On 29 April 2013 the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh will appear before the United Nations Human Rights Council for its Universal Periodic Review (UPR).
During the UPR
held on 3 February 2009 a total of 42 separate recommendations were made. The most relevant are cited below:
1. Consider ratifying or acceding to: OP-ICCPR 2, (Chile), OP-CAT (France, The Netherlands, Chile, Czech Republic, Liechtenstein); ICRMW (Chile, Azerbaijan, Mexico); CED (Chile, Mexico); other individual complaints procedures under the treaties to which it is a party (Norway); OP-ICCPR 1 (Chile); other core international treaties to which it is not a party (Slovenia).
5. Continue its efforts to strengthen its national human rights mechanisms and continuously upgrade its laws, policies and institutions in the area of the promotion and protection of human rights (Egypt).
10. Develop a national human rights programme to give a new impetus to its commitment and determination to tackle national problems, such as a culture of impunity, arbitrary and extrajudicial executions and a practice of torture and degrading treatment (Mexico).
12. Issue and implement a standing invitation to all special procedures (Czech Republic); Extend a standing invitation to human rights mechanisms to visit the country and to support national efforts in these areas (Mexico); Positively consider the visit requested by the special rapporteur on summary executions (Brazil).
20. Address the problems of extrajudicial killings and torture by security forces and improve prison situations (Netherlands).
27. Provide human rights training to law enforcement and judicial officers, with a specific focus on the protection of the rights of women, children and persons of minority sexual orientation or gender identity and adopt further measures to ensure protection of these persons against violence and abuse (Czech Republic); Consider abolishing article 377 of the Penal Code, which criminalizes sexuality against the “order of nature” (Chile); Decriminalize same sex activity between consenting adults and adopt further measures to promote tolerance in this regard (Czech Republic).
28. Take measures to protect human rights defenders, including journalists (Australia, Netherlands).
38. Further continue its efforts to improve the human rights situation on the ground, with the technical and financial assistance of the international community (Azerbaijan).
At the Eleventh Session of the UN Human Rights Council the report of the UPR Working Group
was adopted. Bangladesh acknowledged the majority of the recommendations made and committed to implement those that were not already under a process of implementation.
It is likely that this second cycle of the UPR process is likely to focus on the current human rights situation in Bangladesh and in particular the Tribunal. The UN Human Rights Council will have received a number of reports from national and international human rights NGOs. The question for the Government of Bangladesh will undoubtedly be to what extent they will be willing to accept international assistance and to cooperate with the Special Procedures of the UN Human Rights Council