OxBHR Network Series: The Database of Business Ethics

Event date
7 June 2023
Event time
12:30 - 13:45
Oxford week
TT 7
Bonavero Institute of Human Rights & Zoom

Dr. Yvonne Erkens, University of Leiden; Fleur Walravens, University of Leiden/ University of Oxford

Notes & Changes

This event will be hybrid, taking place in-person in the Gilly Leventis Meeting Room and online via Zoom. Please register here for online attendance.

The Database of Business Ethics

The OxBHR Network Series is very pleased to be welcoming Dr. Yvonne Erkens and Fleur Walravens to speak on the 'Database of Business Ethics'.

The Database of Business Ethics was founded by Prof. Paul van der Heijden and Dr. Yvonne Erkens. The project aims to collect CSR documents from large, transnational companies and make them available to the public for research purposes. The Database collects CSR documents of large, transnational companies. It contains both Codes of Conduct, which contain the company's internal regulations, and Supplier Codes, which regulate the company's relationships with external parties such as suppliers. 

The document of the Database are classified according to their human rights content, the company's country of origin and business sector. Currently, the Database differs between the mentioning of child labour, forced labour, freedom of association and collective bargaining and occupational health and safety. The first four categories are the Fundamental Principles and Rights at work, as decided by the ILO in 1998. OSHA was added to this list in June 2022. In the future, the Database aims to add more companies and criticise private enforcement mechanisms embedded in CSR documents. 

The talk will focus on the history and realisation of the Database, as well as on its possibilities with regards to edcuation and research. In addition to this, Dr. Erkens will expand on her research on the enforcement of labour standards. 


Dr. Yvonne Erkens

Yvonne Erkens works as an associate professor of Labour Law at Leiden University. In 2013, she defended her thesis on labour law adjudication. Her current research is aimed at dispute settlement mechanisms and public and private enforcement of fundamental labour rights. 

She is Editor-in-Chief of the International Labor Rights Case Law Journal (ILaRC, https://brill.com/view/journals/ilrc/ilrc-overview.xml) and works on various research projects on enforcement of core labour standards in international value chains (see e.g. https://www.boom.nl/product/100-14145_Panta-Rhei-recht-en-duurzaamheid).

Dr. Erkens currently holds various ancillary positions. She is a part-time labour court judge and chair of the Commission on Research Integrity of Leiden University and the Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC).

Fleur Walravens

Fleur Walravens has a bachelor of Law from Leiden University. She is currently studying European Union law and human rights law at Worcester College, Oxford University. For her thesis she studied the the UN Human Rights Council´s attempt to draft an legally binding instrument to regulate the activities of transnational corporations. 

Last year, she worked as a student assistent for the Database of Business Ethics under Dr. Erkens at the Departmant of Labour Law at Leiden University. She reorganized the database and assisted with conducting research and providing educational courses.

Found within

Human Rights Law