Graft, rights violation barriers to inclusive society: TIB

 en.prothom-alo.com  9/17/2017 12:40:43 PM 

Bangladesh may face challenges and risks in attaining the UN’s sustainable development goal-16 (SDG-16) despite having legal and institutional preparations, Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) observed on Sunday, reports UNB.

The SDG-16 has stressed promoting peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, ensuring access to justice for all and building effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.

A new TIB study reveals that corruption, bribery, money-laundering and violation of human rights continue in Bangladesh despite taking various steps to prevent those.

TIB senior programme manager (policy and research) Shahzada M Akram presented the findings of the study titled 'Sustainable Development Goal 16: Bangladesh's preparation, reality and challenges in achieving the goal related to corruption prevention and good governance' at a press conference at TIB office in the capital.

TIB trustee board chairperson Sultana Kamal, its executive director Iftekharuzzaman and TIB advisor Sumaiya Khair were present at the press conference.

About the institutional weakness, the study says the institutions responsible for implementing the National Integrity Strategy are not functioning properly here due to political influence, centralisation of power, and supremacy of the executive branch.

There is no structure of being accountable to people in most of these institutions and their internal accountability system is also poor, the TIB study says these institutions never disclose information proactively.

It says the government has a tendency of denying the allegations of violation of people's fundamental rights.

Iftekharuzzaman said the government has already taken enough preparation at legal and policy levels to achieve the SDG-16, but challenges and risks remain in attaining the goal.

Although money is being siphoned off the country, he said, no effective step is taken to detect the people involved in big scams and money-laundering incidents and bring them to justice.

"We talk about ensuring justice to all, but efforts are there to snatch independence of judiciary," the TIB chief said.

To achieve the SDG- 16, the TIB study put forward a set of recommendations, including ensuring a fair system for appointing the chiefs and the members of the constitutional and statutory institutions like the Election Commission and the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), removing article 70 from the country's Constitution allowing parliament members to give votes against their own party, empowering the National Human Rights Commission and removing section 57 of the ICT Act, 2013.

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