View With Charts And Images
Compare and Contrast the domestic implementation mechanism of Human Rights between Bangladesh and U.S.A
Human rights are based on the principle of respect for the individual. Their fundamental assumption is that each person is a moral and rational being who deserves to be treated with. They are called human rights because they are universal. Whereas nations or specialized groups enjoy specific rights that apply only to them, human rights are the rights to which everyone is entitled—no matter who they are or where they live—simply because they are alive.
Each and every country has their own act of Human rights. They control their human rights act according to their favorable way. The basic theme and intension of rule is almost same but some countries follow it strictly and some countries follow it freely according to their own rules and regulation.
Bangladesh is small developing country but it has a strong human rights act. But cause of vast population and some other internal problems the implementation of human rights is pretty much weaker than any other developed country. But USA is the most developed and strongest country of the world. It is also known as country of human rights. They have a very strong human right act and they try to maintain it strongly.
There are some similarities and differences in every human right act. As like other countries there are some similarities between Bangladesh and USA with its human right act. But as a country Bangladesh and USA are completely opposite. Bangladesh is poor developing country, straggling with its poverty on the other side USA is the most developed country in the world. However when comes about human rights we can easily compare domestic implementation of human rights between those country.
Human: A member of the Homo sapiens species; a man, woman or child; a person.
Rights: Things to which you are entitled or allowed; freedoms that are guaranteed.
Human Rights: A right is a freedom of some kind. It is something to which you are entitled by virtue of being human.
Human rights are based on the principle of respect for the individual. Their fundamental assumption is that each person is a moral and rational being who deserves to be treated with dignity. They are called human rights because they are universal. Whereas nations or specialized groups enjoy specific rights that apply only to them, human rights are the rights to which everyone is entitled—no matter who they are or where they live—simply because they are alive.
Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, whatever our nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, color, religion, language, or any other status. We are all equally entitled to our human rights without discrimination. These rights are all interrelated, interdependent and indivisible.
Universal human rights are often expressed and guaranteed by law, in the forms of treaties, customary international law, general principles and other sources of international law. International human rights law lays down obligations of Governments to act in certain ways or to refrain from certain acts, in order to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms of individuals or groups.
Human rights are “commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being.”
History of Human Rights
Universal Declaration of human rights
The United Nations (UN) came into being in 1945, shortly after the end of World War II.
The stated purpose of the UN is to bring peace to all nations of the world. After World War II, a committee of persons headed by Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt, the wife of US President Franklin D. Roosevelt, wrote a special document which “declares” the rights that everyone in the entire world should have—the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Today there are 192 member states of the UN, all of whom have signed on in agreement with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
As mentioned before the first International Human Rights Laws have been set through the declaration of International Human Rights in 1948 following the devastation of World War II. This mainly happened due to lots of violation of Human Rights especially Holocaust led by Nazis of Germany in order to exterminate European Jews. Atrocities committed in World War II made the world realize the basic fact that an international governing body is necessary in order to protect the rights of the individuals from all over the world. It came as a clear scenario that Human Rights issue is no more a concept for one country but rather an international issue which must be addressed and dealt with proper transparency. In 1941, U.S President Franklyn D. Roose first addressed this issue regarding the four main rights known as the Four Freedoms: “Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Conscience, Freedom from Fear and Freedom from Fear.” Now, mainly USA and its allies, victors of World War II, led the declaration as USA is thought to be the model country for human rights and justice. However, its true color came out after September 11, 2001 when it opened a notorious prison in Guantanamo Bay where all the detainees were sexually harassed by the prison guards. So, for the record it can be said that right to make Human Rights belong to those who have the bigger stick than the others. Unfortunately that is an irony everyone has to face now
Human Rights Mechanism of Bangladesh
The emergence of Bangladesh as an independent state was the result of a fight against violation of human rights in different ways. People’s struggle for establishing fundamental rights by brushing aside anomalies is always there in this part of the world. But unfortunately, the polity is yet to overcome the barriers to human right. Despite enough potential for progress, the country is still faced with abject poverty, which is perhaps the most powerful enemy of human rights. Incidences of violence surrounding want and discrimination are common. Instead of being the protector of human rights, the state i.e. the government machinery is playing the role of tyrant. A promising but burdensome population is not in a position to assert the due rights and resist the wrong doing by the violators whoever. Even after the democratization process began through a popular upheaval in 1990, the people have to encounter with repressive police force, supremacy of the criminals in many areas, corrupt officials, isolated elected regime, backdated and slow legal system and all that, which are not conducive to having ideal human rights situation. The human rights phenomenon has also been overwhelmingly circumscribed by extra-territorial actors as well as regional and global hegemony that