Dhaka, 19 March 2019. Today a group of 18 Rights Based Civil Society Networks have demanded the tax money to invest for establishing women’s rights through a human chain organized in front of National Press Club Dhaka. Speakers mentioned that “Men are enjoying the benefits of food, health, healthcare, education, entertainment and other facilities more than women around the world. Women are discriminated in order to participate in economic activities, uneven recruitment, promotions, wages etc. But the participation of women in both formal and non-formal areas are increasing. On the other hand, the unpaid care work is not counted in the national economy. Speakers demanded on recognition of women contribution in the economy and also urged to reduce the burden on women and demanded redistribution of tax revenue with justice with more investment to the women.

The human chain is facilitated by EquityBD, moderated by Mr. Mustafa Kamal Akanda and the key note has been presented by Ms. Ferdous Ara Rumee of same organization. Among others, Ms. Rehana Akter of Bangladesh Krishani Shova, Mr. Badrul Alam of Bangladesh Krishak Federation, Mr. Barkat Ullah Maruf of COAST Trust, Mr. Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of EquityBD spoke at the human chain. They demanded; (a) inclusion of domestic works contribution in national economy and GDP (Gross Domestic Product) , (b) Do not privatization of education, health, water and energy, which create extra burden to the women in families, (c) Abolish wage discrimination between man and women, (d) Invest money in education and women skill, (e) No VAT (Value Added Tax) on women headed family, (f) Recognize care giving work of the women, (g) Make taxes regime work for women and (h) Ensure women friendly workplace and daycare center for children.

In the written statement Ms. Rumee said, Women’s participation and contribution in the economy is increasing day by day. However, women participation in the formal sector is not yet expected. About 80 percent of the working people involved in the informal sector are women. But women get less wage and other benefits than men with similar labor. But, these women also have to buy essential goods and public services at the same price. On the women give more time than men in domestic and care work which are not included in the national income; the monetary value is about 77 percent of GDP.

Ms. Rehana Akter said, there are no day care center in several garment’s factories, government and non-government organizations in the city, except for a few. She urged the government to increase investment in creating a women-friendly environment and day-care center for equality at work.

Mr. Rezaul Karim Chowdhury demands to recognize the women activities by government and must be asses their monetary value in our economy. Thus male domination would be change and women rights along with their dignity should be establish in the family, society and even the state.
Please download related paper [Bangla Press Release] [English Press Release] [Bangla Position Paper] [English Position Paper] [Festoon]
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Dhaka, 23rd February 2019. Today COAST a NGO have organized seminar with PDD international steering committee members at Hotel Intercontinental Dhaka on climate displacement. PDD is a state led body with the membership of 18 state including European Union, France, Germany and Canada. At present Bangladesh is the chair and France is the vice chair, until 2018 Germany was the chair. The seminar was Chair by Dr. Atiq Rahman of BCAS, moderated by Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of COAST. Chief Guest of the seminar was Mr Sahidul Haque Foreign Secretary of Government of Bangladesh and Special Guest Professor Walter Kaelin the Special Envoy of the Chair also spoken in the seminar. The seminar was attended by 21 international guests who will be participating in a two day meeting will be held in the city as organized by Government of Bangladesh. Speakers of the event especially different state representatives, express solidarity with struggle of climate displaced. Both civil society, state and UN agency representatives urged to promote two global compacts namely Global Compact on Migration (GCM) and Global Compact on Refugees (GCR), where states under the leadership of UN has acknowledge the climate displaced issues and pleaded to promote the course of actions as proposed in those compacts.
Other speakers of the seminar was Dr. Monjurl Hannan Khan Additional Secretary, Md Mohsin Additional Secretary, Mr Steven Corliss Country Representative UNHCR, Mr Giorgi Gigauri Country Representative IoM, Dr Ainun Nishat of BRAC University, Ms Farah Kabir Action Aid Bangladesh, Dr. Mahbuba Nasreen Dhaka University, Mr. Nayeem Gowhar Warha Disaster Forum, Mr Gopal Krishna Siwakoti Asia Pacific Refugee Right Network, Professor Walter Kelin Special Envoy to the Chair of PDD, and Mr Atle Solegerg, Head of Coordination Unit of PDD.
Mr Syed Aminul Haque from COAST has given key note presentation, in his presentation he said that in view of IDMC (Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre) study, there are per year more than 1 million climate or disaster related displacement in Bangladesh. In future this will be increased due to the increased frequency of slow and rapid on set disasters. He has pleaded for polluter pay principle and demand legally binding international covenant for rights and protection of climate related displaced, as they are the innocent victim.
Mrs. Farah Kabir urged to give importance to the concern of Women and Children in the policies and course of actions for climate displaces, she also mentioned Bangladesh should have policy to provide employment to this displaced people in hundred economic zones. UNHCR country representatives Mr Steven and IoM country representatives Mr Gorgio urged and give importance to the promotion of issues related to the climate displaced both in two global compacts as agreed in UN. Professor Walter Kelin, there are three important state agreed tools, Sendai frame work and two global compacts, proposed a level of protection to the disaster displaced, now it is the priority to work on that. Foreign Secretary Mr Sahidul Haque said that, Bangladesh continue to work in all the international fronts especially also in Human Right council on the rights and protection of disaster and climate displaced.
Please Download related paper [Bangla Press] [English Press]

