Switzerland said it would continue to work with the government, civil society organisations and non-profit organisations for promotion of human rights and development in Bangladesh.
‘Human rights are intrinsically linked to development and vice versa,’ said charge d’affaires of Swiss embassy in Dhaka Christoph Fuchs.
He was addressing a panel discussion and film screening event held in Rajshahi on Monday.
The Embassy of Switzerland in Bangladesh, the Office of the United Nations Resident Coordinator, and human rights NGO Ain-o-Salish Kendra jointly organised the event to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and to highlight the importance of human rights.
Resident coordinator of the United Nations Mia Seppo noted that the ‘the importance of the Universal Declaration cannot be overemphasised. It puts countries on the road to rights and justice for all, leading away from discrimination, violence and lack of a voice.’
Eminent human rights activist Khushi Kabir, Professor ANM Wahid and Professor Bokhtiar Ahmed of Rajshahi University participated in the panel discussion while executive director of ASK Sheepa Hafiza moderated the discussions, said the Swiss embassy in Dhaka.
Highlighting the importance of human rights, the panel members talked about various aspects of civil rights and women’s rights as well as the recommendations of the Third Universal Periodic Review of Bangladesh in this regard.
The discussions followed a lively interaction with the audience who used the platform to express their views about and experience on exercising human rights in their everyday lives.
The event was widely attended by Rajshahi based human rights and civil society activists as well as university students.
Award winning Swiss film ‘Sonita’ featuring gender rights issues was screened at the event.
The event in Rajshahi was part of an international human rights film tour in over 45 countries organised by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights in Geneva.
In Bangladesh, the film tour was travelling to six cities in total, including Dhaka, Rangpur, Khulna, Rajshahi, Barisal and Chittagong.
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