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Monday, June 14, 2010

Asian NGOs concerned at govt failure to appoint HR instt members

Monday, June 14, 2010

Diplomatic Correspondent

The Asian NGOs Network on National Human Rights Institutions has expressed grave concern over the failure of the governments in Asia, including Bangladesh, to appoint members to their national human rights institutions (NHRIs) in accordance with the Paris Principles.

This illustrates the lack of political will by these governments to strengthen their NHRIs, the NGOs Network said in a statement received in Dhaka yesterday.

To date, there are at least two NHRIs in Asia that still do not have commissioners -- the Bangladesh National Human Rights Commission (BNHRC) and the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL), the NGOs Network said, adding that human rights violations continue to take place in these countries.

In Bangladesh, the chairperson and two commissioners of the National Human Rights Commission were appointed in December 2008. However, on July 9, 2009 the parliament passed a new law entitled the 'National Human Rights Commission Act 2009', which was approved by the President on July 13, 2009.

Under the new law, the commission should have one full time and six part-time commissioners. However, before the new law came into force, the two commissioners that had already been appointed resigned and the chairperson is now left alone sitting in the commission. New commissioners have yet to be appointed by the government, the NGOs Network said.

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