Related Paper for Dialogue/Seminar:

  1. Global Compact on Migration_GCM_UN Adopted Final doc [English]
  2. Summary of GCM [English] [Bangla]
  3. Global Compact on Refugee_GCR_UN Adopted Final doc [English]
  4. Summary of GCR [English] [Bangla]
  5. Protection Agenda_Disaster Displaced Person_Cross Border [English] [Bangla]
  6. Protection Agenda_Disaster Displaced Person_IDP [English] [Bangla]
  7. PDD (Platform on Disaster Displacement)_ A Briefing Note [English] [Bangla]

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EquityBD Secretary Office observes the International Mother Language Day today to pay the profound honor to the Martyrs in 1952 who sacrificed their lives for Human Dignity and Democratic Society. Without the mother language we hardly can express our thoughts and expression in the best way.

Giving space to everyone in the society irrespective of class, race, religion and political ideologies was the core idea of this International Mother Language Day. EquityBD pledged to promote the freedom of speech for everyone in the society believing Democracy and tolerance is the best way to achieve this.

Today at 6.30 in the Morning EquityBD officials gathered to the Central Shahid Minar of Dhaka to offer the flower bouquet on the mound of the monument.
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Report:  Report on CoP-24 Participation

Duration: 01 to 15 December, 2018

Place: Katowice in Poland.

Participant: Syed Aminul Hoque

The 24th CoP (Conference of the Parties) is held in Katowice in Poland with participation of around 195 countries and their representatives from government official, climate scientist, civil society and development activist and campaigners. I have also participated in this two week long global event since 1-15 December. The CoP mainly facilitated the discourse on the implementation of Paris Agreement especially (globally agreed document in 2015 in CoP-21 climate change conference) reducing global warming and fighting climate change impacts. Here I have tried to put my observation and progress of this global negotiation. [Click here full report]

Today December 24 2018, CSO (civil society organization) s representatives have organized a press conference today held at national press club and criticize the outcome of global climate change negotiation (CoP-24 held in Katwise / Poland during 01-14 Dec’2018). They said that the outcome is frustrating and hardly incompatible with Paris Agreement. They also criticize the proposed “Paris Rulebook” that has ignored the MVCs (Most Vulnerable Countries) interest as there have no specific decision and text regarding to reducing global temperature up to 1.5 degree, financing, displacement and Loss and Damage, which were key demands of MVCs (Most Vulnerable Countries).

The press conference was moderated by M. Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, Chief Moderator of EquityBD and key note paper was read out by Mr. Syed Aminul Hoque of same organization. Among others, Mr. Qumrul Islam Chowdhury of FEJB (Federation of Environmental Journalist in Banagldesh), Md. Shamsuddoha of Chief Executive-CPRD (Centre for Participatory Research & Development) and Mr. Badrul Alam (Banglaesh Krishak Federation) spoke in the event.

Presenting of key note, Syed Aminul said that the and latest progress of CoP 24 negotiation outcome is frustrating and there are hardly any particular text of in the proposed Paris Rule Book on financial commitment, technology and capacity building issues for vulnerable countries. Syed Aminul condemned developed countries for backtrack on their commitment to provide these supports. He also expressed concerned that Paris Rulebook has neglected the climate changed displacement and Loss and damage; vulnerable countries largely side-lined on their own to address the impacts of climate change.

Mr. Shamsuddoha criticized as COP-24 is failed in fact to increase ambition of countries to cut the emissions of greenhouse gases as per the findings of the IPCC’s Special Report on 1.5 degree. The refusal of the CoP especially by developed countries to take the IPCC report will seriously undermine the implementations of Paris Agreement, in fact which will further aggravated the suffering of MVCs.

