It has been widely seen that in Bangladesh people belonging to marginalized and disadvantaged group have little access to public benefits, livelihood, education etc mostly due to existence of favoritism, corruption culture in the country. The programme therefore addresses the 6 problem areas comprising of violence and rights violations against women, violence against religious minorities and indigenous groups, limited access to legal claims and poor governance, repressed civic space for HRD and civil society, insufficient competencies and capacities of HRD and CSO, no institutional anchoring of non-violent conflict transformation in the 6 programme districts and at national level in an integrated approach. The project aims to capacitate human rights defenders (HRDs) and representatives of public authorities effectively cooperate to protect and promote the economic, social and cultural rights of women, religious minorities and indigenous peoples; they disseminate their experiences in wider civil society networks in South Asia. Therefore the action pays particular attention to the inclusions and the rights of the most vulnerable groups.
With its comprehensive approach combining awareness raising, capacity building, facilitation of democratic dialogue, research and advocacy measures, the project is designed to enhance Human Rights Defender (HRDs) to protect and promote rights of marginalised communities, and to play active role in democratic governance and accountability processes with public authorities. More specifically, the target group will increase its capacity, operational competencies, space and readiness to act as monitors, advocates and partners to protect and promote the economic, social and cultural rights of women, religious minorities and indigenous peoples as well as to engage in policy dialogue and to provide information and expertise to foster transparency and participation. Specific focus is given to enhance the inclusion of vulnerable groups in CSOs as well as in governance and accountability processes with public authorities.
The action interlinks CSOs on local, regional and national level for advocacy on improving the quality and effectiveness of human rights situation, public policies and fair management of public resources. Capacity building of the Human Rights Defender is at the centre of this action. This includes orientation and trainings on technical and management capacities for HRD and their respective organisations and networks. Here the participants learn about human rights protection and self-defense mechanism, democratic dialogue and non-violent conflict-transformative approaches, entitlements to public services, governance and accountability processes, about discriminatory laws and practices and advocacy strategies in regard to legal reforms. Thus, they will be enabled to use these new skills as well after the end of this action. The further development of their capacities will have a significant impact on the sustainable improvement of the human rights situation in working areas, as well as on governance and accountability of public authorities and increase in the access of vulnerable groups to public services in the respective communities. To enhance the active role of public authorities, e.g. elected members of local bodies, mediators, security forces and government officials, this action builds their capacities through trainings, meetings and public events in order to involve them in activities to ensure protection of human rights, enhance governance and accountability processes from local to national level. Thus, they are important stakeholders for the sustainability and success of the advocacy activities of this action. The national Conflict transformation platform will gather and share skills to engage in democratic dialogue and to facilitate conflicts with non-violent transformation approaches. This will enable the platform to replicate the approach in other parts of the country beyond the period of this action. In addition, this action will strengthen the communication and exchange of human rights defenders with the international community.