VOICE is a rights-based, activist organization working mainly on the issues of food sovereignty, aid effectiveness, economic justice, and the right to information and communication, both in Bangladesh and on a global scale. By building a broader constituency of alternative voices to the ‘mainstream development discourse’ through research and public education, VOICE is taking a stand against unjust and undemocratic practices.


Tax emerges as crucial issue in post-2015 development talks

By farjana - Posted on 27 March 2013

 

Members of the UN high-level panel meet in Bali this week. Tax evasion is expected to feature in the discussions

 Tax evasion by multinationals and corrupt leaders has emerged as a key issue ahead of the third substantive meeting of a UN high-level panel to discuss a framework for development after 2015.

The theme of this week's meeting in the sweltering Indonesian resort island of Bali is global partnership, the orphan child of the millennium development goals (MDGs). Devoid of clear targets, MDG8 talks in general terms about an open, rule-based trading and financial system, dealing with debt burdens, providing access to affordable essential medicines, and increasing access to new technologies. Goal eight also mentions fostering links between the public and private sector to drive better development.

Yet momentum is building up among NGOs, poor countries and some rich countries to ensure that developing countries build up their tax base at a time when aid flows are under pressure, notwithstanding Britain's commitment to meet, this year, the UN target of spending 0.7% of gross national income (GNI) on aid.

Civil Society Communiqué: The Global CSO Forum on the Post-­‐2015 Development Agenda March 23-­‐24, 2013, Bali, Indonesia

By farjana - Posted on 25 March 2013

As the fourth meeting of the High-­‐Level Panel on the Post-­‐2015 Development Agenda begins in Bali, Indonesia, we, the members of global, regional and national civil society urge the HLP to be ambitious by setting a framework for transformative, universal, people-­‐centered development. We call on the HLP to outline the bold and relevant commitments needed to ensure a new paradigm for sustainable development, firmly rooted in existing economic, social, cultural, civil and political human rights obligations.

For a full document please see the attached file.

 

A Red Flag for the Post-­‐2015 High Level Panel

By farjana - Posted on 25 March 2013

As members of civil society representing diverse constituencies and communities around the world, including over one billion impoverished people,we are deeply concerned about the direction that the High Level Panelon Post 2015 Development may take, particularly as regards the roles of government, business and multilateral institutions in any sustainable development agenda

For a full document please see the attached file

 

Govt urged not to curb freedom of expression online

By farjana - Posted on 23 March 2013

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Journalists, academics, rights activists and civil society representatives on Tuesday urged the government not to curb citizens’ freedom of expression by controlling internet use. 

They made the call at a dialogue on ‘Challenges and opportunities of freedom of expression online in Bangladesh’ and the launch of a report ‘Bangladesh: an assessment of freedom expression online’ at a local hotel in the capital.

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression programme launched the report.

The speakers observed that there was no need to formulate an online policy, saying that the Shahbagh movement itself was the result of blogging or online activities.

Referring to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the speakers at the programme emphasised the need to ensure right to freedom of expression online and pluralism in society.

The event was organised by VOICE, in association with Bangladesh Manabadhikar Sangbadik Forum, Campaign on Citizen Right to Information, Equity and Justice Working Group, Online Knowledge Society, Sushashaner Jonno Pracharavijan, School of Communications and Cultural Metaphysics.

Statement of Solidarity on Freedom of Expression and Safety of Internet Users

By farjana - Posted on 17 January 2013

THIRD SOUTH ASIAN MEETING ON THE INTERNET & FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
DHAKA, BANGLADESH
JANUARY 14-15, 2013

This is a statement by the participants in the Third South Asian Meeting on the Internet and Freedom of Expression that took place in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on January 14–15, 2013, following a violent attack on blogger Asif Mohiuddin.
Bangladeshi blogger Asif Mohiuddin was brutally attacked in a stabbing last evening. His condition is currently said to be critical. Violent attacks on mediapersons have led to at least four deaths in the past year. This trend is now extending to those writing online.
It is the duty of societies at large to ensure that principles we universally consider sacrosanct, such as the right to life and liberty and of freedom of expression are in fact ideas, and of the government to actively protect the rights guaranteed under the Constitution of Bangladesh and to ensure they are not just words on paper.

