YPSA and Lawyers’ Initiative for Displacement Solutions (LIDS) jointly organized an orientation program for lawyers on Climate Displacement issue at Hotel Heritage, Chittagong on 9th July, 2015. A new publication titled “Rights of Climate Displaced Persons: A Pocket Guide” jointly published by YPSA and Displacement Solution was also launched in the program. Chief Guest of this orientation was Muzahidur Rahman, Senior Assistant Judge and Chittagong District legal Aid Officer.
Lawyers stated that Climate Displaced Person’s Rights completely new terminology for them so more awareness activities should be continued on this issue. They also added if appropriate statistics and evidence of climate displaced persons from a particular area is available, lawyers would take initiative to find out the possibility for filing a test case to court for ensure their rights. Chittagong District legal Aid Office will provide all kinds of legal support for ensuring human rights for landless and shelter less peoples.
The orientation workshop was presided over by Md. Sawkat Awal Chowdhury, Convener of Lawyers Initiative for Displacement Solutions (LIDS) and moderated by Ms. Shyamashree Das, Project Manager of YPSA. Mohammad Shahjahan, Team Leader of Bangladesh Housing, Land and Property Rights Initiative project of YPSA gave the welcome speech and shared information on present and future scenario of climate displacement issue in Bangladesh.
He says, according to the National Legal Aid Policy 2014, there are some categories of people like shelter less peoples, disaster affected peoples and Guchogram allotted persons are able to take free justice from National Legal Aid Services Organization.
After the welcome speech, the new publication “Rights of Climate Displaced Persons: A Pocket Guide” launched by Muzahidur Rahman chief guest of program and Chittagong District Legal Aid Officer. To describe the importance of this pocket guide Mohammad Shahjahan said that the aim of this pocket book is to provide practical and easy guidance to ensure the rights of people displaced from their homes and lands by climate change.
After the welcome speech, Prabal Barua, Program Officer of YPSA-HLP project presented the key issues of orientation titled “Orientation for Lawyers on Climate Displacement and Rights of Climate Displaced Persons”. The presentation focused that climate displacement in Bangladesh is now major concern in respect of country’s development. There are various international conventions and treaties related to human rights that Bangladesh signed. Besides, Bangladesh government adopted different climate change, disaster management and land related act, polices, strategies but there are no comprehensive polices for rehabilitation of climate displaced persons in Bangladesh. But there is scope for lawyers to work with climate displaced people focusing on the national and international human rights perspective.
During the open discussion, participated lawyers said that climate displaced people are not aware about their rights, so awareness program is necessary to raise their voice. They also added, as senior lawyers have good influence over the formation of any new law and sometime law ministry also send the draft law to them for review so there might have the advocacy campaign with the senior lawyer by LIDS. Besides, awareness campaign with Panel lawyers and legal aid committee members of District Legal Aid for general awareness and inclusion of displaced people’s rights in the legal aid policies. Lawyers also stated that if appropriate statistics and evidence of climate displaced persons from a particular area is available, lawyers would take initiative to find out the possibility for filing a test case to court for ensure their rights. Chittagong District legal Aid Office will provide all kinds of legal support for ensuring human rights for landless and shelter less peoples.
Chief Guest of the Orientation program, District Legal Aid Officer Moazahidur Rahman said that According to the National Legal Aid Rule, 2014 Legal Aid Office of all over Bangladesh have provision to support as shelter less and allottee in Govt. Adarsha Gram/Guchogram if evidence is available. But most of the cases of displaced people residing in Chittagong are family dispute.
He also said khas land distribution policy for landless peoples should be updated and climate displaced persons should get khas land as priority basis. Therefore comprehensive policies and act should be adopted as soon as possible to rehabilitate the climate displaced peoples as well as embankment must be built for prevention of increasing displacement in Bangladesh. Mr. Advocate Mozammel Ali Chowdhury Jamshed, Advocate Akbar Aziz, Advocate Mohammad Hasan Murad, Advocate Moumita Das Gupta, Advocate Sakia Jesmin and Advocte Alamgir Faruque also addressed among other in the orientation program.