BANGLADESH: Claim of economic growth without protection of human rights is a fallacy

An Oral Statement to the 42nd Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council by the Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC)

BANGLADESH: Claim of economic growth without protection of human rights is a fallacy

Madam Vice President.

The Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC) wishes this Council to address some questions relating to enforcement of human rights, comprehensively.

The issue of a State, which ratifies the United Nations’ treaties and allows its law-enforcement agencies to commit gross human rights violations with impunity, deserves serious attention of the Council. From January 2009 to 9th September 2019, the ALRC documented 536 cases of enforced disappearances; 2188 extrajudicial executions; 128 custodial deaths due to torture, and thousands of arbitrary detentions.

The international community often makes mistakes by looking at the claims of GDP growth. If the GDP growth were a true indicator of development in people’s real life, then why thousands of youths would be risking their lives to cross over the Mediterranean by boats to pursue their future in Europe? Why a country’s chief justice, newspaper editor and human rights defenders had to be in exile and seek political asylum elsewhere if the country is liveable for everyone?

If a State claims to be a democracy, why the government would prevent the electors from casting votes and use the state’s institutions for ballot-stuffing in the election eve, as media and other organisations like Transparency International has exposed? If the basic institutions of the State are functional, why the judiciary survives to afford zero remedy to victims of human rights abuses? When the State’s foreign minister threatens to expel the UN agencies from its territory for not supporting its plan to relocate the Rohingya refuges in an uninhabitable island or forcibly send them back to Myanmar, does it indicate that it extends full cooperation and respects to the UN?

That’s how Bangladesh respects human rights, which requires serious attention of this Council.

Thank you, Madam Vice President.

UN Web TV Video Link: (Please scroll down on the list of speakers on the right hand side and click on clip number 30 to find Asian Legal Resource Centre)

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The Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC) works towards the radical rethinking & fundamental redesigning of justice institutions in Asia, to ensure relief and redress for victims of human rights violations, as per Common Article 2 of the International Conventions. Sister organisation to the Asian Human Rights Commission, the ALRC is based in Hong Kong & holds general consultative status with the Economic & Social Council of the United Nations.

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