Dignity is the very foundation of humanity and it’s universal and the source of human rights, says British High Commissioner to Bangladesh Robert Chatterton Dickson
Bangladeshi citizens should focus on treating people with dignity to thrive as an egalitarian society as people from all walks of life, regardless of gender, economic status, sexual orientation and skin colour, deserve dignity, speakers at an online event said.
Global Dignity Bangladesh on Thursday hosted the online event, featuring students from a number of partner schools in Dhaka, government and friendship schools in Northern Bangladesh, as well as eminent personalities in different sectors, to mark Global Dignity Day.
Dr Atiur Rahman, former governor of Bangladesh Bank and an honorary professor of the Development Studies Department at Dhaka University (DU), said that people needed to think collectively to learn how to treat people with dignity.
“We need to think together if we want to treat people with dignity as this is something every person deserves. We can thrive as an egalitarian society if every single person in this society is treated with dignity,” he said.
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Dhaka Tribune Editor Zafar Sobhan said: “Dignity really is at the heart of everything that an individual would want in this life. Dignity is not a gift but it’s something each and every one of us is in a position to give. And it’s something which each and every one of us deserves to receive."
He added: “We can make this an equal world when it comes to dignity and if we all strive in that direction, we truly can make this world a better place."
Anisul Hoque, author and journalist, said that treating someone with dignity made an individual a better person.
In a video message, British High Commissioner to Bangladesh Robert Chatterton Dickson said: “Dignity is the very foundation of our humanity and it is universal and the source of human rights. The British government, in partnership with other nations, has helped to build a human rights framework based on the principle that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”
Sharing an anecdote, Beauty Akter, a student, said that her classmate was unable to pay the fees for the school picnic.
Beauty and her friends managed to get her name on the list but other students in the school bullied her classmate saying that she did not even have decent clothes to wear at the picnic.
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Later, Beauty made them understand that every person, regardless of their social status, gender, and skin colour deserved to live with dignity.
HRH Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, co-founder of Global Dignity, in his remarks, said: “Dignity is the foundation of freedom, justice, and mutual understanding. We cannot build the trust and cooperation that we need in the world today without acknowledging everyone’s dignity.”
In the words of Runa Khan, founder and executive director of Friendship: “One of the ways to build a developed Bangladesh in tandem with the world is to establish a positive perception of individual dignity among all human beings”.
Representatives of people with disabilities and the transgender community also spoke at the event.