The Consultation on Draft ICESCR Report was held in Conference Room of National Human Rights Commission, Bangladesh on 12th February, 2018. Kazi Reazul Hoque, Honorable Chairman, NHRC addressed the consultation as Chief Guest. Mr. Enamul Hoque Chowdhury, Member of NHRC and Chair of ESCR thematic Committee moderated the open discussion. He explained that the goal of the consultation was to incorporate the inputs from stakeholders in the report. Farhana Syead, Member Secretary of ESCR Report Committee welcomed everyone. The representatives of relevant Ministries and NGOs were present at the consultation.
Sharmeela Rassool, Chief Technical Adviser, Human Rights Programme, UNDP presented the paper on “Reporting Under International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights”.
Honorable Chairman of NHRC Kazi Reazul Hoque said, “Bangladesh ratified ICERCR in 1998 but submitted report in 2018. Though Bangladesh has many achievements on ESCR issues we are late to submit the report.” He told, “Human Rights Commission plays the role of a bridge between state and non-sate actors”. He mentioned that the goal of Civil Society and Government were not different and both wanted the betterment of the people. CSOs brought the human rights issues to the notice of government for upholding human rights, he added. It helped to monitor the implementation status of government’s commitments. He also said, “Though government has many achievements it needs to gradually overcome the remaining challenges towards establishing human rights culture.” He also expressed his hope that Anti-Discrimination Act would be passed shortly which would be very useful for vulnerable people who were deprived of their rights.
Habibunnessa from Nari Pakkho, gave her inputs on the report. She criticized that the issue of personal law yet to be solved. She recommended that definition of Hijra, Child labour, marital rape and education on sex should be given by law.
Ranjan Karmakar, Executive Director said that the report should be more analytical than descriptive.
AFM Anisuzzaman from Nari Uddyog said that the quota system should be introduced for dalit and deprived sector of the society. Mizanur Rahman from Nijera Kori expressed his concern in incidents of sexual violence on the migrated women.
Laila Jesmin, Additional Secretary, Ministry of women and Children said that govt. had taken a number of initiatives for third gender, women and street children. She said that the report should be updated by incorporating the initiatives.
Md. Aminul Islam, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Labor and Employment requested to highlight the achievements in RMG sector through compliances of the labour laws.
Ms. Moshammat Shahanara Monica, Ministry of Foreign Affairs thanked NHRC for organizing the Conference. She said that the treaty was very different from other treaties. Referring to NHRC’s ICESCR report, she requested to incorporate the challenges government was facing regarding addressing some ESCR issues including sexual harassment in workplace, rights of third gender etc.