Indigenous and Dalit Peoples of Bangladesh: Challenges and Way Forward for Inclusion in Rights and Services
A situation of inequality, discrimination, exclusion, and deprivation prevails in Bangladesh, in their diverse forms, which impacts on a significant portion of population due to their historical identities and marginalised positions in society (Roy, 2002; Shafie & Kilby, 2003; Goswami, 2004; Dyrhagen & Islam, 2006; Foley & Chowdhury, 2007; Ahsan & Burnip, 2007; Sarker & Davey, 2007; Nasreen & Tate, 2007; Bal, 2007; Zohir et al, 2008; Ali, 2013; Ali, 2014; MJF, 2016). This has remained as a bewildering scenario, although the Constitution of Bangladesh guarantees some concrete directives to establish social and economic justice in every spheres of society. The directives provide that all citizens are equal before law and are entitled to equal protection of law (Article 27); state shall endeavour to ensure equality of opportunity to all citizens (Article 19.1); state shall adopt effective measures to remove social and economic inequality and to ensure the equitable distribution of wealth among citizens, and of opportunities (Article 19.2); state shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth (Article 28.1).
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United States provides that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights (Article 1). The Agenda 2030 i.e. the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) reiterates the spirit of establishing dignity of individuals as fundamental human right. The overarching idea of Agenda 2030 is to achieve its goals and targets equitably for all nations and people and for all segments of society. Thus, the main vision of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) appears as ‘Leaving No One Behind’.