Mr. Qumrul Islam Chowdhury said since the Paris Agreement we lost our demand like historical responsibility and compensation and in 2018, we lost responsible support commitment like unconditional support from developed countries in fighting climate change through adopting the Paris Rulebook. Our country as vulnerable are now, that we will have to be self-depended to mitigate, to adapt, and to protect our people from climate impacts especially in coastal areas.

Mr. Badrul Alam opine that developed countries has able successfully to dilute their financial commitment of 100 billion dollar during pre 2020 period even 2025 onward with new financial goal. MVCs have now no option to raise their voice either for historical responsibility, polluter pay principle and demanding compensation as well.

Moderator of the press conference Mr. Rezaul Karim Chowdhury opined that, UNFCCC is now turned a platform of talk show without any results. But even though Bangladesh need to continue to raise voice. For consistency of position, continuity of the negotiators and all above for integration of climate issue in the national planning, a supra body like climate commission should be formed like what have had happened in Philippines. He expressed hope that, political leaders should be serious on the issue in future, political parties should announce their position in their election manifesto.
Please download related Paper [Bangla Press] [English Press] [Position Paper]
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Poland, 12 December 2018: Civil Society leaders from MVCs (Most Vulnerable Countries) and LDCs (Least Developed Countries) termed the negotiation outcome frustrating in a press conference held today in the CoP 24 Global Climate Negotiation in Poland. They demanded to finalize the Paris Rulebook as urgent action within this CoP-24. They also demanded to ensure first-start financing by developed countries that is in fact important for adaptation actions for MVCs and their survival.
The Press conference titled “MVC & LDC Peoples’ expectations and CoP 24” held at the meeting room of climate conference center, Poland where CSO leaders including Dr. Ainun Nishat (Delegate of Bangladesh govt. Negotiation Team), Mr. Soumya Datta (Member, Advisory committee of UNFCCC Climate Change Technology Center and Network-CTCN and Coordinator-Climate Action Network- South Asia, India), Mrs. Rushka Sthapit (Secretary-LDC Watch), Md. Shamsuddoha (CPRD, Bangladesh) and Mr. Manjeet Dakhal (LDC Negotiator) participated and spoke. The key demand is presented by Mr. Golam Rabbani (Research Fellow, Bangladesh Center for Advance Study) and Aminul Hoque (EquityBD) from Bangladesh.
Presenting of key demand, speakers said that the bleak ongoing performance and progress of CoP 24 negotiation is frustrating for us and there is no particular text of finalizing the Paris Rulebook, financial commitment with first-start financing and new Goal of Finance post 2020 period for implementation of MVC & LDCs adaptation actions. Favoring LDCs interest, they put four demands including i. Finalize the Paris Rule book as urgent action and within CoP-24, ii. Ensure first-start financing by developed countries for MVCs to start their most urgent adaptation actions, iii. Ensure easier access to GCF for MVCs Govt.-NGOs stakes and iv. WIM-Excom. (Executive Committee of Warsaw International Mechanism) report on displacement and loss & damage must be linking with GST (Global Stock Take) and Transparency Framework with separate financial mechanism.
Mr. Shamsuddoha said that making the rulebook on implementation of Paris Agreement is very much inadequate and itself flout due to overwhelming with huge divergences of views among Parties on many issues. CoP-24 leaders will have change their mindset, stop the vested role-playing and engage in the negotiation giving more and balanced focus of both MVCs interest. So that Paris Rule book to be developed based on the science limiting 1.5 degree warming, he opined.
Mr. Soumya Datta said if we want really a transformative changes, the finance is crucial. But the rich countries are playing a dirty game, because the US$100 billion dream is not coming anywhere yet and leveraging the private finance to make burden for MVC & LDCs in the name of climate finance. So it’s better to start repent the financing agreement and its process. The rulebook may talk a lot about reporting, verification and review, but these cannot be productive until it is owned by the rich countries and that finance is really needed to lowering global temperature.
Dr. Ainun Nishat said The IPCC Special Report on 1.5°C rise, the stakes of current ambition of GHGs reduction and said there is a “huge moral, ethical imperative” for leaders to “step up” for new ambition. So we reiterating that the stocktaking is an opportunity for rich and developed countries reconsideration the assessment and enhancing of GHGs reduction target and implementation of ambition in view of 1.5 degree temperature goal achieving.
Please download [Bangla Press] [English Press] [Position Paper]

