Speakers at a discussion yesterday demanded that the government pass the proposed “Anti-Discrimination Act” as early as possible, saying the law’s implementation is imperative to protect rights of the country’s marginalised population.
Bangladesh Dalit Parishad (BDP) and Parittran -- two NGO-based initiatives working for marginalised communities -- organised the discussion with support from Manusher Jonno Foundation (MJF) and UKAid at the capital’s Jatiya Press Club, marking the Global Dignity Day 2019.
Addressing the discussion, war crimes researcher Shahriar Kabir said despite much of the work related to the law being done, it has not been enacted till date.
Minority communities are still marginalised in the country, he said.
If Bangladesh wants to emerge as a “civilised nation”, the government must hear voices of the minority population, he added.
Now one major slogan across the globe is “rights of the minorities is human rights”, he further said.
Although in a limited way, division still exists in the society, said Awami League lawmaker AKM Sarwar Jahan of Kushtia-1 constituency. He said there is no scope to deny that marginalised people are overlooked, stressing that he would play his role as a lawmaker for the law’s enactment.
MJF Director Rina Roy said if discrimination has to be eliminated from society, then men along with women have to come forward.
“If some people live undignified life in a country, then dignity cannot be established on the whole,” said Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra artiste Monoranjan Ghoshal.
BDP President Uday Krishna Das called upon the country’s marginalised population to unite and work together to resolve their problems.
Former reserved seat lawmaker Kazi Rosy, Shornokishoree Network Foundation Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Farzana Brownia, and HEKS EPER Bangladesh Country Director Anik Asad, among others, spoke at the discussion.