Human rights defenders yesterday demanded that the government develop a comprehensive national action plan incorporating all recommendations received from international bodies for protection of human rights in the country.
They also stressed on implementation of international and national human rights obligations, to improve the country's human rights situation.
They were speaking at a programme at The Daily Star centre, marking the International Human Rights Day being observed today. It was organised by Human Rights Forum Bangladesh (HRFB), a platform of 20 human rights organisations.
Zakir Hossain, a steering committee member of HRFB, placed an 18-point demand to political parties, urging them to adopt a “zero tolerance” policy in case of extrajudicial killing, enforced disappearance and death in custody.
He also urged political parties not to use law enforcers for political gains, and to keep children away from political activities.
Sheepa Hafiza, coordinator of HRFB and executive director of Ain o Salish Kendra said these are not demands of HRFB only, but also people of the country.
Mentioning that the country saw highest number of extrajudicial killings this year, she also urged to end the “culture of impunity” and bring law enforcers involved to book.
National Human Rights Commission Chairman Kazi Reazul Hoque said the state has to remain aware so that no incident of human rights violation and attack on religious or other minority communities take place ahead of the national election.
Shaheen Anam, executive director of Manusher Jonno Foundation (MJF) said the action plan must be in line with national policies and laws.
“Except a few issues in some international treaties, all other subjects are already mentioned in our constitution. If we just follow the constitution, we do not need anything else,” she said.
A book titled “Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Bangladesh 2018”, published by HRFB, was unveiled at the programme.
Shahanara Monica, director (United Nations Wing) of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Tamanna Hoq Riti of HRFB, among others, spoke at the programme.