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Press Releases written by Voice
[Dhaka, 29 September 2012] Speakers urged the government of Bangladesh to ensure that the right to freedom expression and opinion is upheld on the Internet in a public dialogue held at Dhaka’s press club earlier today. Speakers included Afsan Chowdhury, executive editor of Bdnews24.com; Monjurul Ahsan Bulbul, editor in chief and CEO of Boishaki Television; Mostafa Jabber, IT specialist; Akhtaruzzaman Monju, chairman, ISP Association; Tahmina Rahman country director, Artcile-19; Seleem Samad, eminent journalist; and Golam Mortuza, editor, Saptahik. The dialogue on freedom of expression on the internet was organized by VOICE and Ahmed Swapan Mahmud, executive director of VOICE moderated the occasion.
Afsan Chowdhury stated that the internet is now a widespread medium of free expression and the State and other powers in society are increasingly fearful of the attention given to alternative views. He argued that internet freedom should not be restricted by any means whilst emphasizing that we must to educate all citizens to build a strong moral ground and respect for others in society. The proposed online media policy would hamper democratic practices and governance processes in the country, he concluded.
[Dhaka, 27 January 2012] `VOICE’ a media advocacy organization calls NGOs, civil society organizations and rights groups to observe Privacy Day (28 January) to uphold privacy and data protection.
We urge the government to ensure people’s right to privacy through building policy coherence and creating an independent privacy commission.
Any interception and surveillance of email, messaging, telephony involving recording the conversations of clients’ messages is illegal for any operator. “Privacy” itself is guaranteed under Article 39(2)(a) and Article 43 of the fundamental rights of the Bangladesh Constitution. Article 33(2)(a) entrenches “the right of every citizen to freedom of speech and expression” and Article 43 guarantees “the privacy of home and correspondence and communications”.
Privacy also guaranteed in Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
A perception study on privacy rights conducted recently by VOICE, shows that 83% respondents feel uneasy to share very personal information (e.g. sexual desire) to others while 79% identified income as their 2nd most priority issue that they do not want to disclose and 75% people do not like to share information about their own resources.52% of respondents think that information would be unsafe and to used for another purposes.
“International Campaign on Climate Refugees’ Rights” Demanded New Legal Institutional Framework at Durban UN Talks
[Durban, 6 December 2011] Speakers in a public dialogue said that climate change catastrophe not only pose mortal danger but also lead to the destruction of the means of livelihood which threat to millions of people in the global south to become refugee. Recent studies show that around 30 million people from the coastal areas of Bangladesh, 300 thousand from the Maldives, 10 million from Vietnam, 10 million from Mediterranean Egypt, and 600 thousand from Guyana will be displaced due to loss of land as a result of climate change effects.
The public dialogue organized by the International Campaign on Climate Refugees’ Rights (ICCR) is held at the University of KwaZulu-Natal today while the civil society groups urged the global leaders to form legal framework for the displaced victims--climate refugee.
Ahmed Swapan Mahmud, convenor of the Campaign said“a legal safeguard protocol should be in place to ensure the political, social, cultural and economic rights of the climate refugees by the international community presently meeting under the Conference of Parties (COP-17) here in Durban, South Africa”.
CSOs to Focus on Climate Finance Oversight in Bangladesh
Two day Workshop and a Seminar in South Asia Social Forum Sets the Tone
Dhaka, November 20: CSOs from different parts of Bangladesh converged at a two-day workshop jointly organized by Voice, EquityBD and Bank Information Center has decided to focus more on monitoring the flow of climate finance in the country, insisted the participation of communities at all levels of project planning, implementation and monitoring, and initiated to link with other climate justice movements elsewhere in South Asia to strengthen the movement in Bangladesh.
[Dhaka, Wednesday, 24 August 2011] Speakers in the workshop said that privacy rights should be enshrined in legal framework building a trustworthy and democratic society. They also demanded data protection law to save the citizens from the private and government’s intrusion. The workshop titled ‘Privacy, Security & Public Interest’ has been held at the conference hall of Catholic Bishops of Conference of Bangladesh in the city organized by a rights based research and advocacy organization VOICE. Civil rights activists, women leaders, lawyers and media professionals have called for enactment of a law to protect personal information from intrusion for upholding principles of civil liberty and human rights.
