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On March 5, 2015, USAID’s Protecting Human Rights (PHR) project organized the Annual Awards Ceremony for Human Rights Champions at CIRDAP International Conference Center in Dhaka to honor 23 Champions who have been selected for their contribution in combating domestic violence, child marriage, and other human rights violations in their communities. They are school teachers, local government officials, domestic violence survivors and role models from all walks of life from Barguna, Bogra, Chittagong, Dinajpur, Jessore, and Sylhet. Around 150 people attended the event including journalists from several media houses.
During the ceremony, Chief Guest Professor Dr. Mizanur Rahman, Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission of Bangladesh, addressed the audience and urged for more support to empower women. He also said the laws are “friendly to the rich” and we need to change that in order to protect human rights at the grassroots level.
Remarks were given by USAID Bangladesh’s Mission Director, Janina Jaruzelski. Other panelists included Dr. Abul Hossain, Project Director of MOWCA’s Multisectoral Program on Violence against Women and Salma Ali, Executive Director of Bangladesh National Women Lawyers’ Association (BNWLA), a partner of PHR.
A check of BDT 15,000 was presented to each Champion, along with a crest and certificate. The selection process was explained, followed by videos of the awardees and their work. PHR’s annual awards draw local and national attention to their contribution, promoting the Champions as leaders and inspiring change within their communities.
This is one way PHR raises awareness and brings people together to protect more victims and prevent injustice. The awardees spoke and agreed that awards are not necessary, but this recognition motivates them work even harder.