Posts Tagged ‘human rights


Human Rights 2.0

Published in Daily Star

Economic rights are human rights. Photo: Munir Uz Zaman/ Drik News

AS I walk out of a hearing by a Congressional commission on the Bangladeshi human rights situation last week, the Bangladeshi ambassador to the US cordially walks up to me and says: “I believe in a lot of things that you said today, but at the end of the day we have to be realists.” 

Yes, he is referring to the much dreaded “unrealistic” view of a human rights activist. The one that talks about social justice, equality and a dream land where the most basic fundamental right for a human being is supposed to be guaranteed by the state. 

This is perhaps unrealistic in today’s world, but sixty years ago, a charter was formed on what’s considered to be the gold standard that everyone should strive towards. However, the big questions are how comprehensive the work of a rights activist need to be surrounding this charter and in what priority, especially in the developing world where these rights are constantly being compromised due to poverty and deprivation, what more can be done than just raising “awareness” and “demanding” justice in this new world of decreasing resources and increasing international competition between governments.

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The bubble boys, the Green Zone and the 99%

Published in FORUM


What is wrong with the privileged elite of Bangladesh, asks Asif Saleh, that they can be so indifferent to the misery and hardship that surrounds them.

Photo: Amirul Rajiv

We recently sent an intern from our organization to work for Ain O Shalish Kendro. Before she left, I met her in London — a very excited twenty-something girl out to change the world.

The zeal, however, soon turned into grief on October 28. Her Glasgow-residing father went to visit her in Dhaka. He was at the wrong place at the wrong time on that day. She didn’t hear from him all day and night after he went shopping at Baitul Mukarram, the scene of the chaos that broke out in the aftermath of the power handover.

Continue reading ‘The bubble boys, the Green Zone and the 99%’

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