Draft a new law titled proposed as “Human Rights Defenders Protection Act, 2019”


Background and Context

Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) as a leading human rights and legal aid organization of the country has been working to promote and achieve sustainable human rights based society since its inception. ASK conducts monitoring of human rights situation and provides legal aid services to the person or persons in need especially to the marginalized women of the society.

Along with ASK’s regular activities to respond to human rights issues it focuses upon promotion of human rights situation. Having that intention the organization considers legal and policy advocacy as the focal strategy to reinforce and develop pro-human rights approach in the state.  ASK envisions to contribute in reforming the existing legal tools and policies to ensure supportive environment for more responsive state institutions.  ASK considers Public Interest Litigations (PILs) is such a tool that can be used to protect the human rights of the larger group of people through addressing the shortcomings of the existing system. It is also one of ASK’s strategies to held the state institutions accountable at the cases of gross human rights violation.  ASK’s advocacy for policy and legal reforms also focus on reinforcing human rights perspectives to the existing state structure and system.  At times ASK also coordinate drafting new laws depending on the urgency of many comprehensive Acts as safeguard to the rights of the people.

ASK’s social movement and advocacy regarding Uniform Family Code has been reflected in various amendments and enactments of family laws. Alongside ASK has vibrant presence in various arenas of collaborative efforts of Civil Society, human rights organizations to protect human rights of the people of the country. Protection and promotion of right to life, liberty, right to education, rights to health, freedom of exercising civil and political rights of the people have been core areas of ASK’s intervention for long. Following various past achievement of ASK, in recent days, ASK’s intervention in legal advocacy has become further visible in High Court Division’s judgment of banning ‘two-finger test’ of rape victims. It is one of the most recent outcome of long struggle of the human rights organization including ASK and civil society organizations of the country.  ASK has always been at the frontline to bring every stakeholder’s concentration to any such emerging issue that requires a comprehensive act to mitigate the subjugation of people’s rights in any particular arena.

ASK identifies such issues with well articulated analysis and research over the period of time. This year ASK has decided to work on the issue of protecting the rights of the human rights defenders (HRDs) which deserves the attention of all stakeholders and policy makers because of the worrisome situation of the defenders in Bangladesh. Accordingly, ASK plans to advocate for drafting a new law under its advocacy program to ensure presence of a comprehensive tool to safeguard and to strengthen the security of HRDs against acts of violence, discrimination, harsh reprisals and intimidation. ASK intends to achieve this within the planned activity of advocacy program under Annual Operational Plan (AOP) 2019. In addition to drafting ASK has planned to lobby with Government of Bangladesh (GoB) and it’s other stakeholders so that a comprehensive act comes into force.

Click here to download the detail TOR

Deadline: 12th October 2019