The European Union has praised the government of Bangladesh for its generous hosting of the Rohingya population, while at the same time drawing its attention to deficits in a number of other areas, reports UNB.
In particular, the EU would like to see Dhaka address the need for inclusiveness in the political process, space for civil society, freedom of expression and of media, and to pay heed to conditions for women and labour standards.“Bangladesh is an important country for the European Union in the region,” said the EU Special Representative for Human Rights Eamon Gilmore who visited Bangladesh on June 10-11. The EU is monitoring the human and labour rights situation in Bangladesh closely, said a media release on Tuesday.
Human rights, including labour rights, are an important element in bilateral EU-Bangladesh relations, as well as in the trade relations under the “Everything but Arms” trade scheme, said the EU.
The visit, the first ever of a EUSR for Human Rights to Bangladesh, reflects the EU’s commitment to engaging with the government of Bangladesh, and civil society.
EU Special Representative Gilmore visited Cox’s Bazar and spoke with the Rohingyas, as well as with the local communities hosting the refugees.
He said the European Union is always with Bangladesh to address the Rohingya crisis and extended gratitude on behalf of international community for Bangladesh’s generous hosting of the Rohingya.
In Dhaka, he held various meetings devoted to a wide range of human rights issues, including core labour standards, an area in which Bangladesh needs to make urgent progress.Special Representative Gilmore had meetings with Law, Justice and Parliamentary affairs Minister Anisul Huq, the acting UN Resident Coordinator and ILO Country Director, UNHCR, IOM, UNDP, UNICEF, UNFPA, UN Women Country Directors, as well as with representatives of NGOs and trade unions.
Eamon Gilmore travelled to Cox’s Bazar, where he visited the camps, met with members of the Rohingya families and local communities, as well as with the Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner.
Following this visit Gilmore will travel to Myanmar for discussions with the authorities.
EU Special Representative Gilmore engaged on a wide scope of issues while in Dhaka, including the rule of law and the law enforcement, elections, freedom of expression and of the media, freedom of assembly, women’s and children’s rights, human rights cooperation in the UN, rights of the persons belonging to minorities and the implementation of Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Accord.
Bangladesh’s hospitality for the Rohingya refugees, including by the host communities, was cited by the Special Representative as an example of solidarity for all of the global community.
The European Union is making every effort to support Bangladesh in this important humanitarian mission, at financial and political levels and has mobilised 104.5 million euro in financial support for the refugees and host communities in Bangladesh since 2017, said the EU.