High Risk Zones

Five Years On - Syeda Rizwana Hasan on Bangladesh and Preventing Impacts in Weak Governance Areas

16 June 2016

On June 16th 2011, the UN Human Rights Council unanimously endorsed the UN Guiding Principles on Business & Human Rights. The Guiding Principles were unprecedented on many levels, including by reaffirming and clarifying state duties to protect against abuses involving business and by authoritatively setting out for the first time the human rights responsibilities of all companies. 

Five years on, IHRB reflects on the state of business and human rights, through a series of podcasts and commentaries.

Syeda Rizwana Hasan is a Bangladeshi lawyer who received the Goldman Environmental Prize in 2009 and the Magsaysay Award in 2012 for her contribution towards protecting the environment and human rights. She heads the Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers' Association and has challenged many laws and practices of the government and companies in Bangladesh's courts. 

In a conversation with IHRB's Salil Tripathi, Hasan talked of the gap between the declared intentions of international standards such as the UN Guiding Principles and the reality on the ground in many countries, where governments are unwilling or unable to implement laws that protect rights. She focuses on the shipbreaking business on open beaches near Chittagong, and highlights the environmental devastation, safety violations which has led to many deaths, and the prevalence child labour in the sector, pointing out the absence of effective remedies in such cases.

Download Filetype: MP3 - Size: 36.26MB - Duration: 19:29 m (260 kbps 44100 Hz)

Latest IHRB Publications

Women’s Health in Global Supply Chains - Re-Envisioning the Business Role

The Family Planning Summit in London this week is re-invigorating efforts to ensure that women and girls around the world are able to plan their families and their futures. A main focus is on strengthening public health services and on building...

Responsible Recruitment - Turning Principles into Practice

Today an estimated 21 million individuals still face conditions of what the United Nations refers to as ‘modern’ forms of slavery. Of that number, 14 million individuals are victims of labour exploitation specifically.

Such violations of...

Beyond a Simple Trading of Powers: An Alternative Future for the Global Mining Industry?

Observers of the mining industry, including those who are watching from the inside, have witnessed a growing demand for governments to safeguard people and the environment, and for business leaders to take greater responsibility in the prevention...