About Protecting Human Rights (PHR)
Gender based violence (GBV) is present in all societies across the world and Bangladesh is no exception. It is a structural phenomenon embedded in the context of cultural, socio-economic and political power relations which reduce women to economic and emotional dependency, the property is some male protector. Societies organized around gendered, hierarchical power relationship give legitimacy to violence against women. GBV means violence against individuals or groups who are targeted because of their gender. Worldwide, women and girls are the primary victims of GBV. Violence not only affects women’s physical and psychological health but also negatively impacts on families, children and economies. GBV is a gendered social problem. It exists, and is perpetuated, by the roles, power relations and institutions that prevail between men and women.
In this context, Plan Bangladesh, is implementing a five year long (March 2011–March 2016) program named Protecting Human Rights (PHR) with the goal of reducing the high prevalence domestic violence (DV) and other related Human Rights (HR) violations in Bangladesh with the financial assistance of USAID with the partnership of Bangladesh Women’s Lawyers Association (BNWLA) and International Center for Research on Women (ICRW). The program is being implemented in 102 unions under 8 Upazilas of 6 districts- Barguna, Jessore, Bogra, Dinajpur, Sylhet and Chittagong.
Program Area of Protecting Human Rights (PHR)
The Program covers 102 Unions under 8 Upazillas that fall under 6 districts The districts are Barguna, Jessore, Bogra, Dinajpur, Sylhet and Chittagong. The Upazillas are Barguna Sadar, Manirampur, Sariakandi, Shibganj, Sonatala, Chirrirbandar, Balaganj and Patiya.
PHR Program Strategy
Following strategies has been set-out to implement the project in collaboration with relevant stakeholders:
•Develop Human Rights Forum to conduct evidence-based advocacy and policy dialogue for creating an enabling policy environment to protect Domestic Violence and raising voice for ensuring service delivery for the survivors;
•Develop collaborative relations with relevant 8 ministries i.e. Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Information, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Social Welfare, Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives and Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs ;
•Enhance capacity of the journalists to cover DV and other related HR violation issues; •Engage media for raising awareness through dissemination of gender based information and other related HR violations;
•Establish Service Improvement Plan to provide small grants support to 20 local partner NGOs;
•Develop website to disseminate project information and
•Develop Social Protection Group as part of its sustainability to work under the umbrella of union parishad and beyond the project period.
The PHR Program aims to bring some discernible changes in the Domestic Vi
olence and Human Rights situation of Bangladesh. The major ones are listed below:
• Adoption of laws and policies that criminalize Domestic Violence and protect Human Rights.
• Increase in the use of legal services by survivors, including formal and informal mechanisms (e.g. ADR).
• Increase in the public understanding and awareness of their human rights and
the impact of violations on vulnerable groups and community as compared to the baseline data.
• Increase in the awareness and knowledge of law enforcement judges, prosecutors, labor inspectors, and other Government officials on the legal rights of vulnerable groups through follow-up training.
• Improved capacity and performance of targeted key players in the fight against Domestic Violence and other Human Rights abuse.
• Increase in the enforcement rate of legislation, High Court guidelines etc.
• Increase in the number of Human Rights cases filed and prosecuted.
• Increase in the availability, quality, and use of social services by survivors of Human Rights abuses. • Change in the quality of the tracking and monitoring of Human Rights abuses.
• Increased awareness within target groups of Domestic Violence resulting in reduction of tolerance for human rights abuse.
• Increased willingness on the part of targeted groups to prevent Human Rights abuses.
• Decrease in the number of Human Rights abuses in the targeted areas.
PHR Major Activities
The program’s major activities can be grouped under five broad categories. These are Advocacy, Capacity Building, Access to Justice, Survivor Services and Mass Awareness & Educational Campaign. Each of the components has been briefly elaborated.
• Advocating for developing rules of procedures and the enforcement of the provisions of the law;
• Linking into global efforts related to the International Violence Against Women Act;
• Formation of National Human Rights Advocacy Forum;
• Recognizing champions;
• Developing Information, Educational and Communication materials.
PHR program is giving training to increase the capacity of relevant duty bearers including GoB officials, Police, Prosecutors, Judges, HR defenders, Journalists, Religious leaders, Medical staff and members of NGOs, Community Police and Community Leaders of different levels on issues such as:
• legal matters, perpetrator monitoring, reporting and prosecution, • critical exercise to change the attitude of the duty bearers and rights holders,
• training on gender sensitivity reporting, monitoring etc.
Access to Justice:
• Dissemination of legal information and training;
• Providing direct legal services including fact findings;
• Providing temporary shelter to victims;
• Strengthening the informal justice system and improving efficiency in the formal system;
• Developing a comprehensive referral system within the Upazila;
• Providing Door-Step Legal Counseling;
• Providing psychosocial counseling.
Under the PHR program the Domestic Violence survivors are receiving the following services:
• Psychosocial, emergency and long term shelter;
• Medical treatment, legal aid,skills and livelihoods training;
• Rehabilitation and reintegration support;
• Comprehensive referral system.
• Organizing public awareness campaign in collaboration with different ministries and other stakeholders;
• Organizing educational campaign in partnership with different ministries;
• Producing and transmitting IEC and AV materials for advocacy and behavioral change; • Celebrating national and international days at local and national level.
Address of PHR-BNWLA Area Office
PHR Chittagong Office
Advocate Harun Or Rashid
Project office: Dist. Council, Laldeghirpar, Court Road, Chittagong
PHR Sylhet Office
Advocate Jakiya Jalal
Project office: House-44’ Road-2,Block-E, Shahjala Upashaar,Sylhet
PHR Jessore Office
A.B.M. Mohid Hossain
Project office: Shoshtitala, PTI Road, Jessore
PHR Barguna Office
Advocate Iftekhar Azad Manna
Project office: Athina Cottage, Collage Road, Barguna Sadar, Barguna
PHR Dinajpur Office
Advocate Sanaul Sayem
Project office: Red Crescent Hospital,Paharpur, Dinajpur
PHR Bogra Office
Advocate Shawradi Shabnam
Shapno Office, Near of Women Club, Jaleshwaritala, Bogra.