[Dhaka, 29 December 2010] Speakers at a workshop on ‘privacy and human rights’ demanded to ensure personal information protection to ensure civil liberty and human rights. The workshop was held today (29 Dec 2010) at the conference hall of Chatholic Bishops Conference of Bangladesh (CBCB) in the city organized by rights based activist group VOICE and Privacy International. Speakers also called upon the government to enact a privacy act to protect privacy, personal information, correspondence and means of communication of people.
Syed Marghub Morshed, former chairman of Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC), eminent socio-economist Dr. Piash Karim from BRAC university, eminent journalist Selim Samad, Tahmina Rahman, country director of Article 19, economist Mohiuddin Ahmed, human rights activist Khairuzzaman Kamal from Bangladesh Manobadhikar Sangbadik Forum (BMSF) journalist Shahidul Shuvra, Khawaza Main Uddin, Kawsar Uddin spoke in the meeting among others. The human rights organizations, women groups, CSOs, NGOs, journalists, and activist groups attended the workshop.
The JCS itself declared that it was made ‘in order to implement our commitment made in Paris and Accra’ where the major part of these forums of including CSOs in the process was overlooked. Moreover, the JCS described a monitoring flow chart keeping Aid Effectiveness Working Group in the middle of Policy Making and Implementation. However not a single Working Group includes a single representative of CSOs in the process," said the speakers at the multi-stakeholders consultation on Aid Effectiveness on the Context of Joint Cooperation Strategy held in CIRDAP auditorium at Dhaka today, jointly organized by Aid Accountability Group (AAG) and The Reality of Aid Network.
Chairman of Pally Karmasahayak Foundation (PKSF) Dr. Quazi Khalikuzzama presided over the meeting. Former Finance Advisor Mirza Azizul Islam, eminent economist Professor Anu Muhammad, Joint Secretary of Economics Relations Division (ERD) Bijon Kumar Baishya, Former Secretary of Finance and Team Leader of Paris Declaration Evaluation-phase-2 Siddiqur Rahman Chowdhury, Representative of Reality of Aid Ava Danlog, Deputy Country Director of DFID Diana Dalton, European Union Attache of Aid Effectiveness Julia Jacoby, Women Leader Khusi Kabir and Ahmed Swapan Mahmud, Convenor of AAG were present among others.
Consultation Demands a Tri-party Relationship among NGOs, Government and Development Partners to Make Aid More Effective
[Dhaka, 25 August 2010] A national consultation titled `Engagement of Civil Society in Aid Effectiveness’ has been held at the national press club in the city today. The consultation was attended by a wide range of civil society groups including NGOs, community organizations, women rights groups, research and advocacy organizations, trade union groups, academicians, human rights organizations, media and activists. Eminent economist Dr. Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman of Palli Kormo Sahayak Foundation, Dr. Piash Karim from Brac University, Mohsin Ali, coordinator of Governance Advocacy Forum spoke in the meeting among others. Ahmed Swapan Mahmud, Executive Director of VOICE and Convenor of the Aid Accountability Group (AAG) moderated the consultation.
The meeting suggested to reform the aid delivery management and architecture to create enabling environment for the civil society organizations to make aid more effective. Speakers also said that a tri-party coordination among government-NGO and development agencies is also indispensable to achieve the goals and objectives of the Paris Declaration and Accra Action Agenda, and this should be the integral part of aid and development cooperation.
Independent CSO Watch Group Should be Formed to Ensure Aid Effectiveness:
Capacity and Efficiency of CSOs should be developed
Mymensingh, Bangladesh, 21 August 2010
A day-long consultation on “Civil Society Engagement on Aid Effectiveness” was held at the District Council Auditorium in Mymensingh on 21st August 2010. Jointly organized by Aid Accountability Group (AAG) and The Reality of Aid Network, 70 participants along with the local government representatives, political leaders, social workers, women organizations, NGOs, human rights organizations, journalists and activists of greater Mymensingh region participated in the program. Upazilla Chairman of Mymensingh Sadar Mr. Faijur Raman Fakir was present as chief guest while Yazdani Quraeshi, President of Supro (Campaign for Good Governance-CGG) Mymensingh district presided over the meeting.