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Compare & Contrast the domestic implementation mechanism of Human Rights Between Bangladesh & USA
In this research I focused on the Human rights condition of USA and Bangladesh. Human rights is a important fact that every country should maitain. Human rights are much more than well-meaning aspirations set to legal language. It is important for society to live human rights through its practices, behavior, and attitudes. Celebrating human rights once a year is important, but living human rights every day is essential.The principle applies to everyone in relation to all human rights and freedoms and it prohibits discrimination on the basis of a list of non-exhaustive categories such as sex, race, color and so on. The principle of non-discrimination is complemented by the principle of equality, as stated in Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”Here our aim of the research is to find the compare and contrast the domestic implementation mechanism of Human rights between Bangladesh and USA.
DRL = Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
BCWS = Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity
VAWA = The Violence Against Women Act
LGBT= Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender victims
RAB = Rapid Action Battalion
DOJ = Department of Justice
PREA = Prison Rape Elimination Act
First we have to know about human rights. 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.All human rights are indivisible, whether they are civil and political rights, such as the right to life, equality before the law and freedom of expression; economic, social and cultural rights, such as the rights to work, social security and education , or collective rights, such as the rights to development and self-determination, are indivisible, interrelated and interdependent. The improvement of one right facilitates advancement of the others. Likewise, the deprivation of one right adversely affects the others.Non-discrimination is a cross-cutting principle in international human rights law. The principle is present in all the major human rights treaties and provides the central theme of some of international human rights conventions such as the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.<href=”#_ftn2″ name=”_ftnref2″ title=””>
The principle applies to everyone in relation to all human rights and freedoms and it prohibits discrimination on the basis of a list of non-exhaustive categories such as sex, race, colour and so on. The principle of non-discrimination is complemented by the principle of equality, as stated in Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”
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.<href=”#_ftn3″ name=”_ftnref3″ title=””>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. <href=”#_ftn5″ name=”_ftnref5″ title=””>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.
Human Rights mechanism 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 Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL) applies three key principles to its work on human rights:
|First, 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. <href=”#_ftn7″ name=”_ftnref7″ title=””>
Second, 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.<href=”#_ftn8″ name=”_ftnref8″ title=””>
Third, DRL forges and maintains partnerships with organizations, governments, and multilateral institutions committed to human rights. The bureau takes advantage of multilateral for 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.<href=”#_ftn9″ name=”_ftnref9″ title=””>
Compare and Contrast between USA and Bangladesh in terms of law implementation
Labor rights in Bangladesh
Aminul Islam, a prominent labor rights activist, was found tortured and killed in April 2012. In response to an intense outcry, the Home Ministry set up a high-level commission to investigate his killing, but there had been no progress in the investigation at this writing. While there was no suggestion of political responsibility, Prime Minister Hasina made public statements downplaying the significance of the killing.
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.<href=”#_ftn10″ name=”_ftnref10″ title=””>
Labor rights in USA
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.
Women’s and Girls rights in Bangladesh
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.
Women’s and Girl’s rights in USA
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.
Death Penalty and Excessive Punishments in Bangladesh
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.
Death Penalty and Excessive Punishments in USA
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.
Youth convicted of sex offenses also experienced harsh treatment. The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act require jurisdictions to register juveniles convicted of certain sexual offenses on a national, publicly accessible, online registry. Registration impacts youth offenders’ access to education, housing, and employment. Many states have similar harsh laws.
Prison’s condition in Bangladesh
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.
Prison’s condition in USA
As of 2010, the US maintained the world’s largest incarcerated population, at 1.6 million, and the world’s highest per capital 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.
Non citizen’s rights in Bangladesh
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.
Non citizen’s rights in USA
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.<href=”#_ftn20″ name=”_ftnref20″ title=””>
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.<href=”#_ftn21″ name=”_ftnref21″ title=””>
Secure Communities and other federal programs involving local law enforcement play a major role in the increase in deportations. The federal government has portrayed these programs as focused on dangerous criminals, but most immigrants deported through Secure Communities are categorized by the federal government as “non-criminal” or lower level offenders. These programs may exacerbate distrust of police in immigrant communities, and thus may deter crime victims from seeking protection and redress. Some local and state governments have sought to limit the reach of these programs.
In fine, I can say that it is really important to maintain Human Rights for any country. It ensures the highest security of people. Human rights are much more than well-meaning aspirations set to legal language. It is important for society to live human rights through its practices, behavior, and attitudes. Celebrating human rights once a year is important, but living human rights every day is essential. To live human rights values means to support the oppressed, embrace the excluded, advocate for the voiceless, and celebrate the diversity of our community.
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