Monthly Archives: December 2015

UNIC Dhaka commemorates Human Rights Day 2015: Our Freedoms – our rights – always

Guests take part in group song in Human Rights Day. Photo/UNIC DhakaDhaka, 10 December 2015: UNIC Dhaka and ASA University Bangladesh jointly commemorated Human Rights Day 2015 through organizing a seminar, drama and poetry reading session on 9 December 2015 at University auditorium. The event was presided over by Prof Dalem Chandra Barman, Vice-Chancellor of ASA University while Mika Kanervavuori, Human Rights advisor of UNRC Office delivered key-note speech. The eminent poets of the country – Poet Ruby Rahman, Poet Shihab Sarkar and Poet Muhammad Samad read-out poems on human rights. A drama – ‘We Sing of Equality’ was also staged before the audience. UNIC Officer-in-Charge M. Moniruzzaman also spoke and read-out UN Secretary-General’s message on the Day. More than one hundred students took part in the events and each of them were provided with a set of human rights instruments – UDHR, ICCPR and ICESCR.

Our Freedoms – Our Rights – Always: Human Rights Day 2015: Op-ed by Robert Watkins, UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh

UNRC PhotoThis day in 1948 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The date is a reminder of the common standard for a dignified life for all peoples in all nations. This year we recall the fundamental freedoms that underpin human rights that are still relevant today, not only in Bangladesh but also globally i.e. freedom from fear and want and freedom of speech and worship. As the theme and slogan for 2015 reads, these are “Our Freedoms – Our Rights – Always”.

Bangladesh has voluntarily taken obligations under eight international human rights treaties and therefore committed to provide civil, cultural, economic, social or political rights to all its individuals and peoples,without distinction of any kind. Over the years, Bangladesh has regularly engaged with the United Nations on issues such as ending discrimination against women and girls, and ensuring the rights of the child. During 2015, Bangladesh also engaged on civil and political rights reporting and hosted the visit of the Special Rapporteurs of the Human Rights Council on freedom of religion or belief.  Furthermore, Bangladesh is currently a member of the Human Rights Council and has established a National Human Rights Commission which brings further responsibilities, both at the international and national level. This clearly shows Bangladesh’s desire to be a part of the global community promoting human rights. Continue reading

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Message on Human Rights Day, 10 December 2015


Amid large-scale atrocities and widespread abuses across the world, Human Rights Day should rally more concerted global action to promote the timeless principles that we have collectively pledged to uphold.

In a year that marks the 70th anniversary of the United Nations, we can draw inspiration from the history of the modern human rights movement, which emerged from the Second World War.

At that time, President Franklin D. Roosevelt of the United States identified four basic freedoms as the birthright of all people: freedom of expression, freedom of worship, freedom from want and freedom from fear.  His wife, Eleanor Roosevelt, joined forces at the United Nations with human rights champions from around the world to enshrine these freedoms in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Continue reading