Archive for the ‘Human Rights’ Category

Stop human trafficking

Posted: ফেব্রুয়ারি 23, 2009 in Human Rights, Remittances

Human trafficking is the recruitment, transportation, harbouring, or receipt of people for the purposes of slavery, forced labour (including bonded labour or debt bondage), and servitude. The total annual revenue for trafficking in people is estimated to be between $5 billion to $9 billion. The Council of Europe states that people trafficking has reached epidemic proportions over the past decade, with a global annual market of about $42.5 billion. Trafficking victims typically are recruited using coercion, deception, fraud, abuse of power, or outright abduction. Threats, violence, and economic leverage such as debt bondage can often make victim consent to exploitation. (বিস্তারিত…)


Coffee shop of freedom for trafficking victims

Posted: জানুয়ারি 31, 2009 in Human Rights

Kafé Mukti, a coffee shop of freedom was opened recently for the victims of human trafficking in the country to help them become self-reliant in life by providing them with jobs.

Four cafes managed by women victims of human trafficking were launched by International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Dhaka as a pilot project.

The first one was opened in North South University in Kemal Ataturk avenue in June last year. After its huge success three more cafes were opened on January 12.

Located in department of social welfare, department of women affairs and the secretariat building, these small coffee shops are already grabbing attention.

Eight women from shelter homes of Dhaka Ahsania Mission (DAM), the Bangladesh National Women Lawyers’ Association (BNWLA) and Thengamara Mahila Sabuj Sangha (TMSS) were appointed at these coffee shops as managers and salesperson.

One of the managers of Kafe Mukti rescued from Jessore eight months ago said, “The biggest mistake of my life was to trust the wrong person with a bad intention. But I found hope after a long, long time. It feels as if I have been given a second chance in life”

Another lucky girl with a future plan said, “I plan to set things right now by using this opportunity. When I am ready I would like to buy some land and settled down”

Kafé Mukti is a venture of an IOM project “Prevention and Protection of Victims of Human Trafficking in Bangladesh”, which is supported by Bangladesh government, Norwegian and Danish Embassies in Dhaka. Nestle group provided with free coffee vending machines at these shops.

Zakia K Hassan, National Programme Officer of IOM said, “’As the name suggests, Kafé Mukti’ is a symbol of self reliance and economic emancipation of the oppressed women. We plan to develop the café as a model for empowerment of women trafficking victims in Bangladesh”

“The society usually isolates these women. By making them self-reliant we want to give them back their dignity and lost status in the society. Creating acceptance is also a goal”, she added.

More coffee shops will be opened soon, she said. However, in the future the project aims to venture in other areas of trade and business as well to incorporate these women in to the mainstream with ease, she mentioned.

These women are also being trained in management and accountancy to run the cafes. In the future they will be introduced to many other traits including laundry, salesmanship, beauty salon service and more, she said.

Grants will also be provided to help them step forward with the newly obtained knowledge.

Portion of the profit earned from the cafes will be given to the managers. Part of it will be used to further expand the project.

The initiative would inspire others to create similar opportunities for women facing oppression in the society, Hassan hoped.

The daily star 01.02.2009



20000 live on pavement

Posted: জানুয়ারি 28, 2009 in Human Rights

NGOs take five-year project to ease their suffering in city

Several non-government organisations (NGOs) have jointly undertaken a five-year project to ease the suffering of people who pass their nights on the pavements in the city by providing them with skills-oriented training, other facilities and developing a sense of self-respect.

Over 20,000 people live on the pavements of roads, railway stations, bus and launch terminals in the city, they said, adding that at least 10,000 such poor people will be taken under the project at its first phase.

Speakers said this at a press conference at Dhaka Reporters’ Unity in the city yesterday.

At an estimated expenditure of Tk 16 crore, the project titled ‘Amrao Manush’ has been jointly launched by Concern Worldwide Bangladesh, Sajida Foundation, Coalition for the Urban Poor (CUP), Nari Moitri and Social and Economic Enhancement Program (SEEP) to give them different aid in achieving skills to earn their livelihood, gathering other knowledge and set up different service centres for them.

The project aims at saving people from storms, floods and various natural calamities, forming groups among people to train them so that they can earn their livelihood, taking steps to create self-respect among them through advocacy and making them aware of five fundamental rights to enjoy.

