and Bar Associations

    • ABA on Business and Human Rights – Read More
    • Advocates for International Development: A Guide for the Legal ProfessionRead More
    • International Bar Association: Guidelines/Working Group – Read More
    • Texas Bar Journal, Global Thinking – Read More

     

    UN Work on Business and Human Rights

    • UN Global Compact – Read More
    • UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights – Read More
    • UN Working Group on a Business and Human Rights Treaty – Read More
    • UN website on Human Rights and Business – Read More
    • Human Rights Council’s open-ended intergovernmental working group on transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to human rights (OEIWG): “Zero Draft” Treaty — Read More

     

     

SECTOR SPECIFIC RESOURCES

 

Apparel & Footwear

  • KnowTheChain: 2018 Apparel and Footwear Benchmark — Read More
  • World Report 2018: Transparency in the Apparel Industry (Human Rights Watch) — Read More

 

Banking/Investment

  • Equator Principles — Read More
  • International Financial Corporation — Read More
  • UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Guidance on banking sector – Read More
  • Worldbank.org: The Environmental and Social Framework — Read More

 

Construction

  • Guidelines for a Better Construction Industry in the GCC: A Code of Conduct for Construction Companies (Human Rights Watch) — Read More
  • Business and Human Rights Resource Centre: Construction — Read More

 

Extractives

  • OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High Risk Areas – Read More
  • International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association (IPIECA): Human Rights Training Toolkit for the Oil and Gas Industry — Read More
  • Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative — Read More

 

Information & Communications Technology

  • BSR Primer: 10 Human Rights Priorities for the Information and Communications Technology Sector — Read More
  • Ethical Operating System Guide and Toolkit – Read More
  • KnowTheChain: 2018 Information and Communications Technology Benchmark — Read More
  • Ranking Digital Rights 2018 Corporate Accountability Index — Read More

 

 

III. SPECIFIC TOPICS

 

Accountability/Tracking Implementation

  • Corporate Human Rights Benchmark – Read More
  • Human Rights First. Campaign: Bankrupt Slavery: Dismantling the Business of Human Trafficking. – Read More

Due Diligence

 

Grievance Mechanisms

  • Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO) – Read More
  • OECD Guidelines: UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights – Read More
  • International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association (IPIECA): Community grievance mechanisms in the oil and gas industry – Read More

 

Modern Slavery

 

Non-Financial Reporting

  • European Union Directive 2014/95/EU – Read More
  • Global Reporting Initiative – Read More
  • Integrated Reporting – Read More
  • OECD Responsible Business Conduct: OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises – Read More
  • UN Global Compact – Read More

 

 

Remedies – Access to Justice

  • Issues related to EU companies, Human Rights in Business – Read More

 

Specific Groups

  – Children

  • ECPAT – A Global Network to Protect Children against Commercial Sexual Exploitation – Read More
  • Children’s Defense Fund – Read More
  • OECD Practical actions for companies to identify and address the worst forms of child labour in mineral supply chains – Read More
  • United National Convention on the Rights of the Child – Read More

 

  – Indigenous Peoples

  • UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples – Read More
  • Native American Rights Fund – Read More
  • UN Global Compact: Guide for Businesses – Read More

 

– Women

  • UN Commission on the Status of Women – Read More
  • UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women – Read More
  • UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences – Read More
  • UN Women – Read More
  • UN Working Group on the issue of discrimination against women in law and practice  – Read More

 

Supply Chains

  • OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High Risk Areas – Read More
  • The United Nations Financial Action Task Force (FATF) – Read More

4. GOVERNMENT/OAS MATERIALS

  • Government Materials, Generally
  • US Government Materials
    • Advisory on Sanctions Risks for Businesses w/Supply Chain Links to North Korea – Read More
    • FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018, Section 408, Training on Human Trafficking Training for Certain Staff – Read More
    • Overseas Private Investment Corporation: Office of Accountability — Read More
    • State.gov: A Guide to the U.S. National Contact Point for the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises — Read More
    • Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000– Read More
    • U.S. Department of State: Trafficking in Persons Report, 2018. – Read More

 

  • Organization of American States
    • Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
      • Annual Report of the Office of the Special Rapporteur on Economic, Social, Cultural and Environmental Rights – Read More
      • Resolution 1/18 on Human Rights and Corruption – Read More
      • Report on Indigenous Peoples, Communities of African Descent: Extractive Industries – Read More
      • Report on Poverty and Human Rights (with references to businesses) – Read More

 

