Centre news

Human Rights & Global Governance stream MIA students visit the German Institute for Human Rights in Berlin

Organised by the Centre for Fundamental Rights at the Hertie School, the visit introduced students to the institute, outlining its role as a National Human Rights Institute and exploring its diverse areas of focus.

On 21 February 2024, Hertie School students enrolled in the Human Rights and Global Governance stream of the Master of International Affairs programme participated in a study visit to the German Institute for Human Rights in Berlin. The visit was organised by the Centre for Fundamental Rights.

Through presentations and direct dialogue with researchers from the institute’s International Human Rights Policy division, the students were able to gain first-hand insights into the organisation’s role and mandate as Germany's national Human Rights Institute. The conversations delved into the institute’s work in the fields of business and human rights, as well as in the context of the climate crisis and human rights. Following the discussions, the students were invited to visit the institute's library, an extensive public resource offering access to a wide range of human rights literature.

Nina Eschke, a researcher in the Institute's International Human Rights Policy division, first provided an introduction to the organisation, its legal framework, and its mandate. She highlighted its various tasks, including providing policy advice to stakeholders such as ministries and parliament members, conducting policy-oriented research, facilitating dialogue between state actors and civil society, monitoring the human rights situation in Germany, and disseminating information to the public. Additionally, she highlighted the institute's cooperation with national, regional, and international human rights bodies.

Bettina Braun and Dr. Marie Diekmann, both researchers in the same division, then offered personal insights into their work in the field of business and human rights. They elaborated on the institute's involvement in providing commentary on the Act on Corporate Due Diligence Obligations in Supply Chains (the "Supply Chain Act"), adopted in Germany in January 2023. They also shared their experiences operating both on a national level, providing advice to German ministries, and on a European level, engaging with other National Human Rights Institutes and assisting them in engaging with their respective governments.