Sivil Düşün Forum

Business and Human Rights (BHR)

Civil society gathered together in Ankara!

Meet Forum speakers

Flip the boxes to see detailed information on Forum speakers!

Sivil Düşün Forum // Panels

Panel-1: BHR in Today’s World (Blue)
Keynote Speech: UN Guiding Principles on BHR (Orange)
Panel-2: BHR as Multi-Stakeholder Process (Green)
Panel-3: BHR Related International Framework, Legislation and National Action Plans (Red)
Panel-4: BHR Turkey Focus (Yellow)

Christian Berger / The Delegation of the Europen Union to Turkey

He is Head of EU Delegation to Turkey. He had served as operations officer with the Austrian UN-Peacekeeping Battalion on the Golan; worked with the UN Relief and Works Agency in Gaza and Jerusalem and at the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe. He worked at the Committee of the Regions, and with the European Commission, responsible for relations with Syria; as Political Advisor on Middle Eastern issues; as EU-Representative to the Middle East Quartet Special Envoy; as Head of Crisis Response & Peace-building; as EU Representative/Head of Delegation in Jerusalem; as Director/Deputy Managing Director for the Middle East and North Africa in the European External Action Service.

Hakan Çavuşoğlu / The Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights Inquiry

Hakan Çavuşoğlu is the Chairman Human Rights Investigation Commission of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey and current 27. Term Member of Parliament. He was born in 1972 in Greece and obtained his bachelor’s degree from Ankara University Faculty of Law. He served as Vice President and President of the Western Thrace Turks Solidarity Association Bursa Branch. He was elected as Bursa Deputy in 24, 25 ve 26. Election Term. He served as a member of the Commission of Justice in 24. Term and Deputy Prime Minister in 65. Government. He speaks fluent Greek, intermediate English and Arabic.

Bahadır Kaleağası / TÜSİAD

He completed his education at Galatasaray High School, University of Brussels and Istanbul University. He was an expert researcher and lecturer at the Institute of European Studies at the University of Brussels and at the International Center for Strategic Studies, where he was a rapporteur in the negotiation of the Maastricht Treaty. He established TÜSİAD EU Representative Office in Brussels and was a permanent delegate of TÜSİAD and TİSK at BUSINESSEUROPE. He worked as the International Coordinator of TÜSİAD. He is a board member and general secretary at TÜSİAD; the President of the Paris Bosphorus Institute, Honorary President of the Brussels Energy Club, Executive Committee Member of BusinessEurope, Scientific Member of the Institute of European Studies.

Dante Pesce / UN Working Group on BHR

He is a Member of the UN Working Group on BHR. He holds masters in Political Science from the Catholic University of Chile and Public Administration from Harvard University. He is the Founder and Executive Director of the VINCULAR Center for Social Responsibility and Sustainable Development at the PUCV. He collaborated in the development of international standards such as ISO26000, OECD Guidelines for multinational corporations and GRI G3, G3.1 and G4. He is a Special Advisor on Public Policy to the UN Global Compact. At a national level, he is a member of the Chilean Council on Social Responsibility for Sustainable Development which established Chile’s first National Action Plan 2015-2018.

Bülent Özcan / MFA Directorate for EU Affairs

He graduated from METU International Relations Department in 1999. He completed his master's degree at Marmara University, European Community Institute, Department of EU Economics. He was admitted to the Leadership Program organized by the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He joined the Ministry of EU Affairs in 2001, worked as an Assistant Expert, Expert, Coordinator and President. Since December 2018, he has been serving as the Deputy General Manager of Financial Cooperation and Project Implementation at the EU Presidency of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


He is the General Secretary & Member of Board of Directors at TÜRKONFED. He has a BA in the Department of Political Science and International Relations at Boğaziçi University, masters in Marmara University Institute of European Studies, and an internship at European Parliament. He worked as a research assistant at Yeditepe University. Besides academic and civil society studies, he worked as a project director at HB Consultancy Group, political and economic risk analysis consultant at Aleph Consulting and manager at StratejiCo. He serves as an independent board member at Federal Mogul İzmit Piston, on the executive board of EDAM and the editorial board of Turkish Policy Quarterly.

Mauricio Lazala / BHR Resource Centre

He joined the senior management team of BHR Resource Centre and is involved in strategic, operational and financial decisions; manages the Europe and Latin America teams and the “Business, Civic Freedoms and Human Rights Defenders” project. He is a volunteer member of the Board of the EIRIS Foundation; a member of the Advisory Panel of the Fundamental Rights Platform of FRA and the Advisory Committee of the Investor Alliance for Human Rights. He worked at International Criminal Court, Mexican Commission for the Protection & Defence of Human Rights, and B’Tselem. He has a Law degree from University of Cambridge and a BA in Political Sciences and History from Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Çiğdem Çımrın / Center for Child Rights and Corporate Social Responsibility (CCR-CSR)

She was a volunteer attorney in the project of the ABA Rule of Law Initiative to raise the legal awareness of Syrian refugees and worked as a National Consultant at “Giving Refugees a Voice” project on the working conditions of refugees working informally in the apparel sector in Turkey. She conducted doctoral and academic studies on BHR at İstanbul Bilgi University. She provides consultancy to private sector representatives, INGOs and aid organizations in the areas where private law and BHR intersect. She now oversees the Turkey operations of Center for Child Rights – Corporate Social Responsibility.

Gabrielle Holly / Danish Institute for Human Rights

She is a Senior Adviser at the Danish Institute for Human Rights in the Human Rights and Business Department. She is a BHR specialist and an experienced commercial disputes practitioner having practiced for many years at Magic Circle firms in Australia and the UK. She was a Senior Associate at Omnia Strategy LLP, where her practice focused on business and human rights and public international law. She was a researcher in BHR at the BIICL. She is an Australian qualified lawyer and holds a Master of Laws with Distinction from the LSE and Political Science and a combined Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Arts with Honours from the University of Western Australia.

Imad Sabi / Center for Economic and Social Rights

Serves on the Boards of the Center for Economic and Social Rights and the Bank Information Center. Worked at Oxfam Novib's Global Programmes Department and was one of the founders of the Fair Finance Guide; as Senior Program Officer for Emergencies in Africa and the Middle East for the Dutch development agency ICCO and as a consultant in Central Asia. Serves on the Board of the Global Campaign for Education, and is a Founding Board member of the Arab Campaign for Education for All. Represents the private foundations constituency in the Country Grants and Performance Committee of the Global Partnership for Education. He was a member of the International Council of the World Social Forum.

Tuba Burcu Şenel / ILO Office for Turkey

She has a bachelor's degree in Labor Economics and Industrial Relations and an MBA degree. She took part in the establishment of Global Compact Turkey; while she was a member of the Board of Directors, she carried out the secretariat on behalf of TİSK. She has represented Turkey in the development of ISO26000 Social Responsibility Guidelines; Turkish employers at the OECD Multinational Companies Committee and at IOE and Businesseurope on issues of BHR and corporate social responsibility. She conducted the “Corporate Social Responsibility for All” project. She is currently working on the development of basic human rights regarding business in the private sector at ILO Turkey.

Aykan Gülten / Coca-Cola İçecek (CCI)

He is the Group Employee and Industrial Relations Director. He is responsible for Employee Relations, Human Rights policy implementation and dissemination, Industrial and Trade Union Relations, Occupational Health and Safety processes and HR internal communication processes. After graduating from Kadıköy Anatolian High School, he completed his bachelor's degree in Management Engineering at Istanbul Technical University and master's degree in Economics Law at Bilgi University. He worked as HR Director, Corporate Affairs Director and Corporate Affairs Manager of CCI – Turkey; Corporate Responsibility Manager and Compliance Specialist of Nike Europe; Assurance and Business Advisory Associate.

Burcu Kuğu Bolak / Fair Labor Association

She is the Director of Fair Labor Agriculture Alliance Program with more than 15 years of experience in humanitarian assistance, civil society development, sustainable business and responsible sourcing, capacity building, and training. She has worked for various NGOs and INGOs, and UN agencies. She involved in combating child labour in agriculture sector in Turkey. She has extensive knowledge of due diligence systems in companies, Results-Based Management programming/operations, community-based programs and implementation, training development and delivery institutional and organizational assessment, capacity building, strategic diagnosis/planning, and Monitoring and Evaluation.