Inu for inclusion of internet right in constitution

By farjana - Posted on 16 January 2013

Through research, advocacy and debate, the Internet Democracy Project seeks to unearth both the changes wrought by technology to democracy-as-we-know-it and the implications of these changes for our visions of progessive social change if they are to remain relevant in the digital age.

Right to internet is one of the fundamental human rights, and this right should be included in the constitution, said Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu yesterday.
He stressed on developing a strong mechanism to combat cyber crimes and blocking offensive contents on internet.
Free flow of authentic information can play a significant role in empowering people and strengthening democracy, he said.
The minister told a public dialogue titled "Freedom of Expression and the Internet in South Asia: A way forward to ensure people's right" at a hotel in the capital.
Voice for Interactive Choice and Empowerment (Bangladesh), Internet Democracy Project (India), Internet Security Nepal, Point of View (India) and Global Partners and Associates (UK) jointly organised the dialogue.
Referring to the recent Ramu violence, Information Commissioner MA Taher emphasised responsible use of the internet and social media as its misuse can push the society into a situation that created in Ramu.

Public Dialogue Freedom of Expression and the Internet in South Asia A Way Forward to Ensure People’s Right

By farjana - Posted on 13 January 2013

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VOICE (Bangladesh), The Internet Democracy Project (India), Internet Society Nepal (Nepal), Point of View (India) and Global Partners and Associates (UK) has the pleasure to invite you to the Public Dialogue on Freedom of Expression and the Internet in South Asia: A Way Forward to Ensure People’s Right’ to be held on 15 January from 3.30 pm. to 6 pm.

Third South Asia Meeting on the Internet and Freedom of Expression

By farjana - Posted on 09 January 2013

 

Third South Asia Meeting on the Internet and Freedom of Expression, will be held in Dhaka, Bangladesh on 14-15 January, 2013. VOICE (Bangladesh), The internet democracy project (India), Internet Society Nepal (Nepal), Point of View (India) and Global Partners and Associates (the UK). 

This meeting will be bringing together experts from civil society, business, the research community and other stakeholder groups from the region to discuss the challenges of freedom of expression online.

 

A workshop on "Challenges for Freedom of Expression on the Internet in Bangladesh: A Way Forward to Ensure People's Right"

By farjana - Posted on 06 January 2013

 

A two days workshop on "Challenges for Freedom of Expression on the Internet in Bangladesh: A Way Forward to Ensure People's Right" to be held at the auditorium of Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Bangladesh (CBCB), on 11-12 January, 2013.

 This workshop aims at addressing freedom of expression online, its merits and challenges in detail including the rising visibility of hate speech on the one hand, and the increased attention to combat cyber security by the State and private sector actors, on the other.  This arrangement is leading towards uncertainties in context of human rights and shared responsibility for citizens.

 Venue: THE CATHOLIC BISHOPS' CONFERENCE OF BANGLADESH, 24/C Asad Avenue, Mohammadpur, Dhaka-1207. 

 

Speakers demanded rights based post 2015 development framework

By voice - Posted on 24 December 2012

Post 2015 meeting

A civil society dialogue on `Post2015 agenda : sustainable development and people’s priorities from the ground’ was held at Barisal, Bangladesh on 24 December 2012. The dialogue jointly organized by VOICE, Beyond 2015 Bangladesh Hub and Speed Trust, Barisal was attended by the members of the civil society and communities while it discussed about the ongoing process of post 2015 and drew priorities for post2015 development framework from the ground realities.
 
Speakers in post-2015 discussionSpeakers demanded to make post 2015 development agenda equitable through people’s participation considering the vulnerability and ground realities of the people living with poverty. They urged the UN and government to undertake special measures to ensure sustainable development goals putting rights based approach in shaping post 2015 development framework.