Bringing Responsibility Home

A symposium on business, human rights and the role of home states

International and Canadian leaders from government, business, academia, the legal profession and civil society will gather in Ottawa on September 28 to examine the role of home state governments in addressing the human rights challenges associated with transnational business.

Where: Parliament Hill, Ottawa, Canada
When: September 28, 2017, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
(followed by reception)

The symposium, presented by Above Ground and the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable, will take place on the eve of Canada’s G7 presidency. Participants will explore ground-breaking European and international developments relating to business and human rights, along with opportunities for Canada to emerge as a leader in this rapidly evolving field.

Confirmed speakers and roundtable participants include:

  • John Ruggie, former UN Special Representative for business and human rights
  • Ian Binnie, former Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada
  • Alex Neve, Secretary General, Amnesty International Canada
  • Dominique Potier, French parliamentarian and leading proponent of France’s new corporate duty of care legislation
  • Florian Wettstein, business ethics professor, University of St. Gallen (Switzerland)
  • Erin Simpson, refugee and human rights lawyer
  • Seema Joshi, head of business and human rights, Amnesty International
  • Luis C. deBaca, former Ambassador to Monitor & Combat Trafficking in Persons and former director of the U.S. Department of Justice Sex Offender (SMART) Office
  • Dr. Peter German, president of the International Centre for Criminal Law Reform and Criminal Justice Policy, University of British Columbia
  • Madelaine Drohan, Canada correspondent for The Economist
  • Anita Ramasastry, member of the UN working group on business and human rights
  • Duane McMullen, director general of Global Affairs Canada’s trade operations bureau
  • Brian W. Burkett, senior partner at Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP
  • Kevin Thomas, director of shareholder engagement for SHARE
  • Penelope Simons, law professor and member of the Human Rights and Research Education Centre at the University of Ottawa
  • Andrew Cheatle, Executive Director, Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada

This event is co-hosted by members of Parliament Dean Allison (Conservative Party),  Gary Anandasangaree (Liberal Party), Cheryl Hardcastle (New Democratic Party) and Elizabeth May (Green Party), and Senators Raynell Andreychuk (Conservative Party) and Marilou McPhedran (Independent Senators Group).

See the full list of speakers and hosts, and their biographies, here.


See the symposium agenda here.

All inquiries about the symposium may be directed to Geneviève Paul at