The Human Truth Foundation

Human Rights and Freedom in Bangladesh

By Vexen Crabtree 2018


Comments:
FB, LJ

#Bangladesh #equality #freedom #human_rights #politics #tolerance

Bangladesh
People's Republic of Bangladesh

[Country Profile Page]
StatusIndependent State
CapitalDhaka
Land Area 130 170km21
LocationAsia
Population152.4m (2011)2
Life Expectancy71.99yrs (2017)3
GNI$3 341 (2017)4
ISO3166-1 CodesBD, BGD, 505
Internet Domain.bd6
CurrencyTaka (BDT)7
Telephone+8808

Bangladesh is very poor at ensuring human rights and freedom compared to the rest of the world, and it has cultural issues when it comes to tolerance and equality. Bangladesh does better than average in fighting anti-semitic opinions9 and in eliminating modern slavery10. But unfortunately Bangladesh gets most other things wrong. It does worse than average in its Global Peace Index rating11, its nominal commitment to Human Rights12, opposing gender inequality13, supporting personal, civil & economic freedoms14, supporting press freedom15, fighting corruption16 and in LGBT equality17. Women's rights and safety are both poorly protected and despite already having almost the highest rate of early marriage in the world18 it passed a law in 2017 removing the minimum age for marriage under "special circumstances"19. Bangladesh's "Export Processing Zones" have reduced legal controls on labour abuses and are below minimum international standards, with lots of serious abuse of factory workers18 in the name of creating cheap exports for multinational firms.


1. Politics and Freedom

#antisemitism #Bangladesh #burundi #corruption #eritrea #france #freedom #human_development #human_rights #indonesia #mass_media #peace #politics #slavery

Authorities failed to hold security forces responsible for serious human rights violations including secret detentions, enforced disappearances, torture, and extrajudicial killings. [...] Civil society groups faced pressure from both state and non-state actors, including death threats and attacks from extremist groups, and escalating harassment and surveillance by security forces. In June 2017, Islamist leaders threatened to "break every bone" of Sultana Kamal, a prominent Bangladeshi lawyer and rights activist. [...]

Indigenous groups in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) have for decades faced discrimination, forced displacement, assaults, evictions, and destruction of property by both Bangladeshi security forces and Bengali settlers from the mainland. In June, Bengali rioters burned 100 indigenous homes in Longadu, reportedly while army and police looked on.

"World Report 2018" by Human Rights Watch (2018)20

Anti-Semite Opinions (2014)9
Pos.Lower is better
%9
1Laos0
2Philippines3
3Sweden4
...
48Bolivia30
49Georgia32
50Kazakhstan32
51Bangladesh32
52Bosnia & Herzegovina32
53Costa Rica32
54Uruguay33
55Croatia33
World Avg36.8
q=101.
Corruption (2012-2016)16
Pos.Higher is better
Avg Score16
1Denmark90.8
2New Zealand90.6
3Finland89.4
...
145Kyrgyzstan26.2
146Paraguay26.0
147Kenya26.0
148Bangladesh25.8
149Papua New Guinea25.6
150Laos25.4
151Guinea25.0
152Central African Rep.23.8
World Avg43.05
q=176.
Global Peace Index (2012)11
Pos.Lower is better11
1Iceland1.11
2New Zealand1.24
3Denmark1.24
...
88USA2.06
89China2.06
90Dominican Rep.2.07
91Bangladesh2.07
92Guinea2.07
93Papua New Guinea2.08
94Trinidad & Tobago2.08
95Angola2.11
World Avg2.02
q=157.

Nominal Commitment to HR (2009)12
Pos.Higher is better
Treaties12
1Argentina24
2Chile23
3Costa Rica23
...
107Maldives15
108Andorra15
109Cape Verde15
110Bangladesh15
111Mozambique15
112Dominican Rep.14
113Kenya14
114Japan14
World Avg15.1
q=194.
Personal, Civil & Economic Freedom (2014)14
Pos.Lower is better
Rank14
1Hong Kong1
2Switzerland2
3New Zealand3
...
134Swaziland134
135Gabon135
136Togo136
137Bangladesh137
138Belize138
139Congo, (Brazzaville)139
140Nigeria140
141China141
World Avg79.7
q=159.
Press Freedom (2013)15
Pos.Lower is better15
1Finland638
2Netherlands648
3Norway652
...
140Oman4151
141Congo, DR4166
142Cambodia4181
143Bangladesh4201
144Malaysia4273
145Palestine4309
146Philippines4311
147Russia4342
World Avg3249
q=178.

Throughout the country in 2017, "freedom of expression was severely limited as authorities used overly broad laws to stifle dissent or perceived criticism"20.

Slavery (2018)10
Pos.Lower is better
% Victims10
1Japan0.03
2Canada0.05
3Taiwan0.05
...
73Estonia0.36
74Mali0.36
75Hungary0.37
76Bangladesh0.37
77Cuba0.38
78Israel0.39
79Latvia0.39
80Dominican Rep.0.40
World Avg0.65
q=167.

