The phrase ‘size does not matter’ is very often considered a universal truth but, actually, it is not the reality in all cases. The size of a country, its population, its GDP and budget is surely a matter of utmost importance in the life of a nation. Of course, an individual or a small organisation can perform miracle as can be witnessed in human history. In such cases size really does not matter.
Let us consider the case of the National Human Rights Commission of Bangladesh. It is a small organisation in terms of the number of office bearers. This statutory body, constituted first at the fag end of 2008 and reconstituted under the National Human Rights Commission Act 2009, consists of one Chairman and six members, among whom only the Chairman and a member serve the Commission on a full-time basis. The NHRC is mandated to carry out a wide range of tasks in the field of protecting and promoting human rights but its size is really very small, rather too small for the purpose.
While the Constitution of the country guarantees a host of inalienable fundamental rights for every individual, the NHRC always keeps a watchful eye to see whether these rights of the people are violated by anybody. In addition to entertaining complaints from any corner, the Commission can exercise its power on its own motion in case of any such violation of human rights. However, the functions of the NHRC are not limited to these arenas only; in addition of protecting rights of the people it can also help improve the human rights situation through recommendations for further development of human rights policies.
The Commission thus has the great potential of enhancing the country’s image internationally in terms of human right situation. And for that to happen, the NHRC first needs to gain the trust of the people through sincere works as the President of the Republic asked a delegation of the Commission when the latter went to his office for submitting its report to him. We strongly believe that the NHRC will be able to achieve the lofty objective of further improving the human rights situation in the country under the able leadership of its present Chairman.