    • Inter-American Court of Human Rights
      • Case of the Kaliña y Lokono Peoples v. Suriname, Merits, Reparations, and Costs. Judgment of November 25, 2015 Series C No. 309, para. 224. – Read More
      • Advisory Opinion The Environment and Human Rights (State obligations in relation to the environment in the context of the protection and guarantee of the rights to life and to personal integrity – interpretation and scope of Articles 4(1) and 5(1) of the American Convention on Human Rights). – Read More
      • Advisory Opinion OC-23/17 of November 15, 2017. Series A No. 23. (Only in Spanish). – Read More

 

5. TEXAS RESOURCES

 

  • S.H.E. is Freedom: Domestic Minor Trafficking (Waco) – Read More
  • The Heart of Texas Human Trafficking Coalition (Central Texas) – Read More
  • Colibri Center for Human Rights: South Texas Human Rights Center – Read More
  • Texas Coalition for Human Rights – Read More
  • Human Rights Initiative of North Texas – Read More
  • Texas Commission on Human Rights Act – Read More
  • Human Trafficking by the Numbers: The Initial Benchmark of Prevalence and Economic Impact for Texas. Austin, TX: Institute on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, the University of Texas at Austin. Busch-Armendariz, N.B., Nale, N.L. Kammer-Kerwick, M., Kellison, B., M.I.M., Cook Heffon, L., Nehme, J. (2016). – Read More
  • Texas Education Agency (TEA): Training on Sex Trafficking in Schools – Read More
  • Border Network for Human Rights – Read More

 

 

  1. OTHER RESOURCES

 

Academic Centers on Human Rights

  • Derechos Humanos – Human Rights Links – Read More
  • HURISEARCH – Read More
  • International Justice Resource Center – Thematic Research Guides – Read More
  • International Justice Resource Center – Online Research Hub – Read More
  • New York University – Center for Business and Human Rights – Read More
  • United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNOHCHR) Library – Read More
  • University of Minnesota – Human Rights Library – Read More
  • University of Ottawa – Human Rights Research and Education Centre – Read More
  • Washington College of Law – Human Rights in Business Program – Read More

 

Business and Human Rights Organizations/Sources

  • Amnesty International section on Corporations – Read More
  • Business & Human Rights Resources Centre — Read More
  • Center for International Environmental Law –  Read More
  • Coalition for Human Rights in Development  – Read More
  • The Danish Institute on Human Rights – Read More
  • EarthRights International  – Read More
  • The Global Business Initiative on Human Rights’ (GBI) – Read More
  • Human Rights Watch section on Business – Read More
  • The Institute for Multi-Stakeholder Initiative Integrity – Read More
  • Institute on Human Rights and Business (Think tank) – Read More
  • International Commission of Jurists, section on Business and Human Rights – Read More
  • International Corporate Accountability Roundtable — Read More /  List of Members — Read More
  • International Justice Resource Center – Read More

 

Human Rights Writing Contest 2019-2020

As part of the State Bar of Texas International Law Section’s commitment to providing information and guidance on international human rights issues, the Section sponsors a writing contest that is open to individuals attending law school (including LL.M. programs) within the State of Texas and Texas residents in law school outside of Texas.

PRIZES

A first-place prize of $1,500 will be awarded for the best entry as judged by representatives from the Section and up to $350 for travel expenses to the Section’s Annual Institute in Dallas, TX April 23-24, 2020. If sufficient entries are received, second and third place prizes may also be given. The winner(s) will also be publicly recognized at the Annual Institute. Additionally, the winning essay(s) will be published in the Section’s quarterly International Newsletter.

SUBMISSION

Submissions are due March 31, 2020 on or before 11:59 PM (Central Time) prior to the Annual Institute and should be sent by email attachment to Cristina Lunders at  Cristinakl@yahoo.com. The email should have the subject header “State Bar of Texas International Law Section Writing Contest” and contain the contact information for the author(s). The contestant’s name and other identifying markings such as school name are not to be listed in the attachment.

GUIDELINES

The essay may address any aspect of international human rights law that the contestant chooses. There are no minimum or maximum word limits, and papers should be double-spaced, with twelve-point font and one-inch margins.

RULES

The first-place winner will be required to submit a completed W-9 form prior to receiving the award, and is responsible for all taxes associated with the award. The ideas and work reflected by each entry must be the author’s or authors’ own. This contest is governed by U.S. law and all relevant federal, state, and local laws and regulations apply. The winner will be required to submit proof of eligibility.

The Texas Access to Justice Contribution

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