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Dhaka Tribune

Speaker: South Asian diversities a platform for human rights mechanism

Update : 17 Nov 2014, 09:06 PM

Diversities in religion, culture and different other practices in the South Asian region should not be considered as a barrier, but as a platform to enhance the human rights mechanism in the region, said Jatiya Sangsad Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury yesterday.

Speaking at the inauguration of the two-day regional seminar titled “Towards a South Asian Human Rights Mechanism: Prospects and Challenges,” she said: “Human rights are universal and inherited. One of the challenges which has been addressed as the reason of conflicts is religious and cultural diversities and practices.

“But I disagree with this idea. I think if we embrace these diversities that exist in South Asia, we can build a strong platform and also unity among the countries in this region,” she said.

Organised by National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), the event was held at the Dhaka University’s Nabab Nawab Ali Chowdhury Senate Bhaban.

“Living in the time of globalisation, it becomes difficult to just remain within one’s confined territory. There are common concerns, problems and interests in the region that bind us together, which actually creates the necessity for the regional cooperation,” the speaker said.

Other speakers at the event expressed their deep concern over trans-border issues, human trafficking, violence against women and children, child labour, migration, climate change, etc.

Dr Mizanur Rahman, NHRC chairman who also chaired the event, said: “Within a region, adaptation of international solutions to real problems can be intelligently carried out, and the states’ commitments to each other can be confined to manageable proportions and sanctioned by clearly evident bonds of mutuality.”

He also expressed his hope saying: “Dhaka is the birth place of Saarc; let Dhaka become the birth place of South Asian Human Rights Mechanism.”

Among others, the event was also attended by India’s NHRC Chairperson Shri KG Balakrishnan, Maldives’ Human Rights Commission President Marayam Azra Ahmed, Nepal’s NHRC Commissioner Mohona Ansari, Sri-Lanka’s NHRC Secretary Samanthi, and Afganistan’s IHRC Commissioner Ahmad Zia Langari, with UNDP’s Deputy Country Director to Bangladesh Nick Beresford as special guest.

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