Strengthening Human Rights institutions in Bangladesh
People in Bangladesh repeatedly suffer from human rights violations which especially affect poor and marginalised people with limited remedy and widespread impunity. The project strengthens (i) the National Human Rights Commission to more effectively promote and protect human rights and (ii) civil society to promote and monitor Human Rights and provide legal aid.
Human rights (incl. Women's rights)
- Men and women, including marginalized groups, have increased their knowledge on Human Rights and improved their access to redress mechanisms following HR violations.
- The NHRC and civil society have enhanced the Human Rights environment through their engagement with GoB conveying relevant legal analysis, advocacy, test case litigation and regular country reviews through international mechanisms.
- NHRC as well as civil society raise HR awareness and promote a HR culture including women’s rights and ethnic minority rights
- NHRC effectively receives and investigates Human Rights complaints
- Human Rights desks are established in police HQs and in districts with the support of NHRC.
- NHRC contributes to HR dialogue through active thematic committees, research & mechanisms of coordination with GoB
- NHRC and ASK-led coalitions have prepared alternative reports on the HR situation (country reviews) and submitted them to the international mechanisms for HR
- The NHRC has developed procedures for investigation, enhanced its complaint management mechanism & established and trained a network of about 200 civil society HR Defenders to investigate cases of HR violations and refer them to the NHRC. About 2130 complaints were handled by 2015.
- The NHRC has facilitated the national dialogue related to the Universal Periodic Review and other treaty bodies (CEDAW, CRC, CAT etc).
- ASK has provided legal aid and mediation to around 60’000 women. It also carried out HR monitoring and coordinated civil society alternative reports to UN mechanisms.
- United Nations Development Programme
The Human Rights (HR) situation has deteriorated over the last years in a number of aspects. On the positive side an established National Human Rights Commission and civil society voices have increased awareness and debates related to HR. Significant successes relate to better health records, the extension of social protection to the majority of the extreme poor as well as the introduction of legislation to tackle domestic violence, protect the rights of children and people with disabilities.
On the other hand trials related to the Liberation war raised the level of death penalty executed. Further extra-judicial killings, disappearances and illegal detentions followed renewed confrontation between political parties. Civil society is experiencing shrinking space for dialogue especially in its oversight role on State actions and more broadly in expressing secular views or differing aspirations for the society.
Religious and ethnic minorities continue facing deprivation of several rights including in relation to land and education. Women and minority groups are under-represented in decision-making and are targeted in political, religious and economically motivated violence.
The goal of the project is to improve protection and promotion of Human Rights in Bangladesh through capacity building for the Government, the National Human Rights Commission and the leading human rights NGOs, particularly to benefit disadvantaged and vulnerable groups such as the poor, women, children and ethnic minorities-ultimately improving the environment for the reduction of extreme poverty.
The population of Bangladesh and especially women and marginalized groups will increase awareness of their rights and access improved avenues for redress (mediation, legal aid, etc). Moreover a wide number of institutions promoting and protecting Human Rights will be strengthened, especially the NHRC, small/medium CSOs through a challenge fund and ASK as a coalition leader.
The outreach of the UNDP programme is nationwide while the ASK project covers 20 from 64 districts with its HR awareness work and has a nationwide perspective in legal aid, HR monitoring and advocacy work.
Results from previous phases:
|Directorate/federal office responsible||
International or foreign NGO
United Nations Organization (UNO)
UNDP, SIDA, DANIDA
|Coordination with other projects and actors||
This multi-donor funding implies coordination among like-minded embassies and their projects & UN Resident Coordinator.
|Budget||Current phase Swiss budget CHF 4’700’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF 4’390’546|
|Project phases||Phase 3 01.01.2017 - 31.12.2021 (Current phase) Phase 2 15.07.2012 - 31.12.2016 (Completed)|