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International Human Rights Day

December 10 is Human Rights Day, it commemorates the day in 1948 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). It is a United Nations (UN) campaign that calls for people to know and push for their rights. The office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights plays a prominent role in coordinating worldwide efforts to celebrate the day, which routinely features cultural events and performances, public meetings and seminars, and other educational activities in the promotion of human rights.

All over the world, we see that many nations still exist under the thumb of their rulers. We all know about the Rohingya crisis. The Rohingya are a stateless Muslim minority in Myanmar's Rakhine State. Myanmar regards them as illegal immigrants. The government refuses to grant the Rohingya citizenship, and as a result, most of them have no legal documentation, effectively making them stateless. Since August 2017, more than 7,50,000 Rohingya refugees have fled a brutal military crackdown in the Buddhist majority country of Myanmar, where they face human rights abuses, to seek refuge in neighboring Bangladesh. In Myanmar’s remote Rakhine state, entire villages were burned, thousands of families were separated and killed, women and girls were gang-raped. Bangladesh has allowed in more than one million Rohingya people in spite of its socio-economic challenges. Bangladesh’s role in the Rohingya crisis is now a symbol of hope for the world, but there are still many works to be done at home.

Women are the main victims of violations of human rights all over the world. Similarly, the women in the developing countries are the worst victims of the situation like that of Bangladesh. Violence against women and girls is a serious problem, including eve-teasing, rape, dowry-related violence, acid attacks, and domestic violence.

Early marriage and pregnancy are also violations of the rights of the girl child to equal opportunities in education and training. Besides, Bangladesh has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world. 59% of girls in Bangladesh are married before their 18th birthday and 22% are married before the age of 15. According to UNICEF, Bangladesh has the fourth highest prevalence rate of child marriage in the world, and the second-highest number of absolute child brides – 4,451,000. Poverty, natural disasters, lack of access to education, social pressure, harassment, dowry and poor implementation of laws are the main factors that driving child marriage in Bangladesh.

Bangladesh is one of the top 10 countries in the world for migration and remittance according to the World Bank. The increasing demand for female housekeepers has led to the rise of overseas female migration in the countries that provide very little ground for human rights exercise. According to the Bureau of Manpower, Employment, and Training (BMET), In 2016, about 118,000 women workers went abroad and in 2015 the number was 103,718. Most of their host countries provide poor living conditions and are failing to stop the torture and abuse of domestic workers, particularly in the Middle East. Many Bangladeshi female workers who went to Saudi Arabia to work as domestic help returned after sexual and other abuse. The search for a livelihood ends in death for many, while for others, the trauma of torcher and abuse never go away after returning home.

Human rights are violated frequently at different levels in Bangladesh. Although the rights have been guaranteed by the constitution of Bangladesh, which is the principal guideline for the behavior of the dignity of all the Bangladeshi citizens.

To improve the standard of human rights in Bangladesh following measures can be considered:

  • Enhancement of education.

  • Enforce laws properly to protect women in cases of sexual violence, rape, domestic abuse, and acid attacks.

  • Ensure free speech and internet freedom.

  • Minimum health care to every individual.

  • Making laws for activating and implementing human rights properly.

  • Enhancement of Public Awareness by mass media.

Wherever it is online or offline, human rights are fundamental to making sure every person can live a full and free life, with dignity and respect, and that’s something worth fighting for. Human rights standards can be improved by the expansion of mass awareness. We must continue to work for establishing human rights in the future, striving towards a future where every individual understands the significance of human rights.

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