BHRC’S REGISTERED AND AFFILIATED BODIES
Everyone, as A Member of Society, has the Right to Social Security and is Entitled to Realization, through National Effort and International Co-Operation and in Accordance with the Organization and Resources of each State of the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Indispensible for his dignity and the Free Development of his personality.
-The Charter of the united Nations
Bangladesh Human Rights Commission-BHRC is one of the largest Voluntary International human rights and peace bodies in Asian Region working against torture and for the preservation, promotion and upholding of human rights/peace with over thousand branches in home and abroad. BHRC registered by the Government of Bangladesh and established in 1987 as per charter of UN bill of rights. It is accredited with United Nations & Government of United States of America (USA) and Affiliated Status with the International Commission of Jurists- ICJ. It is also member body of OMCT/SOS Torture Network (Geneva) and Member with Observer Status of African Commission on Human & Peoples Rights. BHRC is affiliated with many other national and international bodies.
The BHRC has been providing legal assistance and advice to about 5 lac people annually concerning violation of human rights in Bangladesh and overseas. There are over 1 lac regular activists in the country who are carrying out these activities purely on voluntary basis. In personal life these people are Educationists, Lawyers, Newsmen, Teachers, Physicians and Social Workers.
The BHRC has been carrying out its jobs to the distressed people for the last 30 years. BHRC, since its inceptions, has been working for the protection of human rights irrespective of class, race, tribes, religion and other sorts of discriminations.
The BHRC identified people’s ignorance about their own rights to be the root cause for many of their sufferings. Keeping it in mind, BHRC renders legal training to the people. It also gives free legal aid to the poor, the oppressed and the dispossessed who are victims of injustice, illegal detention, harassment etc. especially to promote the administration of justice and the Rule of Law.
The BHRC also feels the need for changes in the enactment of law, which are inconsistent with basic Human Rights.
BHRC believes that poverty is one of the main reasons of rapid violation of human rights. Therefore BHRC in co-operation with its sister organization, The Institute of Rural Development (IRD), has been working for alleviating poverty through some self-employment programmes.
The BHRC sets the following objectives for realising its goals.
To take direct action against torture by involving administration, creating public opinion through publicity in press and other media.
To spread legal literacy, education and knowledge among the poor people;
To conduct and promote research in the areas of law relating to Human Rights, removal of poverty and promotion of economic and social uplift to the weaker and less fortunate sections of the society;
To suggest reforms leading to removal of social injustices;
To address the relevant authorities for immediate ridress of the violations of human rights;
The BHRC deals with human rights in the following ten of its programme divisions:
(i) Legal Aid Programme for victims of torture.
(ii) Medical aid programme for victims of torture.
(iii)Legal Literacy and publication Programme.
(iv) Investigation and Fact Finding Programme.
(v) BHRC & IHRC:
(vi) Protecting Minority/Tribal Rights Programme.
(vii) Research Programme.
(viii) Urgent Action Programme.
(ix) Legal Training Programme.
(x) Election Monitoring Programme.
(xi) Disaster Management Programme.
(xii) BHRC & IHRC
Legal Aid Programme FOR VICTIMS OF TORTURE- ACTIVITIES
The BHRC has so far entertained thousands of cases. Mainly Female and poor clients/victims and affected persons who present themselves personally or send written statements at our offices to lodge their complaints. Legal Aid Personnel and Social Workers help the victims if necessary, filing cases in the courts of law or through Negotiation or mediation. The BHRC finds this approach very much successful in establishing social order and discipline in family life.
Categories of legal aid cases:
a) Torture; b) Matrimonial; c) Harassment/Eviction; d) Unlawful Detention/Arrest/Torture; e) Rape Cases/other Sexual Harassment; f) Social Protection; g) Allegations against discriminations etc and h) Cases of Acid Burning woman and children.
MEDICAL AID PROGRAMME FOR VICTIMS OF TORTURE- ACTIVITIES.
Acid attack has increased enormously leaving consequences like death, blindness, ugly figure or invalid condition of victims. Mostly female members are target of attack. Refusal of sex appeal or dispute over landed property are main reasons of acid attacks. The BHRC has taken programme against acid attacks in the form of all sorts of assistance to victims.
We have already started lifting of acid victims from far and near in Bangladesh for their direct treatment through an acid victim treatment centre of our own at Malibagh, Dhaka .
LEGAL LITERACY AND PUBLICAION ACTIVITIES
The BHRC has regularly been publishing fortnightly magazine “The Manabadhikar” which means “Human Rights”. This magazine works exclusively for preservation, propagation and upholding of human rights. It has been playing a greater role in consciousness building against violations of human rights and torture.
The magazine is distributed to all Ministries, Directorates, Departments, Deputy Commissioners, Superintendents of Police, Judges, Bar Associations, Press Clubs & prominent political leaders, NGOS, grassroot level Social Workers of Human Rights Organizations. UN bodies, International Human Rights Organizations, other International Agencies and Foreign Missions in Bangladesh.
