Rights and Governance

Rights and Governance
Human rights and the importance of law are fundamental and recognized aspects for all individuals. The ownership of rights enables people to actively participate in decision-making processes regarding their own lives, expressing their creative potential and foster social unity.

Sabalamby Unnayan Samity (SUS) has been implementing various programs on rights and governance in the districts of Netrakona, Sunamgonj, Mymensingh, Jamalpur, and Sherpur. These initiatives aim to empower communities, ensuring their access to justice and the realization of all their rights. In societies like ours, characterized by high levels of poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, lack of awareness about rights and responsibilities and limited social security; it is common scenario of violation of laws, manipulation of justice and declining moral values. To overcome such challenges, it is crucial to raise awareness among all strata of society about their civil rights, facilitate easy and affordable access to justice for everyone and promote transparency and accountability across all sectors. Only then can an equitable platform for the distribution of rights and services be established for all members of society.

In such circumstances, the poor, ultra-poor and marginalized individuals often become the primary victims due to their inability to access justice and their lack of awareness. It is therefore necessary to unite and empower these segments of the community, enabling them to claim their rights through formal channels. Additionally, it is essential to ensure the availability of necessary services and support for them. Despite limited resources, SUS provides direct assistance to victims of major violence, such as acid attacks, rape, physical abuse or divorced women through shelter home support and other capacity-building measures.

The approach taken under the Rights and Governance theme is dynamic by encompassing various components. One crucial aspect of this work is strengthening the governance of existing groups by promoting transparency and accountability. SUS collaborates closely with community members at the local level, fostering a sense of responsibility and transparency.

Thematic Objective
To improve the situation of social environment by reducing violence, strengthening governance and getting access into justice.

Social and Behavior Change (SBC) Project
SUS has started a project on “Social Behavioral Change (SBC)” project at 7 upazila of Netrakona (Mohangonj, Kalmakanda & Khaliajuri upazila), Jamalpur (Islampur & Dewangonj upazila) and Sherpur (Sreebordi & Nalitabari upazila) districts for the period of 01 December 2022 to 30 November 2024.

The goal of the project is “By 2024, system and mechanism to facilitate increased utilization of services, promotion and adoption of specific key childcare practices and positive social norms and engagement of community including adolescent in development and emergency context strengthen”.

ASTHA Project
SUS has started the project at 28 upazila of Netrakona, Mymensingh and Sherpur districts by the financial assistance of ‘Rupantar’. The project will be continued from 01 November 2023 to 31 March 2026.

The project will create content to establish civic opinion, outreach for the rights of youth, women and the marginalized to raise their voices and engage with policymakers to uphold peace, tolerance, harmony and governance. Through the project initiatives, active participation of youth and women-led civic groups is expected to contribute to maintaining the development process initiated by GO-NGOs and development partners.

Overall Goal
Tolerant and peaceful democratic spaces are promoted by upholding human rights in civic and social sectors through active engagement for empowered civic activists, youth, women, minorities and marginalized groups.

▪ To encourage active youth engagement at the grassroots level of the working area to prevent communal violence and promote peace, tolerance, social harmony, and good governance.
▪ To explore the opportunity of youth leadership by creating the scope of synchronized actions and interactions among youth, community leaders, and seniors.
▪ To engage the grassroots level youth, male and female, from marginalized communities in the mainstream development process of the country, as per the guidance of National Youth Policy 2017.

Defending Human Rights through Network Strengthening (DHRNS)
Sabalamby Unnayan Samity (SUS) has been implementing the project at Netrakona sadar upazila of Netrakona district with the assistance of Manobadhikar Sangskriti Foundation (MSF) since 01 September 2019 which will be continued upto 31 August 2020 with a view to establish rights of the people.It has extended its period from 01 September 2020 to 31 August 2022.

Through this project, people will be made aware about their rights. Network of human rights activists (Journalist, Lawyers, Retired persons, Teachers, representatives of Local Government and other conscious persons) will be formed and side by side, truth investigation as well as reporting will be done of human rights violation incidences. For this reason, human rights violation incidences e.g. kidnap, fear, panic, terrorism will be reduced in the society. Mutual respect, dignity, morality will be increased which will keep contribution for establishing an accountable society and it will also keep direct contribution to implement Sustainable Development Goal-16 and vision 2021.

Engagement of Community for Improving Health Services (ECIHS)
Bangladesh Health Watch (BHW) started its journey in 2006 as a group of concerned citizens and experts with a vision of facilitating universal health coverage for all the citizens in Bangladesh. Since the foundation, BHW have been working to bring about sustainable improvements in the health sector in Bangladesh through research, documentation, policy advocacy and networking. BHW officially started to work with the regional representative SUS in July 2021. SUS has been working since September 2021 as a catalyst with a view to activate and make the health sector more effective by forming District Health Rights Forum, District Youth Rights Forum, Upazila Health Rights Forum and Upazila Youth Rights Forum. 

Vision of BHW: Universal Health Coverage is ensured for all citizens of Bangladesh.

A Brief Review of BHW and SUS Journey
After the partnership between BHW and SUS; forming some local citizen groups and sensitizing them on health rights was 1st initiative. Current Civil Society Organizations are as follows: 

  1. District Health Rights Forum
  2. District Health Rights Youth Forum
  3. Upazila Health Rights Forum
  4. Upazila Health Rights Youth Forum

Right Here- Right Now
To safe the sexual health and reproductive health of adolescents and youth; Naripokkho has been operating “Right Here- Right Now (RHRN)” project from 2017-2020. Sabalamby Unnayan Samity (SUS) has been implementing “Right Here- Right Now (RHRN)” project from June 2021 in Netrakona sadar and Kendua upazila of Netrakona district. It’s started from March 2023.

Project Objectives
-By increasing their skills, the youth will be able to claim their rights according to their needs.
-Young people will create awareness about reproductive health and rights, human rights and gender.
-The government will review existing laws, policies and formulate new laws and policies based on human rights to protect the rights of youth.
-Civil society will unite and strengthen youth reproductive health and rights and gender equality.