frustrate people from enjoying their divine rights. It is hardly possible to implement those pro-people policies, which can anyway affect the interests of international players. So, people’s aspiration is either suppressed, or they are not allowed to think and speak freely from a paradigm other than that of supranational powers. With the existing structure favoring the already powerful elite having nexus with the vested quarters hooked into the criminal domain, the people living in suffocating conditions generally cherish mere pious wishes about what good things should be done, no matter whether they understand critical analysis of human rights or not. It is the people or the individuals who are the neglected elements in the established politics and socio-economic activities. Because, they have been treated as subalterns in the domineering rule of the ‘descendants’ of king or queen in the port-colonial era. The power structure is highly centripetal that does not uphold the true spirit of the populace. If human rights mean public interest or, say, people-oriented development, this is theoretically guaranteed but pragmatically hindered in the present-day order. The people need freedom to exercise their rights in an egalitarian manner. The process of democratizing society has been rather sop polluted that any headway from the plight could not be attained easily. Human rights violations have become daily occurrences in Bangladesh. The populations with limited financial resources are especially vulnerable to human rights violations. Those who have been victims of human rights violations often try to seek help from community leaders, law enforcement agencies, lawyers, journalists, human rights advocates and organizations, and local government officials. But many people still lack access to communicate with the above mentioned entities. RI has published human rights directory to fulfill that gap to a certain extent. Yet there is ample scope for improvement in the status of human rights, provided the indigenous ideas are really promoted to find out ways and means to correct the situation.
Domestic implementation mechanism of human rights in Bangladesh
· Domestic Application of International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in Bangladesh
There are many articles in this covenant tells us about the fundamental human rights that
is applicable for all the nations of the world. However, domestic application of these
articles in Bangladesh is very much rare because of high political instability, slow
economic development and illiteracy.
1. According to article 6, 7 and 8 of this covenant right to life and abolishment of torture and slavery is established as the basic human right internationally. However, if we think in the context of Bangladesh somewhere the melody of these rights are not present there because of the fact that right to life is almost absent in Bangladesh when considering all the killings going on
2. Articles 14, 15, and 16 says about equality of law for everyone, a fair and impartial trial, a man or women is innocent until proven guilty. Now in Bangladesh although there is fairness in law but in practice, these are absent, as partial trial has become the norm of this countries judicial system. It is almost non-existent that the judges in the court gave verdict against government as they are recognized as something more than normal. For example, the cases against the present prime minister have been lifted but for the opposition leader is still going on. Unfortunately, this is going on like a viscous cycle
3. According to Article 24, the right to join a political party and right to vote is domestically very much applicable to Bangladesh. As a democratic country this human rights issue has been even praised by the international community. However, in the rural areas this right is violated time and again through proxy voting and buying votes with money, however improvements are being made through various steps such a voting ID card issue etc.
4. Article 25 states that prohibition discrimination on the base of religion is a issue that is very much ignored in the rural areas of Bangladesh. The reason behind this is that the minority in Bangladesh Hindu, Buddhist and Christians are treated unfairly in a lot places especially the village areas of Bangladesh. The treatment is based on religious segregation. which is a gross violation of article 25. But as mentioned before instead of saying that religious tolerance is not high in this country, it is better to say that the religious issue is constantly politicized. It is implied that even a Muslim person kills a Hindu person for dispute of land it is the nature of the political parties to blame it on religious discrimination and oppression. However if compared to neighboring India then of course it has to be admitted that the minority in Bangladesh are better off.
5. Articles 12,13,17-24 states that individual liberty exists in the form of the freedoms of movement, thought, conscience and religion, speech, association, assembly, family rights, the right to a nationality, and the right to privacy. Although these rights are there more or less and implemented in Bangladesh however it is not up to the extend to that of the Western countries. The freedom of speech is not allowed up to the extend of the Western countries. Now in a democratic nation it is quite natural that people will criticize the government however if a speech is given which hurts the religious sentiment of a person then the international human rights law will be violated
Human Rights Practice in USA
The United States was founded on the human rights principle expressed in the American
Declaration of Independence: that we all have certain basic, unalienable rights simply by virtue of our humanity. Declaring rights to be inherent, not based on the generosity of the state, was transformative. Two hundred years later, the United States can point to a tradition of promoting human rights in principle, if not always in practice. The United States was a leader in ending the atrocities of World War II and in developing international institutions and instruments aimed at securing peace in the world and human rights for all people. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which celebrates its sixtieth anniversary this year, was inspired in part by Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms speech and drafted in part by Eleanor Roosevelt, the first President of the U.N. Human Rights Commission. Just as the New Deal redefined the concept of “security” at home to include economic security for all Americans, so too these post-war international regimes redefined the notion of “security” internationally to include human security.
