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Law sought for protecting privacy, personal data

By farjana - Posted on 01 January 2015

Law sought for protecting privacy, personal data 

Speakers in the national convention on 'Privacy Rights Protection' urged the government to enact a data protection law to secure privacy rights and personal data.  

The convention was organised by rights-based organisations VOICE and Privacy International, in association with the Bangladesh Manobadhikar Sangbadik Forum, Equity and Justice Working Group, Susashoner Jonno Procharavijan-SUPRO (Campaign for Good Governance), Online Knowledge Society, Campaign on Citizens Rights to Information at the National Press Club in the city.

The convention made an outline of a draft 'Data Protection Law'.

Ahmed Swapan Mahmud, executive director of VOICE presented the summary of the draft law while Advocate Tanzim Islam and a law department teacher of the Eastern University Saimum Reza Piash highlighted some points of the draft and called for enacting the law to ensure citizens' rights to privacy.

The speakers said a fresh law has to be enacted to defend privacy rights, as ensured by Article 43 of the Bangladesh Constitution.

National Convention on `Privacy Rights Protection

By farjana - Posted on 22 December 2014

Greetings from VOICE ( 

We are pleased to invite you to a National Convention on `Privacy Rights Protection' to be held from 9.30 am. to 2.00 pm. on 31 December 2014 at the VIP Lounge, National Press Club, Dhaka.  The programme will jointly be organized by VOICE and Privacy International in association with Bangladesh Manobadhikar Sangbadik Forum, Equity and Justice Working Group, Susashoner Jonno Procharavijan ( Campaign for Good Governance), Online Knowledge Society, Campaign on Citizens Rights to Information. 

The Convention aims to broadly discuss the issues of privacy both of their practice and legal regime to raise critical awareness and perspective in order to uphold the rights to privacy. This will focus on sharing experiences drawing the interactions from the participants on privacy rights in Bangladesh. This will also discuss on how to build synergies and coherence among policies and look for influencing law and policy makers to formulate privacy policy and act to ensure and promote privacy rights. This will also present a draft on Privacy Protection in the Convention.. 

Reality of Aid Network launches new report on partnerships in post-2015 era

By farjana - Posted on 05 December 2014

With a few months before the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) expire, how development cooperation should adapt to the new post-2015 environment – particularly the partnerships that underscore such cooperation, is a key debate.

The Reality of Aid 2014 Report titled “Rethinking Partnerships in a Post-2015 World: Towards Equitable, Inclusive and Sustainable Development,” with 27 civil society contributions from both aid-recipient and donor countries, provides unique perspectives to this question.

VOICE contributed a article in the report titled " Redefining partnership: The Need for a holistic approach for effective development partnership in Bangladesh" 

 Since the early 1990s, the Reality of Aid Network (RoA), a Southern-led North/South network on reforming aid policies and practices, publishes a major global report assessing development aid for poverty reduction with an emphasis on qualitative analysis of the national and multilateral aid regime.

 The RoA Reports analyse and advocate key messages relating to the performance of aid donors from a unique perspective of civil society in both donor and recipient countries. These Reports have developed a reputation in many donor countries as an important independent comparative reference for accountability and public awareness of development cooperation issues.

Speakers stressed to formulate data protection

By farjana - Posted on 29 November 2014

[29 November 2014] Speakers stressed to formulate data protection law to uphold right to privacy and personal information protection from abuse. A press briefing organized by VOICE, a rights group, was held at the TMSS’s Usha conference room at Bogra yesterday (Saturday).  

In the statement, Ahmed Swapan Mahmud, executive director of VOICE said that information is increasingly being made more easily available electronically via the Internet, often without the consent of the individual. He expressed concerns over the increased nature of surveillance in the society that creates fear among citizens and undermines the democratic practices and norms. He emphasized to hold agencies accountable for not being protecting right to privacy of the citizens. Drawing the examples of mobile phone companies, internet service providers and government service agencies for telecommunication, he stressed to formulate data privacy policy to protect citizens’ right to privacy. He also said the citizens shall have the privacy to his correspondence and other means of communication as per Article 43 of the Constitution. Any personal data collected by state agencies and private companies should be preserved by their respective privacy policies. He urged to take necessary action for formulating a data privacy law. 

Talk show on Right to Privacy @ Boishakhi Television

By farjana - Posted on 28 October 2014

A TV Talk Show on Right t Privacy will be broacasted at Boishakhi Television today on 28th ctober 2014. Ahmed Swapan Mahmud, excutive director of VOICE and Privacy Rights advocate will moderate the show while Barrister Tanjib ul Alam and Prof. Shamim Reza from Dhaka University will present as discussant.  

Lecture on Privacy and Communication Surveillance

By farjana - Posted on 28 October 2014

A lecture on Privacy and Communication Surveillance held on 26 October 2014 at the premises of Rajshahi University. The lecture program was jointly organized by VOICE and Muktodhara Network, Rajshahi. Salim Reza Newton and Manun Haidar from Mass Communication & Journalism Department and Bokhtiar Ahmed from Anthropology department spoke in the event.

