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call for input | Special Procedures

Call for submissions on Bangladesh in advance of visit

Issued by

Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights


01 April 2023

Purpose: To invite all interested individuals and organizations, including civil society organizations, activists, and academics, to provide input on the priority issues listed below to assist the Special Rapporteur in preparing for the visit to Bangladesh.
Background and Objectives

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Olivier De Schutter, will conduct an official visit to Bangladesh from 17 to 29 May 2023, at the invitation of the Government of Bangladesh. His visit aims at assessing the efforts to combat poverty and to protect the human rights of people in poverty in Bangladesh.

The Special Rapporteur invites all interested individuals and organizations, including civil society organizations, activists, and academics, to provide input on the priority issues listed below to assist him in preparing for the visit.

The Special Rapporteur

The Special Rapporteur is an independent expert appointed by the UN Human Rights Council. UN independent experts regularly undertake country visits to report on human rights issues. Visits, which typically last for two weeks, include meetings between the Special Rapporteur and individuals affected by poverty, public officials, members of parliamentary and judicial bodies, official institutions, civil society organizations, and academics. At the conclusion of country visits, the Special Rapporteur presents a detailed statement of his initial findings. He subsequently submits a final report to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. The report informs other processes, including the review of the country in the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the Human Rights Council and by human rights treaty bodies.

The Special Rapporteur, Olivier De Schutter, is a Professor of Law at UCLouvain and at SciencesPo (Paris), with extensive experience as an independent UN human rights expert. Between 2008-2014, he served as Special Rapporteur on the right to food. He was a Member of the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights between 2015-2020, a position he held until he took up his functions as Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights on 1 May 2020.

Key questions and types of input/comments sought

Respondents are requested to limit their comments to a maximum of 2,000 words. Additional supporting materials, such as reports, academic studies, and other background materials may be annexed to the submission.

While all submissions are welcome, and the questions below are by no means exhaustive, the Special Rapporteur would be grateful for comments that address in particular the following topics:

  • The nature of poverty and inequality in Bangladesh, including how poverty is or should be defined and measured, its prevalence, and its distribution.
  • The impact of poverty on civil and political rights, as well as on economic, social and cultural rights such as the rights to health, housing, food, education, and social security.
  • The potential of and challenges facing the existing social protection system to address poverty, inequality, and social exclusion, especially with a view to protecting informal workers, children, ethnic minorities, indigenous peoples, hijras, rural populations, refugees and migrant workers, unregistered/unrecognized citizens, and other groups particularly affected by poverty.
  • The question of indigenous peoples, minority groups and rural populations’ access and title to land and income-generating activities, and their intersection with existing issues of land encroachment, poverty and inequality.
  • The measures and actions that Bangladesh is implementing to mitigate the impact of climate change on vulnerable people and people living in poverty and to move towards a development model that mitigates climate change and halts the erosion of biodiversity whilst ensuring a just transition.
  • The role of fiscal spending, public finance management, and tax policy in relation to poverty.
  • Union rights, including as regards workers operating as part of global supply chains.
  • Locations that should be visited by the Special Rapporteur.
  • Individuals and organisations the Special Rapporteur should meet with during his visit.

Submissions can be sent to [email protected] by 1 April 2023. Kindly send your submission as an attachment to an email. Where possible, submissions in English, French, or Spanish are encouraged, as capacity for translation is limited and this would significantly facilitate review by the Special Rapporteur and his staff.

The Special Rapporteur’s visit will lead to a detailed end of mission statement on 29 May 2023, and a final report presented to the UN Human Rights Council in June 2024.

Treatment of inputs/comments received

We will publish all submissions unless the submitting individual and/or organisation requests that their submission be kept confidential. Please indicate in your submission whether we may publish all or part of it on the website of the Special Rapporteur.

The Special Rapporteur greatly appreciates the effort that goes into making such contributions and looks forward to reading all submissions.

Media inquiries

Regular updates on the visit to Bangladesh will be posted on the website of the Special Rapporteur and via his Twitter account. A press release with additional information about the visit will be issued and published online on 10 May 2023.

On 29 May 2023, the Special Rapporteur will hold a press conference in Dhaka where he will present a statement with his initial findings. Before and during the visit, the Special Rapporteur’s engagement with media will be limited to commenting on the scope of the visit, meetings held, and issues discussed during these meetings. Only at the press conference and thereafter will the Special Rapporteur be in a position to comment on his findings and conclusions.

Media inquiries, including requests to join the Special Rapporteur’s press list, may be directed to Bahram Ghazi (+41 22 928 9515; [email protected]) and Kate Holmes (+44 780 350 2410; [email protected]).

Twitter:@DeSchutterO and @srpoverty

For more information, please write to [email protected] or [email protected]

Next Steps

Submissions can be sent to [email protected] until 1 April 2023 (6pm Geneva time). Kindly send your submission as an attachment to an email.

Email address:
[email protected]

Email subject line:
Input for the UN Special Rapporteur’s visit to Bangladesh

Word limit:
2000 words

File formats:
Word, PDF

Accepted languages:
English, French, Spanish

Postal address:
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, United Nations Office at Geneva, CH 1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland