The objective of the present project is to propose, based on a review of extant academic research (read stock taking), approaches, measures and strategies to increase the sustainability of the various commodity sub-sectors (i.e., energy, minerals and agricultural commodities) based on multilevel governance interventions. Recognizing the central role Switzerland plays in the realm of global commodity trading, the project seeks to shed light on the intricate relationship between the Swiss commodity sector and commodity-depending developing countries (CDDCs), so as to develop a clearer understanding of Switzerland’s responsibilities in contributing to global development goals. The project brings together different Swiss-based academic actors, i.e. the Centre for Development and Environment (Bern), the World Trade Institute (Bern), the Institute for Business Ethics (St. Gallen), and the Swiss Tropical Institute (Basel), which will contribute to the stock taking exercise in their given subject area. The specific analytic focus of the Institute for Business Ethics encompasses the following issues:
- To identify human rights impacts of commodity production, processing and trade in commodity-depending developing countries (CDDCs).
- To review research dealing with existing governance mechanisms – such as commodity related international human rights standards and related Swiss regulation – which respectively increase positive human rights impacts or mitigate or avoid negative ones.
- To identify research gaps; particularly, (negative) impacts where no governance mechanism exist.
The results of the stock taking exercise are used to pinpoint potential avenues for future research. Also, the main insights will be published as a fact sheet which will be distributed to relevant actors in the public, private and voluntary sector.
The current working paper is available for download here.
Fact sheet No. 1 is available for download in German, in English and in French.
Fact sheet No. 2 is available for download in German, in English and in French.
Commission for Research Partnerships with Developing Countries, Swiss Agency for Swiss Development and Cooperation, Federal Office for the Environment
08/2014 – 06/2015
Prof. Dr. Florian Wettstein, Dr. Pascal Dey