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CYHRDN celebrates Human Rights Day 2016 in Bangladesh
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CYHRDN celebrates Human Rights Day 2016 in Bangladesh

mahdy-hassan

10 December is observed by the international community as International Human Rights Day, to coincide with the United Nations General Assembly’s adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) in 1948. Although the UDHR is not a binding human rights document, it has inspired more than 60 human rights instruments which together have created the international standard of human rights. As a member of the Commonwealth Youth Human Rights and Democracy Network (CYHRDN), it was my privilege to work in observing 10 December 2016 as International Human Rights Day in Bangladesh.

CYHRDN was established in June 2016 with the support of the Commonwealth Secretariat. The vision of the network is to actively engage young people in education and advocacy in the area of human rights and democracy, while its mission is to create a collaborative space for young people to achieve collective human rights and democracy goals through capacity development and the dissemination of knowledge. Priority areas include disability rights, anti-discrimination and domestic violence.

To observe the day in Bangladesh, CYHRDN collaborated with two youth-based human rights organisation, namely Youth for Human Rights International (YHRI) and the Centre for Human Rights Studies (CHRS). We successfully organised a workshop entitled ‘Role of Youth to Promote Human Rights’ at the Law Faculty of the ASA University Bangladesh in Dhaka, which was attended by 70 students from eight law schools.

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We designed the workshop in a way that was meant to create a sense of self-responsiveness among the young Bangladeshi law students who will, in the near future, be judges, lawyers, civil service professionals, etc. Abdullah Al Noman, YHRI Executive Director of the Bangladesh Chapter, welcomed the delegates and thanked them for their participation. I had the honour of representing CYHRDN and engaged participants in group work exercises on the protection and promotion of human rights.

Mr Mohammad Asequr Rahman, Advocate in the Supreme Court of Bangladesh, facilitated a discussion about the role of national human rights commissions, and how young people can engage with them. Mr Muhammad Farhadul Islam, CHRS Coordinator, led the students in different promotional activities as human rights defenders, and identified how they could become involved in promoting human rights in the field. At the end of the workshop, the participants showed their firm enthusiasm to work in the field of human rights.

The approach of CYHRDN reinforces that young people are valuable human resources capable of developing into active citizens to serve as catalysts for change. More than 60 percent of Commonwealth citizens are under the age of 30. Young people must take the initiative to protect the human rights of vulnerable communities and disadvantaged people.

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About me: Currently, I am working with Relief International, Bangladesh Country Office as TIP Program Associate to assist in implementing U.S. Department of State TIP Office funded project. In addition, I am working as a member of Commonwealth Youth Human Rights and Democracy Network (CYHRDN).

I completed my LL.B. and LL.M. degree from University of Dhaka. I love to write and to conduct research on different human rights and development issues and aspects. I dream a world without hunger, poverty and exploitation.

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