UN Human Rights Council to Review Bangladesh’s Rights Record in Fourth UPR Cycle

Last Updated on November 12, 2023 12:10 pm

Geneva: Bangladesh’s commitment to human rights faces scrutiny once again as the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) working group convenes for the fourth examination on Monday. Led by Law Minister Anisul Huq, the Bangladesh delegation will present the nation’s progress and future pledges in Geneva.

Having undergone reviews in 2009, 2013, and 2018, Bangladesh reiterated its dedication to strengthening institutions and measures promoting human rights in its national report. The country, rooted in the sacrifices of martyrs and freedom fighters, underscores an unwavering commitment to fulfilling human rights obligations.

The UPR working group, consisting of 47 Member States of the Human Rights Council, will assess Bangladesh’s report. While all 193 UN Member States can participate in the review, questions are anticipated on measures taken for free and fair elections, freedom of assembly and expression, and the role of journalists and human rights defenders, according to diplomatic sources.

Bangladesh, in its submitted report, outlines future commitments, including updating policies and legislation to align with international human rights obligations. The country pledges to enforce Acts targeting human rights violators, strengthen national institutions promoting human rights, and engage NGOs and civil society in rights promotion.

The report emphasizes a commitment to a “culture of peace” and collective measures against racism, sexism, and xenophobia. Bangladesh plans to pursue its pro-people development agenda, focusing on women, children, minorities, persons with disabilities, climate change, and sustainability.

Bangladesh envisions stronger cooperation and support from external partners, including developed and Global South countries, UN agencies, and international organizations. The nation views this collaboration as essential for continued efforts to promote and protect human rights domestically and globally.

The Universal Periodic Review, a mechanism calling for a peer review of human rights records every 4.5 years, provides Bangladesh the opportunity to report on actions taken and receive recommendations for improvement. As a constitutional democracy, Bangladesh asserts its full commitment to protecting universal human rights, fostering equality, and ensuring justice under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Officials underscore Bangladesh’s ongoing adoption of progressive policies to realize a society where fundamental human rights, rule of law, equality, and justice prevail for all citizens. The government has maintained this commitment through legislative and policy reforms, reinforcing democratic institutions, and enhancing accountability mechanisms since the 3rd UPR cycle.

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