On the auspicious occasion of the International Human Rights Day, I, on behalf of the Government and the people of Bangladesh, reiterate our staunch commitment to uphold all human rights and fundamental freedoms of all people around the world as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).
Bangladesh achieved its liberation through a nine-month long War of Liberation in 1971 to end oppression, discrimination and establish human rights for its people. Therefore, the fundamentals of UDHR that "all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights" is deeply embedded in our genesis. The national constitution of Bangladesh guarantees human rights for all. Guided by the constitutional obligation, our government has been relentlessly working to uphold human rights and ensure development of our citizens, especially women, children, elderly people, religious and ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, migrant workers, and people living in extreme poverty. To realize our overarching goal for equality, human dignity and social justice, we have invested in human development to improve the quality of lives of our people and thus ensured better enjoyment of civil, political, social, economic and cultural rights and freedoms.
It is our conviction that human rights are at the core of any steps towards resolving conflicts, building peace and sustaining it. Bangladesh is a proud contributor to UN peacekeeping operations and our peacekeepers are deployed in many conflict-prone areas where they diligently work for the peace, security and human rights of the local people particularly through the protection of civilians; addressing conflict-related sexual violence and violence against children; supporting democratic elections and institution building, and providing humanitarian assistance along with other multi-faceted roles.
As a state-party to all major human rights instruments and as a member of the UN Human Rights Council, Bangladesh has been actively contributing towards the promotion and protection of human rights for all. Bangladesh has provided shelter to over one million forcibly displaced Rohingya people who fled ethnic cleansing in Myanmar. Bangladesh continues to urge the international community to work towards ensuring the fundamental human rights of the Rohingya population including their right to return to their homeland, self-identification, citizenship and other basic human rights required for them to lead a dignified life.
On this Human Rights Day, Bangladesh renews its pledge to fully support and cooperate with all UN human rights mechanisms, and express its commitment to stand by the United Nations and the international community in their efforts towards ensuring universal human rights.