Ceylan Çifçi / Republic of Turkey Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Services

She was born in 1983 in Osmaniye. She graduated from Ankara University, Faculity of Political Science, Department of Economics. After working as assistant inspector at Vakıflar Bankası T.A.O. Teftiş Kurulu Başkanlığı, she started to work as an Expert in the Directorate General of Family, Labor and Social Services. She is actively involved in legislation, strategy, policy and project preparation, implementation and monitoring, which includes issues such as increasing the employment of groups requiring special policies, especially women; combating child labor; adapting all segments of society to economic and social life in combating discrimination in working life.

Discussions at the workshops of the Forum

Click on the logos to see the topics and summaries of the workshops!


Mauricio Lazala on his workshop:

“There are judicial and non-judicial avenues for victims of corporate abuses to pursue when seeking remedies for abuses. These can be both national or international. Extraterritoriality is a principle in the UN Guiding Principles, and Pillar III is all about access to remedy. The workshop will explore some of these remedies, from the point of view of civil society.”

UNPAID INTERNSHIP // Youth Organizations Forum (Go-For)

Go-For summarizes its workshop:

“Almost every young person does their internship at institutions related to their career goals. However, both the insufficiency of the legal regulations and the institutions turning the internship process into cheap labor; cause labor exploitation and social injustice. The advocacy actions throughout Europe which started with the “Unpaid is unfair” campaign have proven to be successful and the European Parliament has taken steps towards a solution for this problem. Within the framework of this workshop, the campaign process of the European Youth Forum will be described as a model and the formation of a common ground regarding this topic between the business world and the civil society representatives is aimed.”


ICC summarizes its workshop:

“’The Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children in Tourism and for the Prevention of Violence against Children’ should be prepared and adopted by tourism establishments to strengthen a child-friendly, trustworthy sense of tourism and to create an awareness of children’s rights. However, based on the works conducted; it was found out that rights-based initiatives started by CSOs and the ‘profit/brand value oriented’ approach aren’t correlated with each other. In our workshop, the participants will be separated into 2 groups as ‘civil society representatives’ and ‘hotel workers’. Civil society representatives will prepare rights-based codes of conduct; whereas hotel workers will prepare ‘profit/brand value oriented’ codes of conduct. Afterwards the two groups will go over these codes of conduct together and prepare a common set of codes. One of the facilitators will aid ‘civil society representatives’, while the other facilitator will aid the ‘hotel workers’”.

PARENTHOOD, GENDER and BUSINESS // Mother Child Education Foundation (AÇEV)

Mother Child Education Foundation (AÇEV), supporting children and parents in need through education for 26 years, will focus on the role of men in gender equality in business. The workshop will explore the topic through its collaborative projects with private sector, including Empowerment of Women, and Gender Equality and Fatherhood.


Dante Pesce on his workshop:

“I will describe the process of conducting human rights due diligence step by step. Will include the findings of the UN working group report to the UN general Assembly and the outcomes of the annual forum on business and human rights from November 2018. It will combine a description and interactive dialogue with attendants.”

THE SITUATION OF LGBTI+ IN THE EMPLOYMENT IN TURKEY // Kaos GL Association and The Gender and Women’s Studies Research Center at Kadir Has University

KAOS GL summarizes its workshop:

“The Researches under the title of: ‘Situation of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Employees in Private Sector in Turkey’ carried out by KAOS GL Association have fulfilled their 5th year in 2019; whereas the researches under the title of: ‘Situation of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Employees in Public Sector in Turkey’ have fulfilled their 3rd year. The Gender And Women’s Studies Research Center at Kadir Has University has been a part of this long-term project for the past 2 years. The projects are carried out with the idea that the repository formed by such a project stretched out over the years, will contribute both to an increase and a diversification for the academic studies in this field, and also contribute to the policies formed within the framework of advocacy and the fight for rights; and related strategies created by employers. When the findings of the researches are evaluated altogether, it is understood that the LGBTI individuals in Turkey follow a closure strategy to avoid facing discrimination in employment; and that this situation prevents LGBTI+ employees from benefiting from equal rights; and that it decreases their productivity and job satisfaction; and that it causes negative psychological and physical results. As a matter of fact; when the employees reveal their gender identity; the risk of them being exposed to discriminative statements, behaviors, implementations or hate speeches increases. Within this framework; both public and private sectors, institutions, employers, trade unions and civil society organisations have an important role to play in developing LGBTI+ inclusive employment policies.”


