UPR calls on govt to announce roadmap for the implementation of CHT Accord

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Hill Voice, 14 November 2023, International Desk: The United Nations Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) has recommended the government of Bangladesh to announce a time-frame bound roadmap for full implementation of the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Accord of 1997.

This recommendation was made by Denmark to the government of Bangladesh at the 44th session of the UPR Working Group under the Human Rights Council of the United Nations held in Geneva on Monday (November 13).

This is the 4th review of Human Rights Council on Bangladesh. The UPR had previously reviewed Bangladesh’s human rights record in 2009, 2013 and 2018.

Recommendations for ratification of ILO Convention 169 by Mexico; for recognition of the ethnic identity of indigenous peoples by Germany; for ensuring political participation of indigenous peoples by Costa Rica; for ensuring rights of marginalised peoples including indigenous communities; and recommendation for ensuring rights of ethnic and religious minorities and their respective religious freedom by Romania, Slovenia, Turkmenistan, Barbados, Cameroon, Ethiopia, France, Italy, Kenya, Republic of Korea were made to the government of Bangladesh.

Recommendations on various issues including religious freedom; torture, harassment, criminalization, Safety and security of human rights defenders; freedom of speech; violence against women and girls; shrinking civic spaces; and free, fair and participatory national election, etc. were also made by 115 states to the government of Bangladesh.

A government delegation led by Minister of Law and Parliamentary Affairs Barrister Anisul Haque participated in the 4th UPR on behalf of the Government of Bangladesh. It is learnt that the foreign secretary was also in the said delegation.

On behalf of civil society, representatives of organizations such as Ain O Salish Kendra, Nagorik Udyag, Kapaeeng Foundation, BRAC, Bandhu Social Welfare Society, Human Rights Forum Bangladesh etc. participated in the UPR. Kamal Ahmed of the Daily Prothom Alo was also in the civic delegation.