Merja's expertise has been widely used by international organisations and actors (UN, Council of Europe, OSCE, OECD, UNESCO, EU) as well as national actors in Finland (ministries, Parliament, the President of Finland etc.). Merja is among the leading, also internationally recognized human rights experts in Finland and the top expert on the issue of business and human rights.
Merja in social media (Fi & Eng)
2008 Doctor of Laws (LL.D), University of Lapland
1996 Diplôme d’études supérieures en relations internationales (DES), Graduate Institute for International Studies, Geneva. Major: international law; minors: international economics and history of international relations.
1993 Master of Laws, University of Helsinki
1990 English language studies, University of Ottawa, Canada
Pioneer in the area of business and human rights in Finland
Merja has carried out the first study ever made in Finland on the topic of business and human rights ("Yritystoiminta ja ihmisoikeudet") in 2009. Many research themes she has worked with relate to corporate responsibility (non-discrimination, diversity, human rights of various groups (including minorities and indigenous peoples).
When she took care of the professorship of international law in the University of Turku (2009-2012) she planned and executed a number of courses on corporate responsibility. She represented the law faculty in the advisory board of the university-wide study module on sustainable development. She has mentored doctoral students writing their theses on corporate responsibility themes..
Merja has been the principal trainer in all human rights training courses targeted to business enterprises and organised by the leading network of corporate responsibility in Finland (FIBS) since 2014.
Merja has acted as an invited chairperson of the round-table discussions on corporate responsibility of the textile and garment industry organised jointly by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs with the aim to assist the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles by the Finnish actors in the industry. (2015)
Since 2015 Merja has been a full-time entrepreneur. She has assisted a number of corporations to integrate human rights responsibility into their actions.
Merja co-operates with researchers and research institutions working on the issues of corporate responsibility and sustainable development.
Merja Pentikäinen, "Yritystoiminta ja ihmisoikeudet", Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights, Research Reports 26/2009 is the first study made in Finland on the topic of business and human rights.