Towards an Effective Human Rights Commission in Bangladesh

Introduction: Human rights are the basic rights and freedoms entitled to any person, regardless of economic status, nationality, jurisdiction, age, ability, ethnicity, sex, and sexuality. These basic rights are the right to life, freedom, equality, justice, and freedom of thought and expression.

Human Rights is generally defined as those rights which are inherent in our nature. It is essential as human beings. Human Rights required basic rights and freedoms. Social rights, education, economic side, political view also important part of human rights. ([1])

Human right is a natural concept for our living. But in our country and others countries people does not get their right. So that every countries have to consists law on human rights. ([2])

Human Rights in Bangladesh: Bangladesh is a poor country. Occasionally beset by natural disasters that further hamper development. Like most developing countries, Bangladesh too has its share of human rights issues and problem.

While fundamental freedoms are enshrined in the constitution regardless of race, gender and religion, there are many instances where the rights are often ignored and at worst trampled. ([3])

Universal View: The universal declaration of human rights is half a century old, but critics are still asking whether anything in our multicultural, diverse world can be truly universal.

Universally human rights are same. A number of developing countries played an active and highly influential part in the drafting of the universal declaration of human rights. The principles of human rights have been widely adopted, imitated and ratified by developing countries. ([4])

International Human Rights: Internationally human rights law created for protection. So every country has to concern for the foreigners. ([5])

The international human rights movement was strengthened when the United Nations General Assembly adopted of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) on 10th December 1948. Drafted as a common standard achievement for all peoples and nations, the declaration for the first time in human history spell out basic civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights that all human being should enjoy.

Human Rights and Corruption: Corruption and human rights has a relation for each other. Because if there are corruption than there are no human rights. Corruption effect is a big effect for human rights.([6])

Corruption undermines political, social and economic stability. It threatens security and damages trust and public confidence in systems which affect people’s daily lives. Although corruption frequently occurs at local or national level, its consequences are global; its hidden costs immense.

Human Rights in environmental: In our country, environmental problem is a big issue. Environmental rights mean access to the unspoiled natural resources that enable survival, including land, shelter, food, water and air. They also include more purely ecological right for a certain beetle to survive or the right for an individual to enjoy an unspoiled landscape. ([7])

Environmental rights include political rights like rights for indigenous peoples and other collectivities, the right to information and participation in decision-making, freedom of opinion and expression, and the right to resist unwanted developments.

Woman Rights: Women’s rights are entailments and freedoms claimed for woman and girls of all ages in many societies. Women are tortured not only physically but also mentally. Women are working more than men. But there are no recognize. ([8])

Man and female citizen are same. But a woman never gets full facilities for herself. Violence affect is a big affect for woman. ([9])

Children: In today’s world children rights is a big issue. Few people are recognizing the tremendous potentials youth hold both for today and the future. Daily, children all around world are forced to work under conditions of outright slavery. They are subjected to physical, psychological and sexual abuse, forced into wars as soldiers or sex slaves and are bought and sold like cattle to be abused even further.([10])

“The child, for the full and harmonious development of his or her personality, should grow up in a family environment, in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding. The child should be fully prepared to live an individual life in society…in the spirit of peace, dignity, tolerance, freedom, equality and solidarity.”
-from the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

Rights in speech: Freedom of speech is freedom to speak freely without censorship or limitation or both. The synonymous term freedom of expression is sometimes used to indicate not only freedom of verbal speech but any act of seeking, receiving and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used.([11])

Today freedom of speech, or the freedom of expression, is recognized in international and regional human rights law. The right to freedom of expression is also related to the right to a fair trial and court proceeding which may limit access to the search for information or determine the opportunity and means in which freedom of expression is manifested within court proceedings.

Press Released: A press release, media release or press statement is a written or recorded communication directed at members of the news media for the purpose of announcing something claimed as having news value. Typically, they are mailed, faxed or e-mailed to assignment editors at newspaper, magazines, radio stations, television stations, and television networks.

