Professor Damilola Olawuyi
Doha: In an accomplishment demonstrating the research excellence and global impact of Hamad Bin Khalifa University’s (HBKU) academic faculty, a professor at the university’s College of Law has been appointed a member of the United Nations (UN) Working Group on Business and Human Rights.
Professor Damilola Olawuyi, an Associate Dean and Unesco chairholder on Environmental Law and Sustainable Development at the College of Law, has begun a six-year mandate as Africa’s representative on this prestigious body, a position most recently occupied by the Former Attorney General of Kenya, Githu Muigai.
The appointment was made at the recently concluded 50th Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council. Established in 2011 through UN Resolution 17/4, the Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises (also referred to as the Working Group on Business and Human Rights) comprises five accomplished independent experts drawn from different world regions.
The expert body has a mandate to promote the effective and comprehensive dissemination and implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) through country visits, capacity building, and dialogue with stakeholders in business and economic sectors.
As a member of the UN Working Group, Professor Olawuyi’s multifaceted role will be to develop legal innovations and strategies to address human rights impacts of business operations and activities, with an emphasis on the legal dimension of sustainable development. A Harvard and Oxford-trained scholar, Professor Olawuyi is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and author of the new book, Environmental Law in Arab States.
Recognising the importance of Professor Olawuyi’s appointment, College of Law Dean Susan L. Karamanian said: “Given his expertise in natural resources law and public international law, and his previous experience as a lawyer representing business entities, Professor Olawuyi is a perfect fit to serve on the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights.”
Professor Olawuyi said: ““It is a great honour to be appointed by the UN to serve on this important working group. Our working group has the key mandate of assisting businesses enterprises in implementing this requirement, while also working with countries to develop national legislation and safeguards to hold defaulting entities to account .”