All stakeholders including consumers and ordinary citizens will have to work together to ensure that human rights are not violated in any way through the business ventures, experts said at a webinar on Monday.
In addition, the Bangladesh government must work sincerely with international organisations and governments of different countries in this regard, they added.
The experts said the draft prepared by the United Nations on Business and Human Rights needs to be made more people-oriented and workable.
International Business Forum of Bangladesh (IBFB) organised the webinar titled UN Draft Resolution on Business and Human Rights.
Presided over by its Chairperson Humayun Rashid, Barrister Jyotirmoy Barua, Mohammad Golam Sarwar, an assistant professor of law at the Dhaka University, and MS Siddiqui, legal economist and vice president of IBFB, among others spoke at the programme.
Advocate Syeda Rizwana Hasan, chief executive of Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association, made the keynote presentation at the programme.
The discussants said the activities of all types of businesses – large and small, domestic and international, public and private – in all sectors can implicate human rights.
They further said multinational enterprises (MNEs) create a vast network of offices, branches, contractors, and manufacturing plants, and these units sometimes work independently. The globalisation has created an opportunity for cross-border business and possible violation goes beyond the national borders.
Further, businesses market products to consumers throughout the world and there can be risks in the value chain such as the abuse of the consumers' rights to privacy or data protection.
In the extractives and industrial manufacturing sectors, the risks are seen as mostly on-site and in local communities. Worker safety, the use of security personnel to protect company assets, land acquisition, environmental damage, and the rights of indigenous people are particular concerns in these sectors.
The speakers said coal mines and textile mills in Bangladesh are under constant supervision of the authority and civil society. The movement against water and air polluting industries are on constant watch of all stakeholders.
In her keynote presentation, Syeda Rizwana Hasan said, the recent draft of the UN Business and Human Rights Regulation does not address many of the issues of human rights protection.
Again, the responsibilities of the signatory countries in this resolution are not clear.
She said the draft resolution did not elaborate on the role of international organisations or business groups in protecting human rights.