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Injustice not acceptable in name of development: NHRC chief

UNB NEWS

Sunday 08 July, 2018 06:51:06 pm

Injustice not acceptable in name of development: NHRC chief

Speakers at a view exchange meeting held at the office of NHRC on Sunday. Photo: UNB

Dhaka, July 8 (UNB) – Nobody should be deprived of their land rights for any development activities, said National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Chairman Kazi Reazul Hoque on Sunday.

Mentioning the incident of setting fire to the houses of Santal community during the eviction drive in Gobindaganj upazila in 2016, he said in the process of land accusation for development activities, the compensation for land owner should be satisfactory and adequate.

The NHCR chairman came up with the observations while addressing a view exchange meeting on ‘Land rights as human rights: Implementing the UN Guiding Principles of Business and Human Rights’ held at the office of NHRC in the city.

At least nine human right bodies including NHRC and Association for Land Reform and development (ALRD) organised the programme.

He said with the funding of international monetary organisations, many transnational companies undertook various development programmes in different parts of the country including the hill tracks reason but they did not consult with the local communities and cognise their problems.

“For these activities, locals have to experience evection from their lands which is a violation of human rights”, Reazul Hoque added.

He also mentioned that under the business and human rights direction of the United Nations Guiding Principles, the business institutions should be more sensible towards the people in the process of land accusation.

While speaking about the land rights of women, the chairman of NHRC urged that land ownership of the women need to be increased and female farmers have to be given all required facilities for their empowerment.

He also urged for a balanced land policy and law where land acquisition process, distributing khas land among the landless, land ownership of the women would be well composed.

While presiding over the programme, Khushi Kabir, coordinator of a NGO Nijera Kori and Chairperson of ALRD, said “A land zoning system and land policy should be installed by taking the UN Guiding Principles of Business and Human Rights under consideration which will help to protect people from land right violations.”

UN Guiding Principles of Business and Human Rights was imposed by UN Human Rights Commission in June 2011, which seek to provide an influential global standard for preventing and addressing the risk of adverse human rights impacts linked to business activity.

She also urged for a people-centered land governance to prevent and remedy land-grabbing, respecting traditional land use rights and ending land related violence and harassments immediately.

In the programme, at least four articles were presented on land rights by the participants of hosting organisations while Banchita Chakma, a member of NHRC and other development activists attended.