The speakers said they have already set up seven service centres targeting such people across the city with facilities of taking bath and toilets, cooking foods, taking rest during daytime, various awareness programme, saving systems, locker system, heath care and day care centres for the street children.

Contrary to popular belief that such people are involved in different crimes such as drug and arms peddling, they have also contribution to the city dwellers as they do the jobs of rickshaw-van pullers, domestic helps, porters and day labourers, they added.

So, people from all social strata should change their attitude towards the poor and underprivileged, they added.

Assistant Country Director Humaira Aziz of Concern Worldwide, Executive Director Shaheen Akter Chowdhury Doly of Nari Moitri and Executive Director of CUP took part in the programme.

The daily star 29.01.2009



Ranglai Mro finally freed

Posted: জানুয়ারি 26, 2009 in Human Rights

Indigenous leader Ranglai Mro at last was freed yesterday after 19 days of his bail granted by the High Court (HC) on January 7.

Ranglai was arrested on February 24, 2007 and was tortured so severely by law enforcers that he had to be moved to National Institute of Cardio Vascular Diseases (NICVD) and kept in the Coronary Care Unit (CCU).

He was handcuffed to a bed at NICVD and suffered for extra 19 days due to the delay in reaching his bail order to the jail authorities from the HC.

Towhidul Islam, superintendent of Dhaka Central Jail told The Daily Star, “Mro was set free at about 3:30pm after we had received the bail order by post at 2:00pm.”

“We are not responsible for the delay and extra sufferings to Mro. The court sent the bail order to Bandarban Judicial Magistrate’s court which forwarded it to us and there the delay is made,” he said.

Even though he was in such a critical condition, the jail authorities did not remove his fetters until human rights organisation, Ain O Salish Kendra and the National Human Rights Commission, intervened.

Meanwhile, Nagorik Uddyog has asked the Inspector General of Prisons to remove his handcuffs.

Mro, also the chairman of Sulaok Union Parishad in Bandarban, was arrested in a case filed under the Arms Act. He was convicted in the arms case on June 13, 2007, and sentenced to 17 years’ imprisonment.

Lawyers sought release of Mro on humanitarian grounds and for emergency medical attention. They also argued that Mro had been falsely implicated in the case.

In a press release issued yesterday, Zakir Hossain of Nagorik Uddyog said the use of such restraint was constitutionally banned as a form of cruel and degrading treatment.

He also asked the IG-Prisons to clarify his officials about the ban on handcuff.

The daily star 27th january 2009

Ranglai Mro still handcuffed

Posted: জানুয়ারি 22, 2009 in Human Rights


Waits to get bail order

Handcuffed to his hospital bed, indigenous leader Ranglai Mro, who was brutally tortured, has been waiting 15 days for his bail order documents to reach the jail authorities from the High Court (HC).

The HC granted him bail on January 7 but the leader is still receiving treatment at the National Institute of Cardio Vascular Diseases (NICVD) under close watch of six to seven policemen.

“Until we receive papers from the court, we have been ordered to guard him in this way,” said a policeman standing before his bed at Ward-6 of the hospital.

DIG (Prisons) Maj Shamsul Haider Siddique said the Dhaka Central Jail authorities did not receive any paper from the court and soon after receiving the papers he would take necessary steps to release the leader.

Bandarban District Jail authorities said they did not get any paper from HC as of yesterday.

Ranglai was arrested on February 24, 2007 and was tortured by law enforcers so severely that he fell ill and was moved to NICVD and kept in the Coronary Care Unit (CCU).

Even though he is in such a critical condition, the jail authorities had not removed his fetters till human rights organisations, Ain O Salish Kendra and the National Human Rights Commission, intervened.

Director of NICVD Mohibullah said his condition has improved a lot.

“I do not know how much more time it will take,” said Ranglai with a tired voice adding that it is very inconvenient for him to move with the handcuffs on.

Mro, also chairman of the Sulaok Union Parishad of Bandarban, was arrested in a case filed under the Arms Act in connection with possession of illegal arms. He was convicted in the arms case on June 13, 2007, and sentenced to 17 years’ imprisonment.

An HC division bench comprising Justice Mohammad Mozammel Hossain and Justice Afzal Hossain Ahmed issued his bail order on January 7.

Lawyers sought release of Mro on humanitarian grounds and for emergency medical treatment. They also argued that Mro had been falsely implicated in the case.