National Human Rights in Bangladesh: By Bangladesh caretaker govt. established a law for human rights. ([12])

A human rights-based approach focuses attention on those who are often left behind, including ethnic minorities, women, children, and the disabled and older people. It promotes active and genuine participation in decision-making. Participation and engagement are critical for sustained development progress. UNDP has seen in its work countless examples of women’s and other community-based organizations arriving at innovative and sustainable development solutions which will transform their lives.

The Human Rights Commission, currently chaired by Amirul Chowdhury, formerly a Justice of Bangladesh Supreme Court’s Appellate Bench, was originally convened in 2007 by the then caretaker government. All ordinances passed by such a government are, by definition, interim and have to be re-ratified by parliament. It had been expected, subsequent to the expiration of the National Human Rights ordinance on 25 February, that it would be immediately re-activated during Parliament’s first session in 2009. The fact that this did not occur led many commentators to speculate that the newly elected Awami League intended to indefinitely delay the activation of the Commission or, at best, pass a law that left the NHRC effectively powerless. But the bill, proposed by Law Minister Shafique Ahmed, carried additional provisions that enable the Commission to investigate human rights violations carried out by the country’s armed forces and police. It is vested with the necessary judicial powers so that damages can be redressed. Perhaps most significantly, either in response to a petition or at its own discretion, it can request reports from the government regarding the activities of the Bangladeshi security forces. The Commission will also have a regional presence, with district chapters that can receive allegations, conduct preliminary investigations and commission trials.

Effective Human Rights Commission in Bangladesh: Bangladesh is a developing country. So United Nations and Bangladesh signed an agreement. ([13])

Conclusion: In recent months, the Government of Bangladesh has taken steps towards establishing a national human rights commission. Amnesty International welcomes this initiative, and is taking this opportunity to put forward a series of recommendations aimed at ensuring that the body will be fully independent, empowered and effective in the promotion and protection of human rights in Bangladesh and providing redress to victims.


  • Human Rights Issues and International Law by Muhammad Zamir.
  • Human Rights and Corruption by Prof. M. Shah Alam
  • Human Rights in the World by A. H. Robertson and J. G. Merrills.
  • Human Rights Approaches to Protection by Michael R. Anderson.
  • The International Law of Human Rights by Paul Sieghart.
  • Article: Defining the Relationship Between Human Rights and Corruption by Jemes Thuo Gathi.
  • Article: Climate Change: Biggest Treat to Human Rights by Ahmed Ziauddin.
  • Article: Declaration of Rights of Woman,1791 by Olype De Goges,1791.
  • Article: Woman’s Rights by Anup Shah.
  • Website: Derechos Human Rights, Article: Freedom of speech.
  • Website: Talking IT Global, Article: Child and Youth Rights.
  • Website:, Article: New Beginning For Human Rights Commission in Bangladesh.

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[1] Human Rights could be generally defined as those rights which are inherent in our nature and without we cannot live as human beings. The history of human rights tells a detailed story of the attempts made to define basic entitlements.

[2] Human rights as positivist manifestations of ethical category and naturalist concept are entrenched in both domestic and international law.

[3] In 2005, Bangladesh experienced an unprecedented period of continuous political instability. On August 17, 2005, four hundred bombs exploded in all but one of the nation’s sixty-four districts. As a result of this instability and its national security repercussions, Bangladesh’s already questionable human right has deteriorated. Bangladeshi security forces have been persistently criticized by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch due to grave abuses of human rights. These include extrajudicial summary executions, excessive use of force and the use of custodial torture. Reporters and defenders of human rights are harassed and intimidated by the authorities. Since 2003, legislative barriers to prosecution and transparency have afforded security services immunity from accountability to the general public. Hindu and Ahmadi Muslim minorities’ human rights are in a compromised state, and corruption is still a major problem, such that Transparency International has listed Bangladesh as the most corrupt country in the world for five co consecutive years

[4] Universally recognized and accepted human rights are well entrenched not only in various treaties but also in state laws and customs. However, their practical implementation has to over come multifarious obstacles and stumbling blocks. While the norms of human rights are the same everywhere, variations in the level of implementation in different countries are great. Human rights without their implementation are not human rights, so the elimination of the causes of violation of human rights is as important as human rights themselves.

