High Risk Zones

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

Podcast, 16 June 2016

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

 

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, the safety violations which have led to many deaths, and the prevalence of child labour in the sector, pointing out the absence of effective remedies in such cases.

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