The Law Life Culture (LLC) in collaboration with the School of Law (SoL) of BRAC University (BRACU) and the Swedish Institute has organised a daylong conference on “Framing Perspectives: Re-thinking Human Rights in the Digital Age”.
Held at the BRACU GDLN Centre on 5 February 2018, the conference focused on the need to explore and acknowledge human rights in the digital world while emphasising on its protection, promotion and fulfilment.
The conference also assessed how modernisation had created a change in the paradigm of development of rights, their protection and fulfilment within the realm of human dignity, right to life, freedom from fear and freedom of expression.
SoL Dean Professor K Shamsuddin Mahmood gave the welcome speech followed by the inaugural session where Professor Mizanur Rahman, former chairperson, National Human Rights Commission of Bangladesh, presented the keynote speech.
This was followed by a speech by Swedish Ambassador to Bangladesh Charlotta Schlyter on how her country had implemented laws respecting and protecting freedom of expression and even has a Freedom of Press Act dated 1766 and a Freedom of Expression Act as part of its constitution.
Assistant Professor Sarkar Barbaq Quarmal of the University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh spoke on the role of social media in shaping the communication behaviour of urban youth in Bangladesh.
Centre Associate at Asia Centre Ahmed Adibur Razzaque Khan critically reviewed the Shahbag movement in Bangladesh and discussed the dimensions and interrelations between public space and virtual space.
Bonhishikha Founder Tasaffy Hossain approached “gender surveillance” from a feminist perspective while SoL Senior Lecturer Saimum Reza Talukder engaged the session with some experiences regarding personal data protection in the era of mass surveillance.
Advocate Joytirmoy Barua of the Supreme Court identified loopholes in the constitution regarding protection of rights in the digital space and highlighted the discrepancies by recalling cases he had worked on.
SoL Lecturer Barrister Anusheh Shiham Ali, Assistant Professor Mostafa Kamal and Professor Saira Rahman Khan moderated the various sessions and gave their insights as well.
At the end, the conference findings were dissected by Rezaur Rahman Lenin, project director and convener, Law Life Culture, based on the issues and solutions discussed by other speakers.
Based on his experience of working in the development sector, he identified the need for welfare and rights’ organisations to discover the contemporary issues involving infringement of rights in the digital world.
Pro-Vice Chancellor Professor Ansar Ahmed PhD, Professor CR Abrar of the University of Dhaka’s Department of International Relations and civil society organisation representatives, lawyers, students and other professionals attended the conference.