Domestic implementation of human rights in USA
The protection of fundamental human rights was a foundation stone in the establishment of the United States over 200 years ago. Since then, a central goal of U.S. foreign policy has been the promotion of respect for human rights, as embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The United States understands that the existence of human rights helps secure the peace, deter aggression, promote the rule of law, combat crime and corruption, strengthen democracies, and prevent humanitarian crises.
Because the promotion of human rights is an important national interest, the United States seeks to:
- Hold governments accountable to their obligations under universal human rights norms and international human rights instruments;
- Promote greater respect for human rights, including freedom from torture, freedom of expression, press freedom, women’s rights, children’s rights, and the protection of minorities;
- Promote the rule of law, seek accountability, and change cultures of impunity;
- Assist efforts to reform and strengthen the institutional capacity of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the UN Commission on Human Rights; and
- Coordinate human rights activities with important allies, including the EU, and regional organizations.
The three principle of Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL)
o DRL strives to learn the truth and state the facts in all of its human rights investigations, reports on country conditions, speeches and votes in the UN, and asylum profiles. Each year, DRL develops, edits, and submits to Congress a 5,000-page report on human rights conditions in over 190 countries that is respected globally for its objectivity and accuracy. DRL also provides relevant information on country conditions to the Immigration and Naturalization Service and immigration judges in asylum cases.
o DRL takes consistent positions concerning past, present, and future abuses. With regard to past abuses, it actively promotes accountability. To stop ongoing abuses, the bureau uses an “inside-outside” approach that combines vigorous, external focus on human rights concerns (including the possibility of sanctions) with equally robust support for internal reform. To prevent future abuses, it promotes early warning and preventive diplomacy. Each year DRL ensures that human rights considerations are incorporated into U.S. military training and security assistance programs; promotes the rights of women through international campaigns for political participation and full equality; conducts high-level human rights dialogues with other governments; coordinates U.S. policy on human rights with key allies; and raises key issues and cases through diplomatic and public channels.
o DRL forges and maintains partnerships with organizations, governments, and multilateral institutions committed to human rights. The bureau takes advantage of multilateral fora to focus international attention on human rights problems and to seek correction. Each year, DRL provides significant technical, financial, or staff support for U.S. delegations to the annual meetings of several international human rights organizations; conducts regular consultations with Native American tribes and serves as the Secretary’s principal advisor on international indigenous rights issues; maintains relations with the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights; and supports the creation of effective multilateral human rights mechanisms and institutions for accountability.
Compare and Contrast of LAW implementation mechanism of human rights between Bangladesh and USA
- Labor rights
Workers in Bangladesh faced poor working conditions, low wages, and excessive hours. Government repression and collusion with factory owners prevented them from organizing effectively.
The government continued legal action against the Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity (BCWS), an NGO that works closely with trade unions. Over a dozen labor rights leaders, including BCWS leaders, faced criminal charges on a variety of spurious grounds, including under the Explosive Substances Ordinance Act, which carries the death penalty as a sentence. Labor rights groups faced registration problems that affected their funding and operations.
Hundreds of thousands of children work on American farms. The 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act exempts child farmworkers from the minimum age and maximum hour requirements that apply to all other working children, exposing them to work at far younger ages, for longer hours, and under more hazardous conditions. As a result, child farmworkers, most of them Latino, often work 10 or more hours a day and risk pesticide poisoning, heat illness, injuries, life-long disabilities, and death. Of children under age 16 who suffered fatal occupational injuries in 2010, 75 percent worked in crop production. Thousands more are injured each year. Federal protections that do exist are often not enforced.
In April, the Department of Labor withdrew new regulations proposed in 2011 that would have updated, for the first time in decades, the list of hazardous agricultural tasks prohibited for children under age 16. (Federal law bans hazardous work for children under age 18 outside agriculture). Several members of Congress claimed, inaccurately, that the rules would hurt family farms and agricultural training, and introduced bills to block them.
Millions of US workers, including parents of infants, are harmed by weak or non-existent laws on paid leave, breastfeeding accommodation, and discrimination against workers with family responsibilities. Inadequate leave contributes to delaying babies’ immunizations, postpartum depression, and other health problems, and causes mothers to stop breastfeeding early.
The Obama administration proposed a regulation to end the exclusion of certain home care workers from minimum wage and hour protections. These workers, most of whom are women, including many immigrants and minorities, provide essential services to people with disabilities and the elderly.<href=”#_ftn6″ name=”_ftnref6″ title=””>
- Prison condition
As of 2010, the US maintained the world’s largest incarcerated population, at 1.6 million, and the world’s highest per capita incarceration rate, at 500 inmates per 100,000 residents.
In May 2012, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) issued final standards under the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA), for the detection, prevention, reduction, and punishment of prison rape. The standards are immediately binding on all DOJ facilities. A presidential memorandum clarified that other federal agencies operating detention facilities, including the Department of Homeland Security, are also bound by PREA and must propose rules or procedures to comply with PREA.
California responded to a 2010 Supreme Court ruling that it must reduce its prison population because of inadequate medical and mental health care due to overcrowding by shifting a large number of inmates from the state prison system to county jails in a process called realignment. Realignment initially led to a sharp reduction in the state inmate population, but that drop has leveled off.
Prison system conditions remained life threatening at times due to overcrowding, inadequate facilities, and lack of proper sanitation. Human rights observers stated that these conditions contributed to custodial deaths. Unlike in the previous year, there were no accounts of security forces holding detainees in temporary or military detention facilities.
According to Odhikar, 46 persons died in prison and 109 persons died in the custody of police and other security forces during the year.
According to the government, the existing prison population at year’s end was 69,650, or more than over 200 percent of the official prison capacity of 29,240. Of the entire prison population, Conditions in prisons varied widely often within the same prison complex as some prisoners were subject to high temperatures, poor ventilation, and overcrowding while others were placed in “divisional” custody, which featured better conditions such as increased family visitation and access to household staff. Political and personal connections often influenced the conditions that a prisoner would be placed in. All prisoners have the right to water access and medical care; however, throughout the year, human rights organizations and the media stated that many prisoners did not enjoy these rights.
In 2008 the inspector general of prisons tried to address prisoner morale by allowing low-level offenders to meet family and friends inside jail cells without any physical barriers between them. There were few additional efforts to improve the prison system during the year.
- Non Residents right
The government’s response to the influx of Rohingya refugees fleeing sectarian violence in Arakan state, Burma, exposed its failure to respect the United Nations Refugee Convention. Bangladesh pushed Rohingyas back at the border, regardless of the risk they faced when they return to Burma, and blocked critical humanitarian assistance.
The government suspended any third-country resettlement of the Rohingya refugees, arguing it would encourage other Rohingya in Burma to seek refuge in Bangladesh. Government officials labeled Rohingya “intruders” and “criminals,” and blamed them for destroying Buddhist temples in mass riots in October, without offering evidence to prove they were responsible.
There are approximately 25 million non-citizens in the US. The government estimates that 10.8 million of them are in the country without authorization. In fiscal year 2012, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) deported a record 396,906 non-citizens. A dramatic increase in federal prosecutions of immigration violations and in the number of immigrants in detention has fed a nationwide detention system comprised of over 250 facilities.
In 2011, prosecutions for illegal entry and reentry into the US surpassed 34,000 and 37,000 respectively. Illegal reentry is now the most prosecuted federal crime. Many of those who are prosecuted for these crimes have minor or no criminal history and have substantial ties to the US.
- Excessive Punishments and Death Penalty
In 2012, Connecticut joined 16 other states and the District of Columbia in abolishing the death penalty. Thirty-three states continue to allow its imposition. In November, California voters narrowly rejected Proposition 34, which would have abolished the death penalty in that state. At this writing, 42 people had been executed in the US in 2012. There has been a downward trend in executions since 2000.
Approximately 2,600 youth offenders are serving life-without-parole sentences, but in 2012 there was significant progress towards abolishing use of the sentence for juveniles. In 2012, Human Rights Watch found that nearly every youth offender serving life without parole reported physical violence or sexual abuse by inmates or corrections officers.
In June, the US Supreme Court held mandatory life-without-parole sentences for juvenile offenders to be unconstitutional, calling into question approximately 85 percent of all juvenile life-without-parole cases in the country. In September, California enacted a law providing for the possibility of review and parole for nearly 300 youth sentenced to life without parole in the state.
There is widespread use of solitary confinement against juveniles in adult prisons and jails, often for weeks or months. In 2011, more than 95,000 people under age 18 were held in adult prisons and jails. Solitary confinement provokes serious mental and physical health problems, and undermines teenagers’ rehabilitation.
Although there was a decline in overall numbers of civilians killed by security forces in 2012, the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB)—a force comprised of military and police—continued to carry out extrajudicial killings. The ruling political party, the Awami League, pledged to bring the RAB under control when it assumed office, but abuses persisted.
The government continued to persecute 17-year-old boy, Limon Hossain, whom RAB officials shot and maimed in March 2011. Although the government initially said that Hossain was injured in a botched RAB operation, it quickly retracted the statement and filed criminal charges against him. In August 2012, an alleged RAB informant attacked and beat Hossain in a street in his hometown. Instead of protecting Hossain, the government filed further charges against him, and accused him and his relatives of murdering a bystander.
The authorities failed to investigate and prosecute the RAB or other security forces responsible for extrajudicial killings or torture. While the RAB set up an internal investigative unit with technical assistance from the United States, no RAB member has ever faced criminal prosecution for a human rights violation.
In April, Elias Ali, secretary of the Sylhet Division of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), disappeared without trace. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina called on the police to investigate Ali’s disappearance, but undermined the effort by claiming that Ali and his driver were “hiding” at his party’s orders to allow the opposition to blame the government. Human rights groups reported more than 20 disappearances in 2012.
- Women’s and Girls’s rights
While Bangladesh has a strong set of laws and judicial guidelines to tackle violence against women, implementation remains poor. Violence against women including rape, dowry-related assaults, and other forms of domestic violence, acid attacks, and illegal punishments in the name of fatwas or religious decrees and sexual harassment continue.
Bangladesh reported the highest prevalence of child marriages in the world. Archaic and discriminatory family laws for Muslims, Hindus, and Christians, continued to impoverish many women when they separate from, or divorce spouses, and trap them in abusive marriages for fear of destitution. The Law Commission of Bangladesh researched and recommended reforms to these laws in 2012.
The Violence against Women Act (VAWA), the primary federal law providing legal protection and services to victims of domestic and sexual violence and stalking, faced an uncertain future. At this writing, the congressional renewal process had stalled due to disagreements over protections for immigrant victims; lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) victims; and victims on tribal lands.
Department of Defense statistics indicate that out of an estimated 19,000 sexual assaults in the military each year, only 3,192 were reported in fiscal year 2011; just 240 of those resulted in military prosecution. Recently announced initiatives to address the problem include removing investigative responsibility from frontline commanders; however, cases would remain within the chain of command.
· http://www.humanrights.com/what-are-human-rights.html on 17th June 2013
· http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Pages/WhatareHumanRights.aspx on 17th June 2013
· Sepúlveda et al. 2004, p. 3
· Isaac Lewin, The Jewish community in Poland, Philosophical Library, the University of Michigan, 1985 p.19 l.6
· retrived on june 12th from http://www.media-humanrights.org/latest-news/4-latest-news/79-human-rights-directory-for-bangladesh-
· Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: Questions and Answers”. Amnesty International. pp. 6. justify;” size=”1? />
· ICCPR, Article 14-16
· ICCPR, Article 24
· ICCPR, Article 25
· ICCPR, Article 12, 13, 17 – 24
· Brennan, William, J., ed. Schwartz, Bernard, The Burger Court: counter-revolution or confirmation?, Oxford University Press US, 1998,ISBN 0-19-512259-3, page 10
· http://www.un.org/en/rights/ on 18th june 2013
· http://www.state.gov/j/drl/index.htm on 18th june 2013
· http://www.state.gov/j/drl/index.htm on 18th june 2013
· http://www.state.gov/j/drl/hr/ on 18th june 2013
- retrived on june 16th from http://www.hrw.org/world-report/2013/country-chapters/united-states?page=2
· retrived on june 18th from http://www.humanrightsusa.org/
· retrived on june 18th from http://www.hrw.org/world-report/2013/country-chapters/united-states?page=1
· retrived on june 18th from http://geneva.usmission.gov/category/human-rights/hrc/
· retrived on june 18th from http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2010/sca/154478.htm
· retrived on june 19th from http://www.humanrights.com/what-are-human-rights/brief-history/declaration-of-independence.html
· retrived on june 19th from http://www.nesri.org/human-rights/human-rights-in-the-united-states
· retrived on june 18th from http://www.hrw.org/world-report/2013/country-chapters/bangladesh?page=1
· retrived on june 17th from http://www.hrw.org/world-report/2013/country-chapters/bangladesh?page=3
· retrived on june 17th from http://www.hrw.org/world-report/2013/country-chapters/united-states?page=2
Isaac Lewin, The Jewish community in Poland, Philosophical Library, the University of Michigan, 1985 p.19 l.6
ICCPR, Article 12, 13, 17 – 24
http://www.un.org/en/rights/ on 18th june 2013
http://www.state.gov/j/drl/index.htm on 18th june 2013
retrived on june 16th from http://www.hrw.org/world-report/2013/country-chapters/united-states?page=2