‘NGO regulation bill must not hinder work, freedom of expression’

‘NGO regulation bill must not hinder work, freedom of expression’

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Dhaka – Heads of Mission of the European Union resident in Bangladesh have noted that the Parliament has passed on 5 October the Foreign Donations (Voluntary Activities) Bill 2016.
The EU and its Member States is in terms of grants, the largest development partner of Bangladesh. They acknowledge the role played by local and international NGOs in Bangladesh’s development success story as well as the civil society’s continued support for human rights.They recognise the need for regulating foreign development cooperation and welcome the intention to combat money laundering and financing of terrorism. They are, however, concerned that the Bill may introduce provisions that can prevent the smooth and timely implementation of development projects. They have further noted the addition of a provision limiting the freedom of expression.
Heads of Mission of the EU resident in Bangladesh, together with other important members of the donor community have at numerous occasions pointed out these concerns during the drafting of the Bill. They regret that none of their recommendations was reflected in the Bill adopted on 5 October, including those with the sole purpose to ensure the efficiency of development projects.
Heads of Mission of the EU consider that since the Bill has not yet been made into a Law, their concerns could be accommodated in a manner that would allow NGOs duly supported by foreign partners to continue playing a major role in the development of Bangladesh and their freedom of expression to be preserved. – Press relase

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