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Today December 05 2018, in CoP 24 Global Climate Negotiation in Poland, Civil Society leaders from MVCs (Most Vulnerable Countries) and LDCs (Least Developed Countries) have meet a press conference in CoP-24 premises and demand for urgent action by developed countries to keep global warming to 1.5 degree temperature. They also demanded that the “Paris Rule Book” (Propose modalities to implement Paris Agreement) will contain MVCs interest addressing their vulnerability and survival strategies.
The Press conference titled “MVC & LDC’s Peoples’ expectations and CoP 24” held at the meeting room of climate conference center, Poland where representatives of different CSO leader like Dr. Ainun Nishat (Delegate of Bangladesh govt. Negotiation Team), Mr. Sanjay Vashist (Coordinator-Climate Action Network- South Asia, India), Mr. Hemantha Withanage (Executive Director-Center for Climate Justice, Sri Lanka), Mr. Atle Solberg (Head of Coordination-Platform of Disaster Displacement-PDD, Geneva) and Mrs. Lena Barenn (Coordinator-Norwegian Refugee Council-NRC, Geneva) are participated and spoke and the key demand is presented by Aminul Hoque (EquityBD) from Bangladesh.
Presenting of key demand, Aminul Hoque said that due to inaction of global leaders to climate change issues, global warming already reached more than 0.85 degree Celsius which worsening the climate scenario, that’s why the IPCC latest report made it clear; the world must come together now to take serious action to stop global warming. He says that MVCs are mostly affected. The impact deprives the most vulnerable groups from basic universal rights, particularly people living in coastal areas along with women and girls.
Sanjay Vashist said keeping to 1.50C, GHGs (Green Hose Gases) emissions would have to decline by about 45% between 2010 and 2030 and hit net zero in 2050. That’s significantly faster than what is needed for 20C a reduction of around 20% by 2030. We urged to developed countries to revise and enhance their NDCs as urgent action in reducing GHGs based on the IPPC 1.5 degree strategy. He also opined for ensuring long term finance for long term adaptation of MVCs.
Atle Solberg express deep concern on displacement that’s happening in MVCs due to climate change impacts. Developed countries have to recognize this issue and CoP-24 is opportunity to move this issue with effective manner. TFD (Task Force on Displacement) will submit recommendations to the parties but need to start their action to avoid risk of displacement.
Mr. Hemantha Withanage said that, we repeatedly remind the develop countries has an obligation to put adequate resource in to the climate financing. Report says that only 6.6 billion is available that insufficient, that’s why MVCs have to make big budget for disaster management which undermine real development for Health, Education etc. So developed countries should be accountable to appropriate finance at least climate issues and not push the ODA (Official Development Assistance) as climate finance.
Dr Ainun Nishat said CSO will have to raise their voice, because IPCC “1.5°C” report made many messages for developed countries, but it’s core is surely that developed countries will have to take lead keeping “the global temperature to well below 2°C” while “pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C” be an inspirational one and its possible.
Please Download related paper [Bangla Press] [English Press] [Position Paper]
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Dhaka, 13 November 2018. Today ten Civil Society Organizations (CSO) demanded an effective government role to ensure the interest of Most Vulnerable Countries (MVC) in upcoming CoP 24 (Conference of the Parties 24) global climate negotiation to be held in Poland. They also opined that Bangladesh should take strong position in CoP-24 for a legally binding commitment with high emission reduction target from developed countries and big polluters to achieve global warming below 2.0 degree Celsius. These demands are raised in the national seminar titled “CoP 24 Climate Conference: Expectation from CSOs in view of Implementing Paris Agreement” held at National Press Club, Dhaka.
Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of EquityBD moderated the seminar while keynote paper is presented by Syed Aminul Hoque from same organization. Dr. Quzi Kholiquzzaman, Chairman-PKF has chaired the meeting where Dr. Hasan Mahmud MP, Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF &CC) as chief guest and Dr. S. M. Munjurul Hanan Khan, Additional Secretary – MoEF&CC participated as special guest. Among other speakers Dr. Aynun Nishat-Professor Emeritus of BRAC University, Mr. Qumrul Islam Chowdhury of FEJB (federation of Environmental Journalist), Md. Pothar Hossen of BCJF (Bangladesh Climate Journalist Forum), Mr. Gerry Fox (Team Leader-PROKAS), Md. Ziaul Hoque Mukta from CSRL (Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihood), Md. Shamsuddoha of Chief Executive-PRDI spoke in the seminar.
In the keynote presentation Syed Aminul Hoque said that the CoP 24 conference is going to adopt “Paris Rule book” to implement the Paris Agreement which is very important to save country interest especially finance, technology and capacity building support. So our govt. delegation should strong position while setting modalities in Paris Rule book that ensure easier and effective access among these support mechanism.
Dr. Quzi Kholiquzzaman said that success of climate negotiation outcome will be threatened since the politics behind the scene is stronger than temperature goal. We, therefore, have to work with own capacity based on our resource.
Dr. Hasan Mahmud stressed on govt. position for the target of high emission reduction by big polluter countries as global temperature increasing and must rise up to more than three degree centigrade if all countries fulfill their commitment on reducing taregt. But we are frustrated observing the role of developed countries and their dubious role in implementing the PA. So CSO role is imperative like previous and raise voice together indeed
Dr. Aynun Nishat opine to take CSO recommendations before government position and should importance to hear CSO opinion. This is being slower somehow but need further strengthen. He also advice government to raise voice on the issues of Capacity building in upcoming CoP.
Dr. Munjurul Hanan Khan said that, Bangladesh has been playing a good role since the climate negotiations and there have well coordination between CSOs and govt. that is our strength. This CoP we also going to prepare our position and we will included our CSO opinion.
Please download related paper [Bangla Press Release] [English Press Release] [Presentation EquityBD] [IPCC Report Bangla] [IPCC Report English]