"Export Processing Zones" in Bangladesh are not up to minimum international standards, and workers are attacked and threatened freely by factory officials, and in particular the Special Powers Act of 1974 is used to subjugate workers. "In response to protests in December 2016 by garment workers seeking higher wages, factory owners dismissed over 1,500 workers and authorities arrested 38 union leaders and workers on unsubstantiated criminal charges".21

The taking of slaves has been an unwholesome feature of Human cultures since prehistory22. Private households and national endeavours have frequently been augmented with the use of slaves. The Egyptian and Roman empires both thrived on them for both purposes. Aside from labourers they are often abused sexually by their owners and their owners' friends23. The era of colonialism and the beginnings of globalisation changed nothing: the imprisonment and forced movements of labour continued to destroy many lives except that new justifications were invented based on Christian doctrine and the effort to convert non-Christians. By 1786 over 12 million slaves had been extracted from Africa and sent to colonial labour camps, with a truly atrocious condition of life24. But they were not the only ones to blame; in Africa internal nations such as the Asantes sold and bought tens of thousands of slaves25.

The abolition of the slave trade was a long and slow process. Until a relatively modern time, even philosophers, religious leaders and those concerned with ethics justified, or ignored, the problem of slavery26. The first abolitionists were always the slaves themselves. Their protests and rebellions caused the industry to become too expensive to continue. After that, it was the economic costs of maintain slave colonies that led the British to reject and then oppose the slave trade globally. Finally, the enlightenment-era thinkers of France encouraged moral and ethical thinking including the declaration of the inherent value of human life and human dignity27. A long-overdue wave of compassionate and conscientious movements swept across the West, eliminating public support for slavery, until the industries and churches that supported it had no choice but to back down.

'Modern slavery' includes forced labour (often of the under-age), debt bondage (especially generational), sexual slavery, chattel slavery and other forms of abuse, some of which can be surprisingly difficult to detect, but often target those fleeing from warzones and the vulnerable.28. Some industries (diamond, clothing, coal) from some countries (Burundi10, Eritrea10, Indonesia29) are a particular concern. The Walk Free Foundation, say that in 2016, 40.3 million people were living in modern slavery30.

2. Gender Equality

#Bangladesh #gender #misogyny #politics #women

Gender Inequality (2015)13
Pos.Lower is better13
1Switzerland0.04
2Denmark0.04
3Netherlands0.04
...
116Ethiopia0.50
117Guyana0.51
118Iran0.51
119Bangladesh0.52
120Senegal0.52
121Uganda0.52
122Sao Tome & Principe0.52
123Iraq0.53
World Avg0.36
q=159.
Year Women Can Vote31
Pos.Lower is better
Year31
1New Zealand1893
2Australia1902
3Finland1906
...
157Congo, DR1970
158Yemen1970
159Switzerland1971
160Bangladesh1972
161Bahrain1973
162San Marino1973
163Andorra1973
164Jordan1974
World Avg1930
q=189.

Gender inequality is not a necessary part of early human development. Although a separation of roles is almost universal due to different strengths between the genders, this does not have to mean that women are subdued, and, such patriarchialism is not universal in ancient history. Those cultures and peoples who shed, or never developed, the idea that mankind ought to dominate womankind, are better cultures and peoples than those who, even today, cling violently to those mores.

Bangladesh has almost the highest rate of early marriage in the world18 and made this even worse in 2017 when a law was passed removing the minimum age for marriage under "special circumstances"19. Women's rights and safety are both poorly protected18.

Bangladesh is an unequal country, with male rights dominating those of women.

See:

3. LGBT Equality and Tolerance

#Bangladesh #equality #homosexuality #human_rights #intolerance #sexuality #tolerance

LGBT Equality (2017)17
Pos.Higher is better
Score17
1Netherlands103
2Belgium90
3Sweden86
...
148Kenya-14
149Singapore-15
150Zambia-15
151Bangladesh-17
152Tanzania-17
153Iran-19
154Malaysia-19
155Gambia-19
World Avg12.6
q=196.

Discrimination against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) folk is rife across the world. Legal restrictions co-exist alongside social stigmatisation and physical violence32. LGBT tolerance and equal rights have been fought for country-by-country across the world, often against tightly entrenched cultural and religious opposition. Homosexual activity is outlawed in around 80 countries32. The Social & Moral LGBT Equality Index was created to compare countries and regions, granting points to each country for a variety of factors including how long gay sex has been criminalized and the extent of LGBT legal rights. Graded negative points are given for criminality of homosexuality, unequal ages of consent, legal punishments and for not signing international accords on LGBT tolerance. The signs in many developed countries are positive, and things are gradually improving. Europe is by far the least prejudiced region (Scandinavia in particular being exemplary). The Middle East and then Africa are the least morally developed, where cultural bias goes hand-in-hand with state intolerance, all too often including physical violence.

4. Bangladesh Overall National and Social Development

#Bangladesh #human_development

Social & Moral
Development Index
33
Pos.Higher is better
Points33
1Denmark84.2
2Sweden83.7
3Finland83.5
...
140Egypt46.5
141Uganda46.4
142Myanmar (Burma)46.2
143Bangladesh46.1
144Laos46.0
145Rwanda45.8
146Libya45.7
147Tonga45.6
148Gambia45.5
World Avg54.1
q=198.

