Human rights | The Daily Star
  • Humanitarian aid must be planned better

    “I am at Balukhali camp in Ukhia, the situation is far, far worse than what I have seen on the media, I just talked to a woman who is 9 months pregnant, no idea where her husband is, had not one thing to eat today."

  • International community has two things on their hands

    The unanim-ously adopted press statement of the UN Security Council (UNSC) condemning violence in Myanmar at the closed-door meeting on Wednesday is encouraging but unlikely to deter the Myanmar government from continuing its heinous acts of ethnic cleansing.

  • What I saw in Ukhia

    According to the latest UN report, nearly 400,000 Rohingya refugees have crossed over to Bangladesh. The Rohingya people, living in the Rakhine State of Myanmar, are fleeing their homes they have lived in for 200 hundred years.

  • Tribute to Rupa (or someone like her)

    “We will remain unwritten through history, no X will mark us on the map; but in books of prose and poetry, you loved me once, in a paragraph.”


    Rohingya Crisis: What Bangladesh needs to do now

    While it is encouraging to know that Bangladesh has taken diplomatic initiatives to bring the ongoing Rohingya refugee crisis to the international fora, the question is whether it has devised a strategy to go forward.

  • Combating climate change impacts

    While the climate change is already understood as an economic and environmental problem, the tendency to view this phenomenon through the lens of human rights implications has been little. Recently the trend has changed.

  • Misframed facts, prejudiced responses

    Rohingyas of northern Arakan are facing yet another round of armed atrocities. Not only are they at the receiving end of indiscriminate use of bullets, bayonets and firing from helicopter gunships; their homes, hearths, livestock, crops and businesses are being consumed by bellowing fire deliberately lit by the Burmese security forces and their Rakhine cohorts.

  • Enforced disapperances: Need for a credible independent commission

    August 30 reminds the international community that enforced disappearance is a crime and cannot be condoned under any circumstances.

  • Cruelty unabated in the classroom

    One bright spark once said: “truth is stranger than fiction”. I think it was Mark Twain who uttered the immortal words, but I personally didn't hear him, so I can't be sure. But whoever said them knew what he was talking about.

  • Lessons we should have learned from her murder

    When 14-year-old Yasmin Akhter was reassured by some police officers that they would drop her home after she missed her bus to Dhaka from Dinajpur, she probably didn't think twice about it. Like many of us, she probably believed that she would be safe with these protectors of law.

  • Do minorities matter?

    Hamid Ansari's concern over unease among Indian minorities came just after Pakistan swore in its first Hindu cabinet minister in 20 years. Truth is contrary to this clickbait.

  • The invisible cost of roads and bridges

    The perpetrators would not be held accountable because as soon as the deed was done, they had the luxury of leaving the area. Their job gave them mobility, a freedom that was paid for by others.

  • Fight for indigenous rights in Bangladesh continues

    As we step in the 10th year since the UNDRIP was adopted by the General Assembly, we must recognise that the declaration is the most comprehensive international agreement on the rights of indigenous peoples.

  • Compromising freedom of assembly

    The state of Bangladesh appears to be clamping down on its active citizens. Almost every month, we are coming across reports of police excesses against protesting students...

  • The Chilling Effect of Section 57

    More than two dozen editors, journalists, teachers, social media users and free thinkers have already been sued on charges of defamation under Section 57 since March this year.

  • How far can the rights of the aggrieved extend?

    Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina did a commendable job when she asked the administration and her party leaders to inquire into...

  • Strange punishment for negligence

    Let's start with the “punishment” awarded to the health workers. This is not the first time that government officials were transferred to remote areas as “punishment”. This practice is, in fact, quite common.

  • What goes around comes around

    Doesn't the AL think that, in case of a democratic change of power, the same technique will be used against the AL men?

  • Extrajudicial Killing: Sordid admission, cryptic apology

    "There were quite a few cadres (armed goons) and hoodlums in Savar. Now the situation is still as water. No one dares to utter a word. I have put five persons to cross fire and have prepared the list of another 14."

  • Some thoughts on health budget

    By all accounts, healthcare is a policy priority for Bangladesh but compared to other sectors, resource allocation in this sector is quite insufficient.

  • Enforced disappearance - The burden of proof

    According to several past reports published by Human Rights Watch, Privacy International, and Swedish Media, there has been a rise...

  • Missing daughters

    At 26 years of age, Bimala, from a remote village in Western Nepal, gives birth to her sixth child and falls unconscious when she learns that the child is, yet again, a girl.

  • Rebuilding lives using indigenous wisdom

    It's been a month since heavy torrential downpours caused a landslide and mudflow in the hill districts of Rangamati, Chittagong and

  • Eight years old - How is the Right to Information Act faring?

    "The freedom of a nation cannot be upheld by laws alone, but also by the light of the nation and knowledge of their use." These words by Anders Chydenius, a Swedish enlightenment thinker and politician of the eighteenth century, had set the ball rolling for the adoption of world's first freedom of information law in Sweden and Finland in 1766. Since then around 115 countries/territories have enacted similar transparency laws.

  • Protection of enforced disappearance victims: Bangladesh needs legal reforms

    Once again Bangladesh has come under the spotlight in international media, unfortunately not in a positive way.

  • The burden of guilt

    So much has been said and written about sexual harassment of late. Much of it attributed to sexual harassment on campuses of colleges and universities, particularly in North America, and left the voice of the abused in silence. In all these writings, less has been said about the hyper-sexualised society where we often overlook the importance of consent when it comes to sexual behaviour. Thoughts get tangled in trying to analyse on whom does the blame of such abuses lie.

  • Why child domestic workers are prime victims

    The photo of a battered young maid with black eyes swollen to the extreme shook the conscience of those who saw it circulating on social media the past week (“Tortured domestic help moved to Dhaka CMH”, The Daily Star, July 4, 2017). The child was identified as 11-year-old Sabina Akhter from Tangail district, who was working as a maid in an army officer's house for the last six months in the capital's Mirpur DOHS area.

  • Holey Artisan Attack - questions unanswered

    These are questions which should have been answered. Shaon's death and his parents' allegations point towards torture in custody of someone who seems to have been as much a victim of the attack as the others. After a year, it should have been resolved and communicated if Chowkidar's death was an accident or part of the raid to kill the militants.

  • Are we becoming selective activists?

    It is sickening how rape is becoming a regular occurrence in our society and there is a report of an incident of sexual violence every day from various parts of the country, each more vicious and more heinous than the one before. The victim profile is so diverse indicating that no girl, no woman is safe. When I started writing this article, the number of rape cases reported in 2017 was 93. By the time this article was ready for publication, that figure had risen to 138. This was within a matter of 4 weeks. I cannot help asking myself, what is happening? Why the rise in sexual violence? Why have the men in our country become so cruel?

  • Torture poisons societies from within

    “You can chain me, you can torture me, you can even destroy this body, but you will never imprison my mind.” These were the words of Mahatma Gandhi who was jailed 13 times for his non-violent and peaceful resistance against British colonial rule in India. Torture was also a common practice at the Robben Island prison camp where the former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela spent 18 years of his life. One would assume that this shameful practice would belong to the past.