How human rights has been violated in the context of the land rights of the aboriginals in Bangladesh?

Human right is indispensable rights of every human being. Its nature is inherent; it cannot be alienated or cannot be obtained by power or force. The concept of human rights has been established on the basis of human dignity. This dignity is acquired only when gets one’s rights properly. In spite of this, the Charter of United Nation, International Human Rights have been adopted.
Aboriginals have the same right as the ordinary people of the world. The UN and world community have given special emphasis on developing the human rights of the aboriginals. But it is emphatically true that aboriginals are being deprived of their rights. Literally, they are considered as human beings, but very often they receive subhuman treatment.
In Bangladesh the history of aboriginals is the history of oppression and deprivation of human rights. The reason is of the following;
1. Customarily the aboriginals have the rights to land. Article 27 of the UDHR states that,
“Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as association with others”.Article 11 and 12 of the International Labor Organization 1969, the right of ownership, collective or individual of all the members of population traditionally occupy shall be recognized”.

Bangladesh ratifies UDHR and ILO, so it is the duty of Bangladesh to recognize the right to ownership and possession of the aboriginals. Though article 13 and 42 of the Constitution of Bangladesh recognizes the right of ownership and of property. But problem arises towards the aboriginals. Where the Preamble states that “the society will be free from exploitation and must ensure the rule of law, fundamental human rights, equality and justice, will be secured for all citizens [here the term all citizens also includes the aboriginals cause they are within the territory of Bangladesh]” and article 2 states the territory of Bangla


2. Aboriginals have the right like other people in Bangladesh to occupy, transfer etc. land. Since 1947 or even after independence of Bangladesh, aboriginals had their cultivable lands, homestead, cattle, fowls and even some of them farm house. But, they never felt to keep their papers for the records of rights for their lands and properties. Local people taking advantage of their illiteracy and simplicity got their names recorded in places of aboriginals. Finally, the aboriginals were ejected from their own properties and homesteads
3. In the present Constitution the aboriginals are treated as “backward section of people instead of indigenous people”Aboriginals have the right to get nationality but they did not get even their citizenship is in doubt. In Govt. of Bangladesh vs. M.S. Ispahani [40 DLR (AD) 116, it was stated that “citizenship is distinct from nationality.” Where article 15 of the UDHR states everyone has the right to a nationality and no one shall be arbitrarily deprived from this right


4. Transfer of any of the aboriginal property is restricted by the laws of land in Bangladesh, if there be any such transfer, these may be done by taking permission of district authority. In presence of such laws, how the aboriginals are becoming rootless? All these transfers have been made fraudulently and by exercising undue influence on the authority. Many of the aboriginal have transferred their properties due to acute poverty or threat of local people. They cannot stand before the court or cannot get assistance by law, where article 7 of the UDHR and 27 of the Constitution of Bangladesh states, “everyone has the right to be treated equally before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of law.” And it becomes the total violation of human rights against them.
1.    5. In Northern districts of Bangladesh, people settled in the areas of aboriginal. Aboriginal seem to be rather suspicious of refugees, who are known to make use of any tactics to divest local people of their properties. The refugees have joined economically more powerful local groups who exploit the aboriginals in various ways. The aboriginal find it very difficult to understand how their land- which they have been cultivating for generations and paying taxes regularly- can become vested property of others or how khas land which they have been enjoying for years is now suddenly taken on lease by non-aboriginals.
    6. It has been mentioned in article 107 of the Convention of ILO,” the land of aboriginal must be protected they shall never be deprived of their right to property. If their lands are acquired for any public purpose in that case they must be given adequate compensation.” Bangladesh ratified the ILO convention of 1972, Department of Forest has been trying to evacuate 5000 aboriginals from Madhupur Hill Area, in the name of creating a National Park there. At Rajshahi a huge land have been illegally declare “vested property”under Vested Property Act, ignoring their rightful ownership
      Lastly, the aboriginal people in Bangladesh are marginalized as a result of the lack of respect for their culture, customs and traditions. They do not have the right to self-determination, control over their own land and territories, and full and effective participation in their decision making. The overall justice system in Bangladesh has long been seen to provide a deteriorating service to the population in general and for aboriginals is in particular. The right, both in human and fundamental, in aboriginal peoples been in adequate in their outreach and largely intensive to questions of cultural distinctiveness.

Law Help Bangladesh

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