In light of the rising violations of human rights in Bangladesh during this pandemic, HRFB initiated a series of Online Discussions centring around, ‘Human Rights Situation in Bangladesh during COVID-19 Pandemic’, through which members discussed the emerging human rights issues and possible measures that could be taken to address the concerns.
On 22 June 2020, the first session on “Civil & Political Rights” was held where the forum members discussed about the current concerns and issues on right to life with regards to Extrajudicial killings, Torture, Prisoners’ conditions and Legal protections. Besides, concerns on restrictions on Freedom of Expression and harassment faced by Journalists and citizens during the COVID-19 Pandemic were also raised.
The session on “Right to Health” was held on 25 June 2020. The forum members discussed about the current concerns regarding the access to healthcare facilities, the standard of the medical treatment being provided during this time, and how it is affecting the rights of citizens specially the disadvantaged groups to get healthcare services and worsen the pandemic scenario.
The session on “Right of Women and Workers” was held on 29 June 2020.
The participants discussed about the current concerns and issues regarding unfortunate rise in the number of domestic violence as a result of lockdown and its subsequent challenges being faced by the women. They shed light upon the lack of government’s initiative to either control it or prevent it. Besides, the discrepancies that the RMG sector workers faced during this pandemic was also brought to light.
The final session on “Right of Marginalised and Disadvantaged Groups” was held on 06 July 2020.
The participants discussed about the current concerns and issues that persons with disabilities, tea garden workers, dalits, indigenous groups, Gender Diverse Population and other vulnerable groups faced during this pandemic, and how, they suffer through multi-level barriers in accessing their rights.
In view of such, the forum members highlighted the need for the government to address the challenges that these groups and communities face and essential need for the government to include effective initiatives for them in the COVID-19 response strategy.