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Human Rights

The Royal Netherlands Embassy (RNE) attaches great importance to the improvement of the human rights situation in Bangladesh. It is not only seen

as a cross cutting issue for the sectoral programs, but there is also a special budget for human rights projects. Although awareness raising is essential, the RNE is especially interested in activities relating to human security and the implementation of human rights. Vulnerable groups as women, children, minorities and detainees have our special attention.

At present the RNE supports a special ILO program on the elimination of child labour, and is contributing to UNICEF's birth registration project in Bangladesh. The regional conference organised by Penal Reform International that was held in Dhaka and financed by the Embassy generated important activities aimed at the improvements of prison conditions. More projects in this field are envisaged.The Embassy is also funding a UNDP project to promote the dialogue on human security in Bangladesh. Apart from this the Embassy supports several small projects in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. These projects focus especially on the economic development of minority groups and the preservation of their culture.

The issue of good governance is closely related to the implementation of human rights. A corruption free, transparent and accountable government is a vital requirement for the sustainable development of any country. The RNE is concentrating on the improvement of public administration management of government bodies, on strengthening civil society and combating corruption.

For example, the Embassy is co-funding the program of the ministry of Finance  'Reforms in Budgeting and Expenditure Control', which also envisages to combat corruption. The contribution to UNDP's parliamentary project that aims at improving the working methods of parliament and strengthening the democratic process is another example of the Embassy's involvement in this area. This project linked up with the active role of the Embassy in the monitoring of the  Municipal Elections in  May 2004. The Embassy funded local  observers in order to make the elections free and fair.

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