INTRODUCTION OF BHRB:
The rapid evolution of socio-economic condition in the modern world is making people more and more concerned about their basic human rights. The technological advancement is causing people of different creed, caste and religion to come closer day by day all over the globe. Therefore, the less privileged people are becoming more conscious of their basic rights as enjoyed by developed counties. This change in people is welcomed by all of us. But still due to Lack of proper information and communication, integrated efforts cannot be taken to uphold the basic rights of the less privileged people, who share the greater segment of the population in the under developed world. Even today people could not tag themselves with the flow of the modern society, nor could be intimated with modern scientific technological thoughts. As a result there are so many nations where everyday human rights are transgressed and violated. To overcome this, people as a whole must be conscious about their human rights. So, in all countries massive campaign for upholding the basic rights of the people is going on with the universal respect for the cause of humanity.
Let us take the case of Bangladesh, where major portion of people are illiterate with little or no concern about their basic rights. They are less informed and less motivated due to lack in information sharing. Both traditional and modern media of Bangladesh are weak in developing communicational linkage with grassroots who really need to enjoy the basic rights for their decent survival. As a result inhuman activities and crimes like torture on women and children, drug abuse, trafficking of women and children, abduction, rape, acid throwing, dowry demand repressions, illegal police torture and death in police custody, social irregularities and injustice and other gross Human Rights violations are spreading throughout the country day by say. And in such situation Advocate Md. Shahjahan started telecasting on Bangladesh Television a human rights oriented magazine program called Drishtikone (Angle of Vision) with the view to conscientizing the grassroots of their basic rights. A society was unraveled where majority of people being ignorant and aloof from their rights, are the most vulnerable to human rights violated committed by handful of influential people. In most cases it was apparent that had they been aware of there rights there would not be violated to such a great extent. Though the said TV program could represent the perspective of human rights violation in the country, albeit a minor part it could not give any institutional support of legal assistance for their redress or conscientizing people of their human rights. In such a situation integrating people from all walks of life, the Bureau of Human Rights Bangladesh-BRHB was established in 1994. Broadly, BRHB deals with every aspects of life that are related to human rights.
GOAL OF BHRB
*To strengthen and enforce the human and legal rights in Bangladesh.
MAJOR OBJECTVES OF BHRB
* To create social awareness and deterrent.
* To make people more conscious about their human, social and legal rights.
*To extend legal aid to poor, exploited, oppressed and deprived of human rights.
*To create public opinion and make the decision makers concern.
*To eliminate the causes of poverty from the society.
*To campaign for free and fair conduct of Electoral process for ensuring voters rights.
*To play vital role against gross Human Rights violation, social problem & irregularities, injustice, repression, torture, terrorism, death in police custody, rape, cruelty to and trafficking of women and children.
MAJOR ACTIVITIES OF BHRB
*Free legal aid services.
*Alternative resolution of dispute through mediation.
*Jail prisoners program.
*Internship and human rights workshop.
*Students and youths program on Human Rights.
*Production of TV spots.
*Collection and publishing of human rights violations and Law & order situation reports of the country.
*Research and Documentation.
*Helping underprivileged women and unemployed through income generation.
*Monitoring of National Election and by-election.
*Advocacy on important national issues.
*Fact finding & investigation.
Free legal aid services
BHRB Provides free legal aid services to the poor, exploited, oppressed and deprived of human rights and whose issues relating to family laws, basic laws, rape, domestic violence, sexual harassment and other important issues involving discrimination against women and families need legal advice and who are unable to afford a lawyer or are unsure of what to do may approach the BHRB for assistance.
BHRB has been conducting class action suits, public interest litigations for improvement of social life of the people of the country.
Alternative resolution of dispute through mediation
Mediation or Shalish in an indigenous method of dispute resolution prevailing in the rural areas of Bangladesh for centuries. The vast majority of the people are poor and cannot afford going to the court for justice, which is expensive and time consuming. In this perspective of the socioeconomic condition BHRB has taken up mediation project with a view to provide legal assistance to the disadvantaged people. With mutual empathy and understanding of each others situation, there is max- imitation of choices available for acceptable settlements for both the disputing parties. Conflicts resolve and consensus emerges as a natural participatory negotiating exercise is carried out under the keen supervision of the mediators. BHRB, by virtue of untiring endeavors of its workers/activists, has become successful in innovating a dynamic and mass oriented mediation model with in the from work of laws prevailing in the country. The mediation model of BHRB, which is institutionalized as an busy and alternative process of dispute resolution has been highly applauded by many.
