Key Focus Areas
Access to Justice
NU believes in the necessity of more affordable and accessible systems of justice than that inherent in Bangladesh’s existing formal court and judicial systems. The lack of awareness among poor people of their civil rights compounds the issue. NU thus strives to see an increase in administrative participation and stronger representative structures at the grassroots level, giving poor people improved access to justice and other social services irrespective of gender or social class.
Women remain among the most vulnerable and disempowered groups in Bangladesh. Cultural practices such as early marriage, polygamy, dowry, female seclusion, and arbitrary (oral) divorce contribute to women’s subordinate status; while religion has been used to sanction these practices. Lack of awareness of their rights coupled with deeply rooted gender inequalities seriously constrains women’s access to appropriate, gender-sensitive justice. NU thus works to empower women and promote their effective participation in Shalish procedures and other community decision-making processes and activities.
Improving rights of Dalit, Excluded and Indigenous Communities
NU aims to promote rights, cultural diversity and improve the quality of life of the most excluded and marginalized communities of Bangladesh, including Dalits and indigenous peoples. Around 6.5 milions of Dalit peoples in Bangladesh are facing discrimination in all aspects of life though they have a significant role in the country’s economic, environment and social development. Along state’s recognition of their identity, this community lacks basic provisions like food, water, shelter and education. NU supports Dalit led CSOs and individuals to their struggle and movement for realizing their rights and entitlements. NU helped organizing a national platform of Dalit led CSOs – Bangladesh Dalit and Excluded Rights Movement (BDERM), for collective movement for the rights across the country. NU also helped BDERM to gain international recognition and support to their cause as well as advocacy at UN level. NU also has specific intervention for the rights of other marginalized community like Indigenous Peoples of the plain land and Linguistic Minority.
NU has been working with working mothers’ children and school drop-out working and street children since 2013 through providing service delivery programme – informal education and skill development training – by offering day-care and drop-in centre facilities in Dhaka city. Through research study, NU found that if the children of underprivileged female workers particularly garment workers are provided day-care facilities, their family wellbeing improve significantly.
Strengthening Local Governance
Local governance remains the core of development of the country as well as strengthening democracy as the grassroots people directly connected with it. If the local governance functions effectively ultimately people will get better access to government services as well their effective participation in the governance mechanism. NU emphasizes in strengthening local governance through ensuring peoples’ participation there as well as increasing capacity of the elected representatives of the local government.
Disaster Response, Environment And Climate Change
Nagorik Uddyog actively works for protecting and promoting environment. It is involved in the major movement and network relating to environment issues in the country. NU always stands by the people affected by natural disaster like cyclone, seasonal flood etc. with immediate relief goods and long term rehabilitation program.
Theater And Cultural Activities For Promoting Human Rights Awareness
NU recognizes that many people in rural Bangladesh are illiterate. It also recognizes the potential of popular culture as medium for educating the people of Bangladesh on important social and human rights issues. Working closely with popular local entertainers NU’s Uddyog Theater & Cultural Activities for Human RightsAwareness programme aims to increase social consciousness on human rights and likewise reduce discrimination of women by way of progressive cultural activities aimed at rural communities. These activities include theater and folk music performances about the duties of local government organizations with respect to the rights of women, their empowerment and dignity.
Youth Human Rights Awareness
NU recognizes the importance of cultivating a generation of socially conscious youth in Bangladesh as a means toward strengthening the country’s democratic institutions and processes. NU works to create awareness among Bangladeshi youth on issues surrounding human rights, governance and environment.