Association

Bangladesh has a vibrant and mature civil society sector, however the government of Bangladesh is currently considering a law to increase monitoring of CSO activities and impede civil society's autonomy. Advocacy by some CSOs has helped to improve the transparency of the legislative process in Bangladesh. However, the government is known to selectively support some organisations, while behaving agressively towards those working on politically sensitive topics. Those working on monitoring human rights abuses perpetrated by state authorities are most vulnerable to abuse of their fundamental freedoms. Garment workers are not encouraged to form trade unions and workers often face harassment and intimidation.  On the other hand, CSOs that provide basic services to the community enjoy a degree of government support. CSOs working on governance and corruption often attract unwarranted harassment, intimidation and interference from the state. CSOs receiving foreign funds need to register with the NGO Affairs Bureau (NGOAB), which is a cumbersome and lengthy process. CSO registration also needs to be renewed annually. Civil society reports that they are often pressured to bribe officials to ease the process, while the registration of some controversial CSOs has been cancelled by the authorities.