FİSA summarizes its workshop:

“In the workshop; the role and the responsibility of companies in the prevention of seasonal agricultural work which is prohibited as the worst form of child labor according to the ILO Conventions will be opened to discussion with the Ferrero example (the biggest hazelnut buyer from Turkey) and the agricultural production in the Black Sea region. The most essential question to be looked for an answer will be: ‘Could the workers’ rights, occupational health and the prevention of child labor, be really left to the companies?’”


The workshop will focus on how the relationship between private sector – an increasingly important actor in development – and civil society can be strengthened. The workshop will help develop recommendations for a potential private sector-civil society cooperation.

PRIVATE SECTOR PERSPECTIVES: GOOD PRACTICES // Çiğdem Çımrın, Banu Kököz (CCI), Murat Akkün (Inditex)

The abstract by workshop organizers:

“The session will include companies from different sectors conveying their good practices in BHR field and how they cooperate with civil society by providing real examples. In addition to good practices, the session will explore some of the challenges and opportunities that companies encountered towards ensuring socially responsible supply chains.Panelists will also discuss whether there is an added value in regulatory and policy reforms at national level and what methods can governments employ in engaging with business actors.”


TOHAD summarizes its workshop:

“There are serious obstacles blocking the way of the participation of the persons with disabilities in the economic life in Turkey. These obstacles are caused by pre-employment problems such as access, education and also from employment and post-employment problems in the fields of right. Discrimination faced by disabled people in this process is the main focus of the problem. The problems of women with disabilities, refugees with disabilities, etc. of disabled persons with multi disadvantages are even at a higher level. In the upcoming workshop, how much persons with disabilities are benefiting from their employment rights will be reviewed, criticized with a human rights based approach and their problem sources will be analyzed. There will also be a presentation and a case-study accompanied with non-formal learning techniques.”


Fair Labor Association summarizes its workshops:

“This workshop aims to define basic concepts such as social responsibility, social compliance, traceability in the supply chains; to promote actors active in this field and to review the latest tendencies in this field by focusing on the agriculture and the textile sectors.” *The private sector has started move with an increasing sense of corporate social responsibility and to prove that it is an important actor for development. Various methods are being tried in the fulfilment of responsibilities and the concept is becoming more meaningful. We are going to be meeting in this workshop to discuss this topic in depth and to develop recommendations to strengthen the relationship between the private sector and civil society.


LISTAG summarizes its workshop:

“Companies which have been getting together within the ‘LISTAG Friends’ network with the call of LISTAG (Families and Friends of LGBTI) since the December of 2018, are carrying out works targeted at eliminating discrimination against LGBTI+ and at increasing LGBTI+ employment. In this workshop which will be conducted with the participation of LISTAG and 3 companies from the network, works carried until now will be presented, policies and implementations to increase LGBTI+ employment in the business world will be underlined.”

Below are a few related documents to BHR:

International Framework on BHR

UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), 2011

Guidance on National Actions Plans 

HR Due Diligence (short version)

Policy coherence (short version) 

Economic diplomacy (short version) 

State own enterprises (short version) 

SMEs, including reference to public procurement (short version) 

UN Global Compact, 2000 

OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, 2011 

OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Business Conduct, 2018

ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and its Follow-up, 1998 

ILO Tripartite Declaration of Principles concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy (MNE Declaration), 1998 

EU Policy Framework on BHR

Renewed EU Strategy for Corporate Social Responsibility, 2011 (1)

Renewed EU Strategy for Corporate Social Responsibility, 2011 (2)

EU Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy, 2015-2019 

Commission’s Communication “Trade for all – Towards a more responsible trade and investment policy”, 2015 

Commission Staff Working Document on EU implementation of the UNGPs, 2015 

Commission’s Communication “Next steps for a sustainable European future: European action for sustainability”, 2016 

Commission Staff Working Document on CSR, RBC, BHR: overview of progress, 2019 

Finnish EU Presidency “Agenda for Action on Business and Human Rights”, 2019 

EU Legal Framework on BHR

EU Directive on Non-Financial Reporting, 2017

Timber Regulation, 2010

EU Victims’ Rights Directive, 2012

Council of the European Union

Council Conclusions on Business and Human Rights, 2016 

European Parliament

Shadow EU Action Plan on Responsible Business Conduct launched by the European Parliament Working Group on Responsible Business, 2019 


World Business Council for Sustainable Development CEO Guide to Human Rights, 2019