Libby Rahman: Understanding Human Rights

We’re really excited to have our alumna Libby Rahman leading our delegation to the UN Forum on Business and Human Rights next month! To join her, apply by midnight tomorrow right here.

I thought I understood what Human Rights were throughout high school and my first few years of university. I realised ten minutes into my first proper lecture on Human Rights at the University of Auckland that I did not really understand Human Rights. Over the course of a semester, I learnt that it’s quite easy if understand the International Human Rights frameworks. There’s three core components.

  • There’s the Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaimed by the United Nations in 1948, it’s 30 articles outline the most fundamental rights we all have.

  • There are 9 important Covenants and Conventions on Human Rights that form Core International Human Rights Instruments.

  • There’s also many guidance documents available for Government bodies, Civil Society and Academics to utilise to make sure Human Rights are respected, protected and fulfilled. Eg) Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

I also learnt a great deal about Business and Human Rights while doing research and writing 10,000 words for my BA(Hons) dissertation on the Role of Pharmaceutical Corporations in Improving Access to Essential Medicines in Developing Countries from a Human Rights Perspective.

I completed that research six years ago. Today, I do Analytics work in the Banking sector and am still fascinated by the topic Business and Human Rights. The Age of Big Data, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence presents exciting opportunities for everyone but it also presents challenges such as protecting people’s right to privacy. The issue has got a lot of press coverage this year following the Cambridge Analytica scandal which unearthed Facebook’s breach of user privacy and Mark Zukerberg subsequent Congressional Hearing. I am really looking forward to attending sessions on disruptive technology at the Business and Human Rights Forum next month and hope to have you join me for the experience!

All posts by Institute delegates reflect their own thoughts, opinions and experiences.


Posted on October 19, 2018 and filed under Business & HR 2018.