Members of the Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises

Current members

Mr. Surya Deva (Chair from 1 July 2021)

Mr. Surya Deva is a Professor at the Macquarie Law School, University of Macquarie, Sydney. He researches in the areas of business and human rights, India-China constitutional law, international human rights law, and sustainable development. Deva has published extensively in these areas, and has advised UN agencies, governments, multinational corporations, and civil society organisations on issues related to business and human rights. Prior to joining Macquarie, he taught at City University of Hong Kong, the University of Delhi and the National Law Institute University Bhopal. Mr Deva holds BA (Hons) Political Science, LLB and LLM from the University of Delhi and a PhD from the University of Sydney. He is one of the founding Editors-in-Chief of the Business and Human Rights Journal, and sits on the Editorial/Advisory Board of the Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights, the Vienna Journal on International Constitutional Law, the Indian Law Review, and the Australian Journal of Human Rights. Deva is an elected member of the Executive Committee of the International Association of Constitutional Law (2014-18; 2018-22).

Ms. Elżbieta Karska (Vice-chair from 1 July 2021)

Ms. Elżbieta Karska is a Professor and the Head of the Department of Protection of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law and the Director of the Institute of International Law, European Union and International Relations at the Faculty of Law and Administration, Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw, Poland. She obtained a Master in Law, MBA, Ph.D. (Law) and Higher Doctorate (Habilitated Doctor in Law). Her research field is international law, including international human rights law, international humanitarian law, and international criminal law. She also deals with the issue of the role of non-state actors in international law. Author of over 100 publications (books, articles and other works) on international law, human rights law, and on European law, including fundamental rights issues. She is a former member of the Working Group on the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination (2011-2018).

Ms. Anita Ramasastry

Ms. Anita Ramasastry is the Roland L. Hjorth Professor of Law and the Director of the Graduate Program in Sustainable International Development at the University of Washington School Of Law. She researches and teaches in the fields of law and development, anti-corruption, international commercial law and business and human rights. From 2009-2012, Ramasastry served as a senior advisor to the International Trade Administration of the US Department of Commerce. She has authored numerous scholarly articles and reports focused on emerging issues in business and human rights including the influential survey on access to remedy, Commerce, Crime and Conflict (with Mark Taylor and Bob Thompson) and recently has co-chaired an independent commission on Experts with Justice Ian Binnie, focused on commerce, crime and human rights. Ramasastry has advised many intergovernmental and civil society organizations including the World Bank, USAID, the Institute for Human Rights and Business, BSR, Amnesty International and the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable. Ramasastry is a recurring visiting professor at the Irish Centre for Human Rights as well as the Central European University in Budapest. She is a founding co editor in chief of the Business and Human Rights Journal (Cambridge). Ramasastry is a graduate of Harvard College, Harvard Law School and the University of Sydney.

Ms. Fernanda Hopenhaym

Ms. Fernanda Hopenhaym is Co-Executive Director at Project on Organizing, Development, Education and Research (PODER), an organization in Latin America dedicated to corporate accountability. For twenty years, Ms. Hopenhaym has worked on economic, social and gender justice. Since 2006 Ms. Hopenhaym has been working on issues related to human rights and financial institutions and in the last ten years, she has focused specifically on business and human rights, working to advance corporate accountability and strengthen respect for human rights vis-a-vis private and public investments or development projects, and private sector operations. She has been involved in processes related to the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles, as well as in other processes regarding relevant instruments, such as the Binding Treaty negotiations and due diligence laws. She has conducted research on cases related to corporate impact on human rights and the environment and worked with and accompanied local communities affected by public/private projects in their pursuit of justice and remedy. She has conducted advocacy in the LAC region and globally to advance corporate accountability and human rights as well as leading training and capacity building on business and human rights related issues. From January 2019 to December 2021, Ms. Hopenhaym was Chair of the Board of ESCRNet, the international network for economic, social and cultural rights; she has been a board member of EarthRights International since early 2021 and an adviser to the Business and Human Rights Award Foundation since early 2020.

Mr. Githu Muigai

Mr. Githu Muigai is current Associate Professor of Law, Department of Public Law, University of Nairobi; Chairman at the Council of Legal Education in Kenya; and Senior Partner, Mohammed & Muigai Advocates. He previously served as a Commissioner with the former Constitution of Kenya Review Commission, as judge to the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights (2008-2010), and as chief legal adviser to the Government of Kenya as Attorney General (August 2011-March 2018). He is also a former Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance (2008-2011).

Former members

Mr. Dante Pesce
(Chile), 2015-2021

Mr. Michael Addo
(Ghana), 2011-2018

Mr. Pavel Sulyandziga
(Russian Federation), 2011-2018

Ms. Margaret Jungk
(USA), 2011-2016

Ms. Alexandra Guaqueta
(Colombia), 2011-2015

Mr. Puvan Selvanathan
(Malaysia), 2011-2015

Working Group on business and human rights
Recent thematic reports
Issues in focus
Contact information

Working Group on Business and Human Rights
Palais des Nations, 8-14, Avenue de la Paix. 1211 Geneva 10
Tel: +41 22 917 9159

Others Involved