[5] The first international rules and procedures for the protection of human rights were developed in order to protect foreigners against abuse by local authorities. Many international tribunals and claims commissions throughout the 19th century established certain minimum standards for all nations to follow in the treatment of alien.

[6] Corruption affects human rights in a variety of ways. For example, the rights to food, water, education, health, and the ability to seek justice can be violated if a bribe is required to gain access to these basic rights. Corruption by high-level government officials can siphon millions of dollars of the country’s wealth, which in turn handicaps the government from fulfilling its duty to protect, ensure, and respect the rights guaranteed to its people. This relationship between human rights and corruption is ambiguous however; while corruption negatively affects human rights protection, human rights can help corruption to flourish. This is because human rights and procedural rights, such as due process – the right not to have undue delay in court proceedings, and the right to a fair trial – can be used by corrupt government officials to circumvent and avoid punishment and accountability for the role they played in acquiring personal gain for themselves at the expense of the people they should be serving

[7] The global climate has been changing as the world gets warmer largely due to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions resulting from human activities. This fact is now widely accepted but there are still a few formidable skeptics around, who refuse to accept evidence of human causation of recent observed warnings. What have human rights got to do with climate change? Human rights are universal basic rights and freedoms which all humans are entitled to, including civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights entailing such rights as right to life, liberty, freedom of expression, to worship, to own property, to be treated equally before the law, to family, to education, to culture, to health, to subsistence etc. These rights being universal and fundamental, states have obligation to prevent violations of these rights. To some extent, the relationship between the environment and human rights, and human well-being, has been recognized. According to Inter-American Commission of Human Rights, realization of many human rights is necessarily related to and in some ways dependent upon one’s physical environment. Therefore, what is most needed now is adoption of a “human rights based approach” to policy and legislative responses to climate change, based on international human rights norms and standards, and ensuring promotion and protection of human rights. Human rights standards should be minimum thresholds for mitigation and adaptation policies.

[8] Woman rights around the world are an important indicator to understand global well being. A major global women’s rights treaty was ratified by the majority of the worlds nations a few decades ago. Yet, despite many successes in empowering women, numerous issues still exist in all areas of life, ranging from the cultural, political to the economic. For example, women often work more than men, yet are paid less; gender discrimination affects girls and women throughout their lifetime; and women and girls are often are the ones that suffer the most poverty

[9] The law must be the expression of the general will; all female and male citizens must contribute either personally or through their representatives to its formation; it must be the same for all: male and female citizens, being equal in the eyes of the law, must be equally admitted to all honors, positions, and public employment according to their capacity and without other distinctions besides those of their virtues and talents.

[10] Millions of young people around the world are exploited in different ways. Children are forced to work in factories, in backrooms, on the street, and in the sex trade. They can be sold as slaves or even drafted to fight in wars. The violation of children’s rights is pervasive throughout many countries and fuels struggling economies, but exploitation of children is not restricted to the public sphere. Alarmingly, children are too often the recipients of violence in their own home, where a high percentage of abuse- sexual, physical, emotional, and psychological- takes place. There are people doing meaningful work to promote children’s rights. Human rights agencies and organizations, grassroots groups, media, educators, global leaders, and youth groups. Some of the most influential and effective child advocacy groups are featured in our resources and organizations sections.

[11] Freedom of expression is one of the most fundamental rights that individuals enjoy. It is fundamental to the existence of democracy and the respect of human dignity. It is also one of the most dangerous rights, because freedom of expression means the freedom to express one’s discontent with the status quo and the desire to change it. As such, it is one of the most threatened rights, with governments – and even human rights groups – all over the world constantly trying to curtail it.

[12] The Bangladesh Human Rights Commission was established by Bangladesh’s caretaker Government on 1 September 2008. According to the former President of Bangladesh, Dr Iajuddin Ahmed, this Commission will “play a significant role in establishing a culture of respect for Human Rights with the co-operation of all concerned including the civil society, the public and private organizations.”

[13] The government of Bangladesh and the United Nations signed an agreement aiming to strengthen the country’s National Human Rights Commission.
In the days when the news started to coming that human rights are violated in many way…Hope through the strong initiative government will able to establish real values of human rights. We must shoul renote through establishing real values of human rights a government can proof them success.