By Raihan Rahman Rafid
National Conference on Youth Engagement and Human Rights 2018 was organized jointly by Youth for Human Rights International, Bangladesh Chapter and London College of Legal Studies-LCLS (South) from 3rd October to 4th October 2018.
The two-day conference was held at the Grand Sultan Tea Resort & Golf, Srimongol, Moulvibazar with the vivid participation of 22 human rights enthusiast law students.
On the first day of the conference, a short introductory session was held. The facilitators discussed their session briefly and exchanged views with the participants.
On the second day of the conference, three sessions were conducted by three facilitators. Barrister Tanjib Rashid Khan, Faculty Member, London College of Legal Studies (South), welcomed everyone and moderated the conference.
The opening session was conducted by Ms Arpeeta Shams Mizan, Lecturer in Law, University of Dhaka. Her session titled ‘Basic Concept of Human Rights & Role of Youth’ was designed to shortly illustrate the concept of human rights and highlight the development of the concept throughout the history in different periods of time.
Ms Arpeeta Shams Mizan demonstrated that we all sometimes get bullied, suppressed, manipulated, and treated as invisible. Thereon, she explicated the notion of discrimination. “Discrimination is the prejudicial treatment of an individual based on their actual or perceived membership in a certain group or category,” she defined, “A person need not be actually harmed in order to be discriminated against. He or she may simply be treated worse than others for some arbitrary reason.”
Afterwards, she discussed the history of human rights and the categorization of the rights. Ms Mizan briefly talked on the international instruments of human rights—UDHR, ICCPR, ICSCR and the later developments CEDAW, CRC as well as national documents such as the proclamation of independence and Constitution of Bangladesh. She explained the balance between ‘Human Dignity’ and ‘State Authority’.
Muhammad Farhadul Islam, Coordinator, Center for Human Rights Studies (CHRS), conducted the next session on ‘Fostering Volunteerism through Community Activism.’ He adopted an interactive way to engage the participants better. He started the session with a game and the participants were divided into two groups. The essence and the inherent message of his game was to enlighten the participants with the spirit of unity and volunteerism.
Kazi Tamanna Ferdush, Human Rights Advocate, in her session on ‘Gender-Based Violence & Role of Youth’ talked about various kinds of violence against women prevalent in our society. Ms Ferdush mentioned domestic violence, honour killing, dowry violence and forced marriage.
“In our society, if a woman is allowed to work by her husband then the wife is considered to be lucky,” she said, “but that should not be the case.” She further added that in honour killing, women and girls are killed by their own family members as they are believed to have brought shame and dishonour upon the family.
Kazi Tamanna Ferdush later referred case on the air hostess’s job qualification. She also talked about the salary discrimination in Bollywood to explain how even the celebrities face discrimination because of their gender. She further talked on the two-finger-test case.
Abdullah Al Noman, Program Director of YHRI Bangladesh Chapter, coordinated the entire conference. Ms Nusrat Parveen moderated the closing ceremony. Mr Shariar Nafees, Secretary-General, Youth for Human Rights International, Bangladesh Chapter, graced the event as the special guest and spoke on the journey of YHRI in Bangladesh. Chief Guest of the event was
Barrister Khaled Hamid Chowdhury, Head of Laws, London College of Legal Studies (South). Mr Chowdhury appreciated the effort put and hoped that the participants were able to acquire the spirit of human rights from the teachings of the highly expert resource persons. He said that the learning would only be fruitful when they would be able to give back to their country and contribute to the betterment.
Afterwards, the participants shared their experience of the event with the facilitators and resource persons. Barrister Maruf H Abir, AGT & Lecturer, London College of Legal Studies (South), was requested to deliver the vote of thanks and the event concluded soon after everyone had received their certificates.
Raihan Rahman Rafid studies law at the University of Dhaka and contributes to FutureLaw.