Government Policy

Promoting democracy, HR to remain paramount: US

The United States has said promoting democracy, good governance and human rights will remain paramount in this 50th anniversary year of the Bangladesh-US bilateral relationship.

“Working together, we must commit ourselves to promoting respect for human rights. We must speak honestly about the challenges we face. Progress on human rights begins with the facts,” said US Ambassador to Bangladesh Ambassador Peter Haas on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, at a briefing on the latest country report on Bangladesh’s human rights practices and US support to advance protection of human rights at the American Centre auditorium, an official at the US Embassy said the United States does not only report on human rights and abuses. “We also come alongside countries to work together to make things better.”

The official, who cannot be identified under briefing rules, said the United States is committed to a world in which human rights are protected, their defenders are celebrated, and those who commit human rights abuses are held accountable.

“The human rights report does not rank countries or draw comparisons across them. It does not attempt to catalog every human rights-related incident that occurred in a country in a given year,” he said, adding that the human rights report also does not include recommendations or policy suggestions.

Rather, the official said, it focuses on seven areas of human rights- respect for the Integrity of the Person, which deals with unlawful killings, disappearances, torture, and arbitrary arrest; respect for civil liberties, including freedom of expression, assembly and association, religion, movement, and protection of refugees; freedom to participate in the political process; corruption and lack of transparency in the government; governmental posture towards international and nongovernmental investigation of alleged abuses of human rights; discrimination and societal abuses, including rights of women, children, sexual and gender minorities, ethnic minorities and indigenous peoples, and persons with disabilities; and worker rights, including the right to unions and safe working conditions, and the prohibition of forced labor, child labor, and employment discrimination.

On Tuesday, the State Department released the annual human rights report that strives to provide an “objective record” of the status of human rights worldwide. It covers 198 countries and territories for the calendar year 2021.

“These are factual reports,” said the US Embassy official, adding that the guiding principle is that all information be reported objectively, thoroughly, fairly.

Source: United News of Bangladesh