Bangladeshi Delegates Attend UPR Pre-Session at Geneva
Universal Periodic Review (UPR) pre-sessions were introduced in 2012, with the dual aim. Firstly, to create a platform for the civil society to directly advocate to government delegations in advance of the UPR session and secondly, to update diplomatic delegations on countries’ human rights situation.
As a part of this process, Laila Khondkar, Director- Child Rights Governance and Child Protection of Save the Children in Bangladesh and Rasheda Akter, Coordinator, Monitoring Child Rights Situation in Bangladesh project of Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) attended UPR pre-session on Bangladesh in Geneva, Switzerland on April 12, 2018.
Rasheda Akter made a presentation on behalf of Child Rights Advocacy Coalition (CRAC) during the UPR pre-session of Bangladesh on child rights. CRAC coordinates monitoring and reporting on the child rights and has developed a standard alternative monitoring and reporting framework. Earlier CRAC submitted a child focused UPR report.
Both Laila Khondkar and Rasheda Akter attended meetings with diplomats of Permanent Missions of Finland, Portugal, Norway, Slovakia, Slovenia, Denmark, the Netherlands and the USA. They highlighted their key concerns and recommendations related to child rights. The lack of independent institutional structure for children and a child friendly national complaint mechanism were raised as a concern by them along with concerns related to violence against children, child marriage, rights of Rohingya children, child labour etc.
Two senior staffs from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh attended the UPR pre-session. The presentation of Bangladeshi delegates received commendable comment by them being able to raise clear concerns and recommendations on child rights.
CRAC shall be engaged in a number of follow-up activities aiming that some of the inputs will be reflected in the recommendations made by the member states while Bangladesh gets reviewed on its human rights status during the UPR session in May this year.