Odhikar is a human rights organisation in Bangladesh that was founded in 1994 and registered with the NGO Affairs Bureau in March 1995. The principal objectives of the organization are to raise the awareness of human rights and its various abuses, on the one hand and to create a vibrant democratic system through election monitoring on the other. The organization also carries out policy advocacy to address the current human rights situation. It has a network of human rights defenders all over the country.
One of the broader missions of Odhikar is election monitoring. Over the years, Odhikar has established itself as one of the credible and reliable organizations in Bangladesh on monitoring of elections, both national and local. Internationally it has earned reputation and has established relationship with regional election and democracy campaign organizations. Odhikar especially focuses on abuses committed by law enforcement agencies (in prisons, police stations etc.) and those affecting vulnerable groups, ethnic and religious minorities and women and children. It actively campaigns for more effective monitoring in all sections of governance where inefficient practice can lead to the violation of human rights. In doing so, it is hoped that a more transparent and accountable system can be achieved, leading to an active democracy in which all sections of society can freely participate.
In 2005 Odhikar raised awareness about these and other issues. Odhikar believes that stressing the negative side of the human rights balance will make people realize the necessity for a healthy State respecting human rights and, in the end, hopefully make it put much more weight on the positive side of the balance.
Main projects carried out by Odhikar in 2005 and described in this report were:
- Investigation, Research and Publication of Human Rights Violations Program
- Ratification of the Statute of International Criminal Court by Bangladesh: An Advocacy and Campaign Initiative
The report also contains:
- an overview and statistics on human rights violations in Bangladesh throughout 2005
- an overview of the meetings, seminars and workshops organized by Odhikar.
- an overview of ongoing programs and future activities
Annual_activity_report_2005 (full text in English, PDF)