Perodic Report Bangladesh

Executive summary

Bangladesh has ratified the UNESCO Convention 2005 on the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions in 2007. Bangladesh is a unique example of multicultural country where along with the 98% Bengali population there are at least 45 small ethnic groups who possess different cultures like their own language, food habit, dress, music etc.

In the Constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh it is clarified that the State will safeguard the right of practice and development of all cultural trends of all the people in its territory regardless of caste, religion, origin, colour, gender, etc.

Bangladesh has been working on protection and promotion of Cultural diversity for long through different activities and programs. A cultural policy in this regard was also approved in 2006. Under the Ministry of Cultural Affairs there are several departments such as Department of Archaeology and Museum, National Archives of Bangladesh, Department of Public Library etc. apart from autonomous institutions like Bangla Academy, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Bangladesh National Museum and Bangladesh Folk Art and Crafts Foundation. They are engaged in implementing the government programmes as well as activities formulated under the convention of Cultural Diversity. Bangladesh Shishu Academy under the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC) under the Ministry of Industries also play significant roles for this purpose.

Under the approved Cultural policy, Bangladesh Government has taken remarkable initiatives to implement the agendas of the convention within and outside its territory, legal frameworks have been developed viz,. Bangla Academy Ordinance 1978, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy Act 1989, International Mother Language Institute Act 2010, Small Ethnic Groups Cultural Organizations Act 2010 etc. Besides, in the National Education Policy 2010 and National Women Policy 2011 the promotion and protection of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions in Bangladesh have been ensured. Through different Government agencies or organizations Bangladesh has done some other important projects and events to protect and promote Cultural diversity.

Bangladesh has also played significant role for the ratification of the UNESCO Convention aiming at the protection and promotion of diversity of cultural expressions of all the ethnic groups. Bangladesh, in association with UNESCO, organized the Cultural Diversity Ministerial Forum of the Asia Pacific Region in May 2012 in Dhaka. Cultural Exchange programs with different countries of the world are being regularly organized.

After the ratification, Government is consolidating endeavors for the protection, promotion and preservation of all cultural expressions in its territory and at international level. Awareness building and programs on the actual content and implementation of the convention is being undertaken.