‘Political inclusiveness’ in BD remains a challenge: EU

‘Political inclusiveness’ in BD remains a challenge: EU

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Dhaka, Oct 18 – The Council of the European Union (EU) has said strengthening participation in the political process and its ‘inclusiveness’ remains one of the main challenges for Bangladesh. It said a volatile security situation, shrinking democratic space and continuous deterioration of civil and political rights, including extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearance, and restrictive actions against opposition and human rights activists continued to be the areas of concern.
The EU Council made the observation in its annual report on human rights and democracy in the world in 2016 shared by the EU on October 16.
Bangladesh’s steady high economic growth resulting in incremental poverty reduction and socioeconomic progress (education, health) has not been accompanied by advances in the area of protection of human rights and respect for the rule of law, it said.
The EU also encouraged Bangladesh in forming an independent, impartial and non-partisan Election Commission to hold the next legislative elections in a free, fair and participatory way, according to the outcome document of the proceedings a copy of which UNB obtained.
On fundamental labour rights, Bangladesh made some progress under the Sustainability Compact, with regard to workplace safety, but more needs to be done to address unfair labour practices, it said.
Bangladesh is currently a member of the Human Rights Council for the period 2015-17.
Enabling the unrestricted functioning of civil society should play an important role in the preparations for the third Universal Periodic Review in May 2018.
Implementation of the Sustainability Compact and guaranteeing labour rights should be high on the agenda, said the EU Council. – UNB

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