Human Rights and Bangladesh | Essay
মানবাধিকার এবং বাংলাদেশ
Human Rights and Bangladesh:
Human right is a concept that has been constantly evolving throughout human history. It was in ancient Greece that the concept of human rights began to take a greater meaning than the prevention of arbitrary persecution. Human rights became synonymous with natural rights. This idea of natural rights continued in ancient Rome, where the Roman Jurist Ulpian believed that natural rights belonged to every person, whether they were a Roman citizen or not. Many United States presidents such as Abraham Lincoln, Johnson, and Jimmy Carter have taken strong stands for human rights. In other countries leaders like Nelson Mandela have brought about great changes under the banner of human rights.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights:
On December 10, 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was adopted by the 56 members of the United Nations. The UDHR is commonly referred to as the international ‘Magna Carta’. The influence of the UDHR has been substantial. Its principles have been incorporated into the constitutions of most of the more than 185 nations now in the UN. Although a declaration is not a legally binding document, the universal declaration has achieved the status of customary international law because people regard it
“as a common standard of achievement for all people and all nations.“
The Human Rights Covenants:
With the goal of establishing mechanisms for enforcing the UDHR, the UN Commission on Human Rights proceeded to draft two treaties the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and its optional protocol and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). The ICCPR focuses on such issues as the right to life, freedom of speech, religion and voting. The ICESCR focuses on such issues as food, education, health and shelter. Both covenants trumpet the extension of rights to all persons and prohibit discrimination. As of 1997, over 130 nations have ratified these covenants.
A decade ago Bangladesh was a poor and small South Asian Country on the world map. The government’s human rights record remained poor and the government continued to commit numerous serious abuses. Despite some development in the last decade, there are still many concerns that remain. The following human rights problems were reported:
Unlawful deprivation of life:
Police were organized nationally, under the Ministry of Home Affairs and had a mandate to maintain internal security and general law and order. Police were generally ineffective, reluctant to investigate persons affiliated with the ruling party and were used frequently for political purposes by the government.
The RAB, a better-equipped police unit drawing personnel from various police units and security agencies including the military, developed plans for overall police reform, but few concrete steps were taken to address human rights problems. The RAB committed serious human rights violations.
Arrest and Detention:
The law does not provide for the use of warrants in all cases. Section 54 of the Criminal Procedure Code and section 86 of the DMP Ordinance provide for the detention of persons on the suspicion of criminal activity. The government misused ordinances and arrested persons without formal charges or specific complaints.
The government used sections 54 and 86 to harass and intimidate members of the political opposition and their families.
Freedom of speech and the press: The law provides for freedom of speech and the press. But attacks against journalists by political activists were common during times of political violence and journalists were injured in police actions.
Freedom of peaceful assembly and association:
The law provides for freedom of assembly and association, subject to restrictions in the interest of public order and public health. However, the government frequently limited these rights.
Freedom of Religion:
The law establishes Islam as the state religion. Discrimination against members of religious minorities existed at both the government and societal level and religious minorities were disadvantaged in practice in such areas as access to government jobs, political office and access to justice Discrimination against Ahmadiyas, Hindus and Christians occurred during the year.
Violence against women:
Domestic violence against women was widespread. Much of the reported violence against women was related to disputes over dowries. Human rights monitors insisted that the actual number of rapes was higher, as many rape victims did not report the incidents in order to avoid social disgrace.
There was extensive trafficking in both women and children, primarily in India, Pakistan, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait, mainly for prostitution. Some boys were trafficked to the Middle East to be used as camel jockeys. According to the centre for women and child services, most trafficked boys were under 10 years of age and girls were between 11 and 16 years of age. Most trafficked persons were lured by promises of good jobs or marriage and some were forced into involuntary servitude outside of and within the country.
The government was generally responsive to children’s rights and welfare. Under the law, children between ages 6 and 10 must attend school through the fifth grade. Primary education is free and compulsory, but parents kept children out of school, preferring instead to have them work for money or help with household chores. Under the law, every child must attend school, but there is no effective mechanism to enforce this provision.
Because of widespread poverty, many children began to work at a very young age. Working children were found in 200 different types of activities. Sometimes different types of activities. Sometimes children were seriously injured or killed in workplaces.
While the legal age of marriage is 18 for girls and 21 for boys underage marriage was a significant problem.
Workers wages :
In the garment industry, many factories did not pay legal minimum wage. It was common for workers of smaller factories to experience delays in receiving their pay or to receive trainee wages well past the maximum three months.
Human right is a vital factor for every country. Many NGOs and Human Rights organizations are playing an important role to establish human rights in every sector. The government of Bangladesh should take the necessary steps to protect human rights in every aspect of life.