Ahmed Swapan Mahmud provides the insights on privacy drawing examples and briefly explain about the country situation.
Salim Reza Newton points out the implication of ICT Act on right to privacy. He said the ICT Act (amendment) has increased the possibilities of surveillance to online communication within legal frameworks.

Manun Haidar indicates that the country does not have any data protection law, anyone can be the victim of misuse of the surveillance.

Speakers emphasized to formulate data privacy policy and urged citizens to hold accountable to the government for any interception n surveillance. The lecture ended with question answer by the students.


By farjana - Posted on 28 September 2014

Civil society organisations challenge UN representatives and Member States to be more ambitious in defining a transformative post-2015 agenda. ‘The post-2015 agenda must aim higher.’ This was the message shared by civil society representatives from Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe and the Pacific, at an event held during the week of the 69th UN General Assembly in New York on Wednesday 24 September 2014, organised by the Beyond 2015 global campaign, and hosted by the Governments of Bangladesh, Colombia, Kiribati and Sweden. 

The current post-2015 proposal includes 17 goals and 169 targets to succeed the Millennium Development Goals. These will serve as a universal global agenda for the period 2015-2030. Around the world, civil society organisations and community groups including those involved in Beyond 

2015, are calling for world leaders to aim higher for an ambitious post-2015 agenda. Particular areas where Beyond 2015 is urging for a higher level of ambition include human rights and equality, climate change, environmental sustainability, people’s participation, and peace and security. 

News Coverage of a Press Conference on Post 2015 Development Agenda

By farjana - Posted on 21 September 2014

Experts and rights activists on Friday demanded a people-centred post 2015 development framework to ensure meaningful participation of all concerned stakeholders.

They urged the concerned authorities to adopt a strong, inclusive and legitimate post 2015 framework to succeed in the Millennium Development Goals, said a press release.

The speakers were present at a conference titled ‘A Transformative Post 2015 Development Agenda: Citizens’ Demands and Expectations’ held at the Dhaka Reporters Unity auditorium, jointly organised by rights groups VOICE and Beyond 2015.

In the upcoming 69th United Nations General Assembly 2014, United Nations is going to prepare a new sustainable development framework with its member states as the Millennium Development Goal will end in 2015.

While presenting the keynote paper, VOICE executive director Ahmed Swapan Mahmud said the framework should address challenges including increasing rate of consumption, human rights, human security and inequality, climate change, and deteriorating global social cohesion.

The post 2015 framework should have a rights-based approach based on equality, equity and non-discrimination to ensure people’s rights to participate fully in society and decision-making, he said.

PRESS RELEASE: Speakers demanded a people-centred Post 2015 development framework

By farjana - Posted on 19 September 2014


[Dhaka, 19 September 2014] Speakers demanded a people-centred Post 2015 development framework ensuring the meaningful participation of all concerned stakeholders where civil society in the process leading up to Post 2015 Summit. 69th United Nations General Assembly 2014 that is to commence next week in New York focuses on the theme “Delivering on and implementing a Transformative Post-2015 Development Agenda”. United Nations is preparing a new sustainable development framework with its member states as the Millennium Development Goal (MDGs) will get end in 2015. Speakers also urged to adopt a strong, inclusive and legitimate Post 2015 framework to success the Millennium Development Goals.  

The press conference titled “A Transformative Post 2015 Development Agenda : Citizens’ Demands and Expectations” was held today ( Friday) in city’s Dhaka Reporters Unity auditorium organized by a rights group VOICE and Beyond 2015. President of Karmajibi Nari and former senior research fellow of BIDS Pratima Paul Majumder, Executive Director of VOICE Ahmed Swapan Mahmud, Director of Supro and also the member of Beyond 2015 Alison Subrata Baroi, Chief executive of Online Knowledge Centre Prodip Kumar Roy spoke before the press.

Press Conference on UN General Assembly and Post agenda

By farjana - Posted on 17 September 2014

Greetings from VOICE!

You know that the 69th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) theme is “Delivering on and Implementing a Transformative Post-2015 Development Agenda” while UN Member States are invited by the President of the 69th Session to comment on this issue during the General Debate (starting on September 24, in New York). During the UNGA, civil society organizations around the world are also gathering to raise their voices with specific demands for a just and fair world we want.

As you know, Hon'ble Prime Minister and the members of Bangladesh delegation will be attending the assembly and will be engaged in the discussions on the post 2015 agenda. As a research and advocacy organization, VOICE has been actively working on Post 2015 development agenda in partnership with others boat at home and global scale. Before the UNGA, we would like to draw the important issues to the public, thus, a press conference will be held from 11 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. on Friday 19 September 2014 at the Dhaka Reporters' Unity auditorium ((1st Floor, Sagor-Runi Auditorium) 8/4 A, Topekhana Road, Segun Bagicha, Dhaka). We will draw up the civil society position including Beyond 2015 in the briefing for the public interest. You attendance and contribution will enrich our position altogether.