The current humanitarian scenario of Bangladesh was discussed under Universal Periodic Review (UPR) for the third time in the 30th convention of United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on May 14, 2018.
Based on the discussion, a press conference titled "Discussion of humanitarian scenario in Bangladesh in UNHRC: Human Rights Forum Bangladesh (HRFB)'s position and demands" was held in Dhaka Reporters' Unity by HRFB on May 20.
The main objective of the press conference was to keep the recommendations that Bangladesh accepted under consideration, and gauge HRFB's position and opinions regarding the recommendations that were rejected.
Speeches were given by Chief Executive of Citizen Initiative and member of HRFB's steering committee Zakir Hossain, General Secretary of Bangladesh Indigenous Forum Sanjib Drong, Executive Director of Kapeng Foundation Pallab Chakma, Executive Director of Bandhu Social Welfare Society Saleh Ahmed and Executive Director of Acid Survivors Foundation Selina Ahmed.
Other than that, the program was directed by Steps Towards Development Executive Director and member of HRFB's steering committee Ranjan Karmaker.
In a report dictated by HRFB Convener and member of Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) Tamanna Haque Riti, it was mentioned that in this year's UPR, 105 countries forwarded 251 recommendations to Bangladesh, among which 167 was accepted.
The government asked for an extension till the 37th session of UNHRC, slated to be held at the end of this year, for expressing their views on 23 recommendations on grounds of the sensitivity of the issues.
However, speakers regretted that Bangladesh had rejected 61 recommendations, which weakened Bangladesh's humanitarian position in international arenas. In the 2nd UPR discussion, Bangladesh only rejected five recommendations.
Other than that, HRFB also expressed their disagreement with several humanitarian development schemes undertaken by the Bangladeshi government. Among them, government initiatives regarding abduction by state forces, extra-judicial killings and torture, freedom of speech and media, security of media personnel, implementation of the Chattogram Hill Tracts treaty, and other developmental schemes were not up to the mark.
Other than that, HRFB forwarded several other demands to the government in the press conference, including speedy implementation of the 23 recommendations the government asked time to implement, reconsideration of the recommendations the government rejected, transparency while implementing the accepted recommendations, not only acceptance but realization of the recommendations, detailed discussions with citizens and international humanitarian commission before implementing those resolutions, and others.
At the end of the conference, Ranjan Karmaker informed reporters that HRFB will continue advocating for the realization of the accepted resolutions. HRFB will translate the final documentary published by UNHRC in Bangla at the end of this year and inform the details to all humanitarian workers starting from national to international levels.