Human Rights Violation in Bangladesh: Lessons Learned From the Information Gathering System of BRAC Social Development Programme

Human rights violations deter sustainable development, and require effective preventive interventions. In Bangladesh non-governmental organization-run programs addressing HR violations suffer from serious lack of resources, and a lack of political will on the part of the government. Thus, programs that assist survivors of violence are hampered. The absence of reliable data disguises the true scale of the problem. Recently, RED analyzed 3,000 cases of HR violations reported through the BRAC Social Development Programme, from 61 districts of Bangladesh between 2006 and 2009. The analysis found that rape was the most frequent crime (31%), followed by murder (25%), acid throwing (15%), suicide (12%, often the result of rape), physical torture (7%) and attempted rape (7%). Adolescent girls (less than 15 years) were the most frequent victims of sexual assault (50% raped and 59% attempted rape victims). Rape often led to murder or shames victims to commit suicide. It is, therefore, likely that many reported suicides and murder victims were also victims of sexual violence. Acid attacks occurred across both sexes and in all age groups, although refusal of marriage or relationship posed a higher risk to the females. An alarming 86% of rape victims and 73% of physically tortured victims received no healthcare. HR violation is a criminal offence and it hinders any development and democratic process. Concerted effort is crucial to fight against the enemy.

Authors: Karim, Fazlul; Qayum, Nayma; Ziauddin, Hyder; Fattah, Kazi Nazrul
Type: Report
Year: 2009