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Human trafficking, child abuse still big challenges

By Special Correspondent
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Bangladesh has been facing serious challenges in the field of human rights due to authorities' failure in curbing down the numbers of human trafficking and incidents of child abuse to a tolerable level.
Not only that, the country's Constitution though ensures equal rights for all human being without any discrimination, in fact the poor people in most cases cannot enjoy the facilities for their financial shortcomings.
Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Anisul Huq revealed the above observations on the country's human rights situation at a seminar, titled: experience sharing of NHRC: challenge and way forward, organized by National Human Rights Commission in the city on Saturday.
 "Apart from child abusing, the human trafficking still remains a grave concern for the government. The country has a strong law to fight against human trafficking….The members of  law enforcement agencies and Border Guard Bangladesh are doing their best to implement the existing law to tackle the situation," Anisul Huq said.
The statement of Law Minister came at a time when several local and international human rights organizations, including HRW [Human Rights Watch] and AI [Amnesty International], recently expressed severe concern over the human rights situation in Bangladesh.
The rights bodies have claimed that there is an increase in the number of extrajudicial killings by security forces, along with serious power abuses accompanied by custodial deaths, arbitrary arrest and detention, and harassment of journalists.
Besides, some members of security forces have acted with impunity and committed acts of physical and psychological torture. At the same time, the incidents of human trafficking, violence against women and children also have remained a serious problem, the rights bodies said.
Admitting the poor people's limitation to get protection under the legal shield due to their financial inability, the Minister further said: "There are some laws under which the poor people can get legal facilities without any cost. At the same time, the government has also been increasing budget every year in the social safety network programmes to provide service to the poor."  
In fact, the country's constitution provides basic and fundamental rights along with ensuring full freedoms and particular space for all human being. The Article 27 ensures equality before law without any discrimination while the Article 28 provides all rights without discriminating as race, sex, culture, religion, etcetera.
The Constitution clarified about the fundamental rights and freedom: such as freedom of movement, freedom of association, freedom of assembly, freedom of property, freedom of religion, free choice of employment and basic fundamental needs.
Interestingly, the Constitution also provides some other laws which used by security forces to violate human rights. Of them, the Special power act - 1974 provides scope to detain without any cause and the Section 54 of criminal procedure code ensures arrest any civilian without any warrant.
Not only that, the emergency provisions 142-b can stop fundamental freedoms of people like freedom of movement, freedom of association, freedom of press, freedom of property, etcetera.
Against this backdrop, the Minister said: "The human rights condition is gradually improving following some effective steps taken by the government. The judiciary has also a big contribution in this sector…. The government can able to overcome the present situation and achieve standard level of human rights with the cooperation of all relating organizations."
Among others, the seminar was attended by Indian Human Rights Commission chairman former chief justice HL Duttu, eminent legal expert Barrister Amirul Islam, UNDP local representative Sudipta Mukherjee and Amirul Kabir Chowdhury.  

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