BHRC also conducts workshops and seminars on Human Rights and publishes human rights literatures.
Investigation and fact-finding PROGRAMME:
The BHRC has its own machinery to investigate violations of human rights. The purpose of fact-finding investigation is mainly to clarify disputed facts arising in the context of complaints of violations of human rights. This enables itself to arrive at the fact what really happened which in turn helps to initiate the right actions, and also to help the government in reaching the correct conclusions and/or to enable the findings to be produced as evidence in any trial before any judicial authority.
BHRC & IHRC:
Since International Human Rights Commission (IHRC) is established under the auspice of Bangladesh Human Rights Commission (BHRC), IHRC will be deemed to be a complementary body to the BHRC. IHRC was established under a separate constitution with a view to the ensuring of human rights all over the world and hence all the people of the world may be involved with this organization. BHRC has been conducting its activities in the form of its branches in the countries in Europe and elsewhere in the world where Bangladeshi nationals live highly. The countries having fewer Bangladeshi origin citizens have the National Committee formed under the IHRC. In this regard, IHRC branches will be deemed to be the BHRC branches and BHRC related activities may be conducted under IHRC branches. Besides this, IHRC and BHRC can receive mutual cooperation in conducting their.
PROTECTING MINORITY/TRIBAL RIGHTS PROGRAMME ACTIVITIES
BHRC in line with the International Bill of Rights has given special emphasis on protecting the rights of minorities and tribals. For protecting minority rights BHRC formed a Minority Rights Commission headed by the member of the National Executive Committee of BHRC. This body after its formation has been playing important role in protecting minority rights in Bangladesh. BHRC also played very significant role in the peace process in tribal areas in Chittagong Hill Tracts. After the inception of BHRC in 1987, it has given special priority to the peace process in tribal areas of Chittagong Hill Tracts in Bangladesh. In 1996 a ‘Peace Agreement’ has been signed between the Government of Bangladesh and the tribals for establishing peace there. BHRC played very important role in the way of peace process. Till 1996 it organized over 300 programmes including Long March, National Seminars, Discussion Meetings, Workshops, View Exchange Meetings etc. BHRC formed Chittagong Hilltracts National Coordination and Peace Council (CHTNCPC) for working in establishing peace there. The Secretary General of BHRC was the President of CHTNCPC.
RESEARCH PROGRAMME ACTIVITIES:
BHRC has its own research and documentation cell. This cell works to document the incidents of violation of human rights throughout the country. The documentation cell searched the Dailies, weeklies and other periodicals to collect the news items related to killings and torture in custody, illegal detention, rape and murder, throwing acids upon women and children etc. The most privilege of the documentation cell is that BHRC has more than 1200 branches throughout the country and overseas. The branches regularly provide data and information on the above issues. The Research Team finds out inconsistencies in the laws regarding Human Rights and suggests for remedial action to the appropriate departments.
URGENT ACTION PROGRAMME AGAINST TORTURE ACTIVITIES:
Pressure by publicity through different media about incidents of human rights violations followed by a letter of appeal to the concerned authorities has proved to be a very useful and effective remedy in many cases against torture of human rights and violation. Everyday, a large number of such letters are being sent to different ministries and departments from BHRC headquarter and from branch offices. BHRC requests international human rights bodies concerned for undertaking necessary actions regarding the violations of human rights of the Bangladeshis nationals living abroad and also attend such requests from foreign Human Rights bodies for urgent action.
TRAINING PROGRAMME ACTIVITIES
BHRC conducts training courses/programmes on legal, medical and social issues. BHRC has decided to train up the local correspondents of national news papers, influential rural peoples, peasants and human rights activists on medical aid, law, human rights and social justice that are important for daily life. Through these training courses a sense of leadership has been growing among the participants. It helps to mobilize rural poor people through grassroots organizations and non-government organizations working with the poor, to help them to achieve comprehensive self-reliant development and preservation of human rights.
election monitoring PROGRAMME ACTIVITIES
BHRC conducts voter education programmes to increase voter awareness as it thinks that the voters in Bangladesh are largely uneducated and poor. So others can influence them in casting their votes. BHRC through its Voter Education programme would like to provide the message that ‘casting a vote is a part of human rights’ and it will enhance the awareness of the voters and the elections will then be even more free and fair. BHRC also monitors both local and national elections in the country and abroad with the help of its branches and international bodies.
DISASTER MANAGEMENT PROGRAMME ACTIVITIES
As Bangladesh is prone to natural disaster BHRC with its limited resource seeks to devote its volunteers during disaster. The rural poor people are mostly affected in the disaster. The government structure is not sufficient to encounter the gradually degrading human faces at the time of natural disaster. BHRC urges to international bodies to help the people when they are in danger.
Copy Right : 2001 BHRC All rights reserved.