The Social and Moral Development Index concentrates on moral issues and human rights, violence, public health, equality, tolerance, freedom and effectiveness in climate change mitigation and environmentalism, and on some technological issues. A country scores higher for achieving well in those areas, and for sustaining that achievement in the long term. Those countries towards the top of this index can truly said to be setting good examples and leading humankind onwards into a bright, humane, and free future. See: What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life.

Current edition: 2018 Sep 18
http://www.humantruth.info/bangladesh_human_rights_and_freedom.html
Parent page: Bangladesh (People's Republic of Bangladesh)

All #tags used on this page - click for more:

#antisemitism #Bangladesh #burundi #corruption #equality #eritrea #france #freedom #gender #homosexuality #human_development #human_rights #indonesia #intolerance #mass_media #misogyny #peace #politics #sexuality #slavery #tolerance #women

Social Media

References: (What's this?)

Anti-Defamation League. (ADL)
(2014) ADL Global 100, Executive Summary. Accessed on global100.adl.org on 2017 Jan 02. The numbers given are of those who state that racist stereotyped statements about Jews are true; they have to agree to 6 or more of the 11 statements to be counted. An example statements is "Jews are hated because of the way they behave". The data was collected from 53,100 interviews across 101 countries plus the West Bank and Gaza. The global average is 26%.

Casely-Hayford, Gus
(2012) The Lost Kingdoms of Africa. Published by Bantram Press. A hardback book.

Crabtree, Vexen
(2018) "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life" (2018). Accessed 2018 Sep 18.

Donnelly, Jack
(2013) Universal Human Rights in Theory and Practice. 3rd edition. Published by Cornell University Press.

The Fraser Institute
(2016) The Human Freedom Index. Published by The Cato Institute, The Fraser Institute and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom. Covers data up to 2014. On www.fraserinstitute.org/.../human-freedom-index-2016.

Human Rights Watch
(2018) World Report 2018. Covering the events of 2017.

Klein, Naomi
(2004) No Logo. Originally published 2000, HarperCollins, London, UK. A paperback book.

McCall, Andrew
(1979) The Medieval Underworld. 2004 edition. Published by Sutton Publishing. A paperback book.

Thomson, Oliver
(1993) A History of Sin. Published by Canongate Press. A hardback book.

United Nations
(2011) Human Development Report. Published by the UN Development Programme. This edition had the theme of Sustainability and Equity: A Better Future for All. Available on hdr.undp.org/... UN Development Program: About the Human Development Index.
(2017) Human Development Report. Published by the UN Development Programme. Data for 2015. Available on hdr.undp.org/.

Walk Free Foundation
(2018) Global Slavery Index. Published on www.walkfreefoundation.org/.

Footnotes

  1. World Bank data on data.worldbank.org accessed 2013 Nov 04.^
  2. UN (2011) .^
  3. UN (2017). Table 1.^
  4. UN (2017). Gross National Income, per person. Table 1.^
  5. International Standards Organisation (ISO) standard ISO3166-1, on www.iso.org, accessed 2013 May 01.^
  6. Top level domains (TLDs) are managed by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) on www.iana.org.^
  7. According to ISO4217.^
  8. According to ITU-T.^
  9. ADL (2014). Lower is better.^^
  10. Walk Free Foundation (2018) .^^
  11. ^^
  12. Max possible=24. Total amount of treaties ratified. Nominal Commitment to Human Rights report published by UCL School of Public Policy, London, UK, at ucl.ac.uk/spp/research/research-projects/nchr accessed 2011 Apr 30.^^
  13. UN (2017). Table 5. Lower is better.^^
  14. Fraser Institute, the (2016). Covers data for 2014.^^
  15. Reporters Without Borders Report "2013 World Press Freedom Index: Dashed hopes after spring" at fr.rsf.org/.../classement_2013_gb-bd.pdf accessed 2013 Feb.^^
  16. Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index (2017). Accessed 2017 Dec 30. The scores given are the TI average for the years 2012-2016.^^
  17. Sources:^^
  18. Human Rights Watch (2018). P70.^^
  19. Human Rights Watch (2018). P65.^^
  20. Human Rights Watch (2018). P65-68.^
  21. Human Rights Watch (2018). P65-70.^
  22. Thomson (1993). P28.^
  23. McCall (1979). P180.^
  24. Thomson (1993). P166.^
  25. Casely-Hayford (2012). P253.^
  26. Thomson (1993). P31.^
  27. Thomson (1993). P199.^
  28. Thomson (1993). P28-29.^
  29. Klein (2004) .^
  30. Walk Free Foundation (2018). P2.^
  31. "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life: 2.6. Women Stand for Election & Vote" by Vexen Crabtree (2018)^
  32. Donnelly (2013). Chapter 16 "Nondiscrimination for All: The Case of Sexual Minorities" p278.^
  33. "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life" by Vexen Crabtree (2018)^

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