Thursday, November 24, 2011
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) must include elements of human rights to become corporate human rights responsibility instead, said Prof Mizanur Rahman, chairman of National Human Rights Commission, yesterday.
“Corporate social responsibility has a very narrow definition. It should expand and include human rights elements in it,” he said.
Mizanur was talking to journalists after the inaugural session of a two-day “Civil society seminar on human rights and decent work” organised by European Union at Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel in the city.
CSR should include activities which matter like human rights, not the traditional ones like beautification of road dividers or decoration of hospital wards, which are mostly eyewash, he said.
Industries and their owners should also seek ways to include elements of human rights in their activities, he said.
Mizanur also said providing good wages to workers is in conflict with a corporation’s goal of maximising profits.
While workers expect to receive decent wages, what a decent wage actually refers to still remains a matter of argument, said speakers at the seminar.
Chief Information Commissioner Muhammad Zamir, Farah Kabir, country director of Action Aid, Bangladesh; Ambassador William Hanna, head of European Union Delegation to Bangladesh; State Minister for Women and Children Affairs Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury; and Country Director of International Labour Organisation in Bangladesh Andre Bogui also spoke at the seminar.