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Sri Lanka: Why NAP on business and human rights?

Author: Daily FT, Sri Lanka, Published on: 24 January 2019

"Business and human rights – An imperative for Sri Lanka", 24 January 2019

…Daily FT met up with Anisha Rajapakse, [an international development expert] and asked her about what business and human rights really mean for Sri Lanka. Following are excerpts:

Sri Lanka is now a middle income emerging market, with one of the fastest growing economies in the Asia-Pacific Region…

Sri Lanka is also facing growing investor pressure and regulations…that seek compliance, and are clear in their intent that their suppliers must adhere to their ethical standards as a condition of working with them and maintain that any abuse of these standards will not be tolerated…

Companies that make the greatest headway and are tremendously successful tend to have senior leadership actively involved in human rights issues. There needs to be internal understanding of the UNGPs and what potential human rights risks exist throughout all aspects of the business followed by buy-in from the top management to act to ensure that the company’s human rights responsibilities are fully met...

Next, it’s important to reflect on the key priority areas of your business – where are your greatest human rights risks...The UNGPs recommend that companies have a publicly available statement that…should also be communicated internally to all personnel as well as externally to business partners and other relevant stakeholders. Also, of importance is a due diligence checklist/strategy and a remediation process in place in the event of a complaint or grievance…

Establishing a specific Business and Human Rights framework within the Government of Sri Lanka will be an ideal way forward as the need for a responsible government body dedicated to rectifying business-related human rights violations is quite critical…That’s why a National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights will be beneficial to Sri Lanka…

Read the full post here