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Dhaka, 8th November 2018. Today thirty-two civil society rights group facilitated by Equity and Justice Working Group Bangladesh (EquityBD) in cooperation with Tax and Financial Justice Asia (TAFJA) and Global Alliance for Tax Justice (GATJ) and as a part of global week of action, have organized a human chain rally in front of national press club Dhaka, where they have demanded party election manifesto with measures to contain illicit flow or capital flight, bank money embezzlement and black money. They urged to stop culture of political patronage to create “Robber Baron” in the country, and they have also urged to make the loan information of MP (Member of Parliament) public in forthcoming election. The rally was moderated by Mostafa Kamal Akanda of EquityBD, other speakers of the rally were, Md Shariful Islam Bangladesh Foundation, Mahbub Khokan Jatiya Unnayan Parishad, Feroza Begum Bachete Sheko Nari, Qader Hazari Aorpon, Sayed Aminul Haque, Ahsanul Karim and Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of EquityBD.

Apart from these key demand the group has placed six demands in this regard, (i) To control banking and financial sector central bank should be independent and there should be banking reform commission, (ii) loan defaulters and those who reschedule the loan again and again, they should not be given MP nomination, (iii) Bangladeshi’s whose name came in panama and paradise papers should not be given MP nomination, (iv) There should be white paper on Bangladesh Bank reserve money hacking, share market scam, responsible person should be given punishment, (v) To stop illicit money transfer there should be a cell to compare international price market, and (vi) To eliminate corruption, national integrity strategy should be implemented in all level.
Ahsanul Karim of EquityBD said that during 1870 to 1914 in the history of United State of America’s capitalist growth there was state or political patronage to elite and rich people to accumulate wealth in primitive way, who has been named as Robber Baron in the history. Same culture is happening in our country for last 47 years, but the difference is that those US Robber Barrons have had invested those money in their own country, but in our country such Robber Baron transfer their capital in developed country like Siungapore, Malaysia, Canada and other different tax heavens. According to the GFI (Global Financial Integrity) report 2017 it is more then 9.11 billion dollars, on which we could have two Padma bridge. Sayed Aminul Haque of EquityBD said that, these Robber Barons now is being occupying our politics. But the parliaments should be filled with honest people who are not greedy and no track record of primitive accumulation.
Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of EquityBD and COAST said the country should not be like Zimbawe, Hondurus and Venezuela, that because of mismanagement of financial sector, our families will abandon their children will started mass migration. It is the poor migrant of the country send dollars while rich do illicit transfer of those. In fact there are little of private investment in last five years. He urged Prime Minister and political leaders to take action to contain illicit flow and to create confidence of the private investor and people.
Please Download Related Paper [Bangla Press Release] [English Press Release] [Position Paper]
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Dhaka, 19 March 2019. Today a group of 18 Rights Based Civil Society Networks have demanded the tax money to invest for establishing women's...