Jail prisoners program
The organization assists prisoners who need legal assistancefor releasing them jails, specially prisoners without trials for long time. BHRB takes every step for the juvenile delinquents so that they are not kept with other adult prisoners but find themselves in free and fair surrounding.
Internship and Human Rights Workshop
The objective of the internship program is to disseminate concept of human rights in the country through educating the legal aid workers and human rights activists. Potential lawyers, low students of universities and colleges, journalist. GO and NGO workers, human rights and legal aid activists are the beneficiaries of this program.
BHRB though its experiences realizes the fact that mass awareness at the grass roots level on human rights issues is needed to bring a holistic change in the attitude of the people.
Which can contribute in the democratic process of this country. Extensive training program helps the workforce to exchange ideas and experiences, and gather knowledge about various issues. Considering these needs, BHRB looks forward to render training services to its workers, staff members, beneficiaries, lawyers, journalist, human rights activists, law enforcing agents and other GOs, and NGOs dealing with the issues relating to the civil, social, political, economic, cultural and legal rights of everyone in the society so that they can in turn train and motivate their fellow people.
Students and youths program on Human Rights:
BHRB believes that in the context of resent day Bangladesh, engaging students and youths in human rights activities will have significant implications in our society. Through this we would not only target towards reaching the immediate aims and objects of the human rights but also expect to create the morals and ethics in the student and youths concerned, so that they may expect a better tomorrow of their own.
Production of TV spots
BHRB produces TV spots on different human rights violation issues like cruelty to and trafficking of women and children, terrorism and torture, social irregularities and injustice, drug addiction and its adverse effects etc; the target group being the people from all walks of life at large.
BHRB organizes seminars and symposia on different issues relating to human rights and on different important national issues inviting people from all sectors of life. These seminars and symposia involve personal of different professions, especially those related to planning decision making, judiciary, press and implementation of action plans with the human rights movement. Virtually, BHRB is developing a network of agents from different professions so that they may act for strengthening human and legal rights and Bangladesh by involving more people and taking action plans through various activities.
Collection and publishing of human rights violations and law & order situation reports of the country.
The information, research and documentation cell of BHRB collect different types of human rights violation and law & order situation reports of the whole country and publish it monthly, quarterly, half yearly and yearly with positive comments and recommendation.
Research and Documentation
This cell of BHRB mainly conducts research and is responsible to collect data and make survey to find out the root causes and prevention methods stop gross human rights violation in Bangladesh, and reduce the crime rate. Research is undertaken on issues relating to legal provisions and custodial procedures and safeguards of juveniles in prison, judicial intervention and custodial justice of women prisoners, role of police, use of bail, arrest and remand procedures, police torture in custody and outside etc.
BHRB is publishing Bulletin/newsletter containing massages, facts finding reports, information, stories, articles, features and other publications like pocket laws, booklets, audio and video cassettes, posters etc, for wide distribution, explaining various laws and legal rights of the people.
Helping underprivileged women and unemployed through income generation
The objective of this project is to provide the underprivileged group with the assistance needed to develop themselves in society. Presently BHRB has taken a project in the Dhaka city.
Monitoring of national Election and by-election
BHRB is monitoring the national election by-election and publish the observation reports with the finding and recommendations. This monitoring is a part of the campaign for free and fair conduct of electoral process to ensure voters rights. Recently BHRB has brought out its recommendations and guidelines for a free, fair and neutral national election in Bangladesh.
Press briefing is done on the basic of the findings of gross human rights violation and advocacy on the important sensitive national issues relating to human rights, democracy and election process so that public opinion may gen crate and the concern authorities become cautious and take necessary action.
Advocacy on important national issues
BHRB does advocacy and lobbing on important national issues like voters right, citizens right, public interest litigation and so on as and when necessary.
Fact-finding & Investigation
BHRB investigates issues relating to gross human right violations which occur every day throughout the country and suggests remedies to the concerned authorities immediate redressed of those human rights abuses. BHRB gives priority to the issues like violence against women Child abuses, discrimination against minorities, police to true and death in police custody, human rights violation by political big guns and power structure and publishes the reports in the media and even arranges press conference if necessary for pressing the matter with the authority. BHRB also circulates the reports to the concerned authorities.
The fact-finding & investigation of BHRB is creating social deterrent and the human rights violators think that they are not unchallenged. BHRB Investigation teams play a prime role in restoration, implementation and preservation of human rights throughout the country with courage and confidence.