Human rights based approach to be at the center of all development initiatives: Human Rights Day 2016 observed

Dec 12, 2016

We are born free – We are born equal. Human Rights is the heart of all our development initiatives! 


‘Human Rights Day’ – a day when it believed to belong justifiably to every person on this earth. This day is observed every year on 10 December. This year’s theme of Human Rights Day was– “Stand up for someone's rights today”.

To observe the day Human Rights Programme (HRP), UNDP Bangladesh organized a rally and a discussion session with relevant stakeholders in collaboration with the National Human Rights Commission (#NHRC), #Bangladesh on 10 December at Dhaka. 

Hon’ble Minister, Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, Mr. Anisul Huq, MP graced the discussion event as the Chief Guest held at CIRDAP auditorium on December 10 at Dhaka.

Terming extrajudicial killings, a bar to rule of law, Law Minister Mr. Anisul Huq said strict action will be taken if information in this regard is available to the government. 

After his written speech Hon’ble Minister answered the vibrant question of participants on Early marriage, extra judiciary la, exceeds of people with disability in GoB office premises and other burning issues surrounding the Human Rights aspect of Bangladesh.

Presided over by NHRC chairman Kazi Reazul Hoque, the discussion event was addressed by its member Md Nazrul Islam and UNDP Deputy CountryDirector Nick Beresford. Senior Lawyer Barrister M Amir-Ul Islam placed keynote paper on the occasion.

NHRC chairman in his speech urged everyone to be aware about their human rights and rapidly brought matters to law enforcing agencies' attention, if untoward incident takes place with them. “We should resist socially if people tries to detain someone without revealing their identity. We should follow the directions given by the apex court in this regard," Kazi Reazul Hoque said.

In his key notepaper senior jurist M Amir-Ul Islam notified that-“ Bangladesh being the part of the eternal journey of human civilization emerge as an independent country at its dawn asserting the right to determine its own destiny proclaimed as its birth cry, curving its own assertion, “in order to ensure equality, human dignity and social justice for the people of Bangladesh”, as their birth right and to “ all other things that may be necessary to give to the people of Bangladesh an orderly and just Government.”; along with the resolve and its solemn vow, “to observe and give effect to all duties and obligations that devolve upon us as a member of the family of nations and to abide by the Charter of the United Nations”, being the maiden commitment to the entire world as part of her birth cry. written by me rather something great prompted me to write so. But, the spirit of those words has not been implemented.’

M Amir-Ul Islam, who was one of the member of the drafting committee of the country’s constitution in 1972, at the programme expressed his dissatisfaction over implementation of the spirit of the constitution and said he does not believe in extrajudicial killing in the name of ‘crossfire.’

In his keynote paper Mr.Amir also expressed his concerns over appointment of ‘good quality judges’ as he believed ‘a judge should preserve and protect fundamental rights for all citizens as promised in the constitution.’ In his speech as the Guest of Honor, Nick Beresford, Deputy Country Director of UNDP, Bangladesh referred that the NHRC as a national human rights watchdog organization have a number of human rights issues to bring in light. They should have their own voices on the sensitive human rights issues like extra judicial killing, disappearances, freedom of speech and expression, rights of religious, ethnic and excluded minorities. Nick Beresford also mentioned that Bangladesh has excellent pieces of laws, rules and policies, but the proper implementation is equally important to establish rule of law and to end culture of impunity. 

In the morning  at Dhaka a colorful rally started from Teachers Students Center(TSC) of the University of Dhaka and marched towards National Press club.Rally also acted simultaneously in #Dhaka, #Khulan and #Rangmati - the two regionals office of NHRC. 

Around 500 participants from different organization working on Human Rights issue attended the rally with enthusiasm carrying different placard with slogans on Hunan rights issues. The government officials, members of civil societies and NGOs, youth representatives and academicians participated in the discussion.

In a separate message United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon ahead of Human Rights Day called on the international community to "stand up for someone's right today, tomorrow and every day."


Contact Information:

Quazi Mustafizur Rahman
Communications and Advocacy Expert, Human Rights Programme, UNDP Bangladesh

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