Last week the Government withdrew the controversial CHT-travel restrictions. These discriminatory directives were in place for over a month and restricted foreigners’ travel to CHT and meetings with the indigenous community. Whether the lift of restrictions will be indeed implemented, however, remains to be seen.
GHRD is deeply concerned by the unconstitutional and discriminatory orders of the Home Ministry. No other region or minority group is imposed to such restrictions and surveillance from the government in Bangladesh. The decisions violate the basic human rights of indigenous peoples; while potentially hinder the monitoring and documentation of human rights violations in the CHT. It is clear that these restrictions will be harmful for the welfare of region and its people.
In November 2014, a thousand Hijras took to the streets of Dhaka to celebrate the landmark decision made by the Government to legally recognise Hijras as a third gender. This was the first ever transgender pride, organised by GHRD’s local partner Bandhu Social Welfare Society (BSWS), which marked the decision of the Government and celebrated gender diversity in Bangladesh.