Chair in International Business and Human Rights

Chair in International Business and Human Rights

About the chair

The Endowed Chair in International Business and Human Rights at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) was established by the Foundation for Peace Sciences (Stichting Vredeswetenschappen) and is sponsored by Amnesty International Nederland. The chair was established in 2013 to complement existing business and sustainability expertise at RSM’s Business Society Management Department, with legal expertise in business and human rights.

Professor Cees van Dam was appointed on 1 April 2014. The text of his inaugural address, which took place on 18 September 2015, can be read online.

His role is to research how companies can develop and implement active and proactive human rights policies. Such policies not only prevent companies from violating human rights, for example by using child labour, creating pollution, or forced relocation of people to enable operation of the businesses, but could also actively enhance the protection of human rights for people affected by business activities.

Cees van Dam’s research includes all types of businesses including extractive activities and mining, manufacturers of consumer products, garments and textiles, and financial institutions. The focal point of his research is the role of the company lawyer: is s/he an obstacle, a supporter or a leader in the process of change? The research currently focuses on Dutch companies, but will be extended internationally at a later stage.


Chair: Professor Cees van Dam LL.M., PhD
Research associate: Heleen Tiemersma LL.M.
Research assistant: Jeanine Wubbels LL.M.
Associate researcher: Drs. Geesje G. van Niejenhuis MScCC

Expert meetings

The Chair hosts the RSM Expert Meetings in Business and Human Rights. In these meetings, company representatives discuss business and human rights issues with academics and representatives of civil society. These meetings serve to exchange and share best practices. They also contribute to the research conducted by the Chair. The meetings are held under Chatham House Rules.

Contact details

Burgemeester Oudlaan 50
Mandeville Building, T11-46
3062 PA Rotterdam
+31 (0) 10 408 2880