The government has taken preparations to highlight its efforts as Bangladesh’s human rights record will be examined by the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Working Group for the fourth time on November 13.
The review meeting, to be held in Geneva, will be webcast live.
Bangladesh is one of 14 states to be reviewed by the UPR Working Group during its ongoing session from November 6 to 17, 2023.
Bangladesh’s first, second and third UPR reviews took place in February 2009, April 2013, and May 2018, respectively, said an official.
Usually, Law Minister Anisul Huq and State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam, along with senior officials, join the review.
The law minister is likely to lead the Bangladesh delegation this time around as well.
The UPR Working Group comprises the 47 member states of the Human Rights Council.
However, each of the 193 UN member states can participate in a country review.
The documents on which the reviews are based are:
1) National report — information provided by the state under review.
2) Information contained in the reports of independent human rights experts and groups, known as the Special Procedures, human rights treaty bodies, and other UN entities.
3) Information provided by other stakeholders including national human rights institutions, regional organizations, and civil society groups.
The UPR is a peer review of the human rights records of all 193 UN member states.
Since its first meeting in April 2008, all 193 UN member states have been reviewed thrice.
During the fourth UPR cycle, states are again expected to spell out steps they have taken to implement recommendations posed during their previous reviews which they committed to follow up on and highlight recent human rights developments in the country.
Universal Periodic Review
The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a unique mechanism of the Human Rights Council that calls for each UN member state to undergo a peer review of its human rights records every 4.5 years.
The UPR provides each state the opportunity to regularly:
1) Report on the actions it has taken to improve the human rights situations in their countries and to overcome challenges to the enjoyment of human rights.
2) Receive recommendations – informed by multi-stakeholder input and pre-session reports – from UN member states for continuous improvement.
Established in March 2006 by the UN General Assembly in resolution 60/251, the UPR is designed to prompt, support, and expand the promotion and protection of human rights in every country.
As a constitutional democracy, Bangladesh continues to remain “fully committed” to protecting human rights for all.
Under the government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh has been adopting progressive policies to realize a better society for all where fundamental human rights, the rule of law, equality, and justice prevails, officials said.
Bangladesh considers all human rights to be universal, indivisible, interrelated, interdependent, and mutually reinforcing.
Since the 3rd cycle of Universal Periodic Review, the government of Bangladesh continued to adopt legislative and policy reforms, “enhance” democratic institutions and accountability mechanisms to realize the aspiration of “a society in which the rule of law, fundamental human rights and freedom, equality, and justice, political, economic and social, will be secured for all citizens” as pledged by the constitution.
Source: The Daily SUN.