Bangladesh briefs UN High Commissioner in Geneva on human rights situation

Law Minister Anisul Huq and State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam on Friday clarified the government’s position on “concerns raised against Bangladesh,” the foreign ministry said.

Those include violence against women, discrimination against religious and other minorities, child marriage, Rohingya issues, death penalty, International Crimes Tribunal Bangladesh (ICTBD), human rights violations by security forces and shrinking of democratic space and freedom of expression.

This briefing at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) followed the high commissioner’s invitation “to discuss areas of collaboration in various human rights issues”.

The high commissioner expressed “deep appreciation and gratitude” to the ministers for making time for this meeting.

“He commended Bangladesh’s continued efforts to work for the full realisation of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, including promotion of democracy, the rule of law and good governance at all levels,” the foreign ministry said.

Hussein lauded Bangladesh’s commitment to the principles of ‘no one left behind’ and ‘reaching the farthest first’ as part of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development.

“He particularly praised Bangladesh’s role in remaining engaged with the UN Human Rights mechanism on important issues.”

Earlier, at the briefing, the law minister said as “a responsible UN Member State and elected member of the Human Rights Council (HRC), Bangladesh attaches the highest priority to fulfilling its commitment to ensuring human rights for all of its citizens”.

He reiterated that “Bangladesh holds democracy, human rights and secularism at the core of its national values and ethos”.

Bangladesh Ambassador and Permanent Representative in Geneva M Shameem Ahsan was also present at the meeting.