STSA Business and Human Rights Certificate


In 2011, the United Nations Human Rights Council unanimously endorsed the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs). Drafted by Prof. John Ruggie (University of Harvard), UN Special Representative, brought a new internationally recognized framework for companies to respect human rights. The UNGPs are also integrated in the OECD Guidelines on Responsible Business Conduct for a variety of supply chains.

As a pioneer worldwide, the commodity trading and shipping community in Switzerland, under the auspices of the Swiss Trading and Shipping Association (STSA) worked in a multistakeholder group to develop a sector specific guidance for the implementation of the UNGPs.

To accompany the sector specific guidance, a new training programme for the implementation of the UNGPs and the OECD Guidelines, specifically tailored for companies active in commodity trading will be launched in November 2018 by STSA.

Requirements for Human Rights Due diligence are increasing. Countries are starting to introduce binding measures like the French law on the Corporate Duty of Vigilance or as foreseen by the German National Action Plan. Switzerland is currently considering introducing binding measures in the framework of the Responsible Business Initiative. In this context, the challenge for companies lies in the implementation of these expectations.


3 Seminars / November-December/ 30 total teaching hours: 9 hours per module


The course will follow the structure of the sector-specific guidance for the implementation of the UNGPs

Seminar 1: Assessing Human Rights Risks and Benchmarks

Session 1 (Tuesday 13 November): Expectations towards companies

Session 2 (Thursday 15 November): Identification and assessment of Human Rights risks

Session 3 (Tuesday 20 November): Workshop

Seminar 2: Building a Human Rights Policy

Session 4 (Thursday 22 November): Development of Human Rights policies

Session 5 (Tuesday 27 November): Preventing and mitigating

Session 6 (Friday 30 November): Workshop

Seminar 3: Tracking Human Rights Performance and Communicating

Session 7 (Tuesday 4 December): Communicating and tracking performance

Session 8 (Thursday 6 December): Remedy

Session 9 (Thursday 6 December): Workshop

Session 10 (Thursday 13 December): Final assignment


Each module is subject to an assessment, including one or a combination of the following: in-class exam, classroom presentations, and take-home assignments

Diploma awarded

Students who successfully complete the programme will be awarded the STSA Business and Human Rights Certificate. STSA as a trade association is recognized by companies in commodity trading for the quality of its trainings and their adequacy to the needs of the commodity trading activity.


This practice-oriented certificate provides participants with essential tools to implement the UNGP for B&HR and the OECD Guidelines:

  • Identifying and assessing human rights risks,
  • Developing a policy commitment and embedding respect for human rights into management systems,
  • Preventing and mitigating adverse impacts,
  • Communicating and tracking performance,
  • Providing for or cooperating in remediation when appropriate


Legal, compliance, CSR, management and any person interested in how to integrate HR principles in companies. Specifically targeted for SMEs.



Course Schedule and Location


STSA, 11 rue de Chantepoulet, 1201 Genève


Deadline: 1 November 2018

Online: Click here

Program Director

Dr. Nina Eggert, STSA

Contact / +41(0)22 715 29 90