Research Monograph On The State Of Human Rights Of The Bihari Population In Bangladesh

There are millions of people in the world who are citizens of nowhere. They cannot vote they cannot get jobs in most professions; they cannot own property or obtain a passport. These "stateless" people face discrimination, sexual and physical violence and socioeconomic hardship. Often they are denied access to health care and education. The 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights asserts that "everyone has the right to a nationality."

But statelessness remains a reality in all regions of the world. The exact numbers are not known, but a conservative estimate is 11 million stateless persons around the world. The myriad causes of statelessness may include political upheaval, targeted discrimination (often for reasons of race or ethnicity), differences in laws between countries, laws relating to marriage and birth registration, expulsion of a people from a territory, nationality based only on descent (usually that of the father), abandonment and lack of means to register children. One stateless population that the world has neglected are 250,000 to 300,000 Biharis (also called stranded Pakistanis), who were stripped of their citizenship after Bangladesh became a nation because they sided with West Pakistan during the struggle for independence. For the past two decades these people have lived in 66 squalid camps throughout Bangladesh. Recently the Bangladeshi government cut food rations to camps, forcing Bihari families to go without food for two or three days in a row. 

This monograph is about the Bihari refugee who lives in Geneva camp of Moammadpur. In order to explain the human rights of the concerned respondents this piece of research work would consider a socio-economic condition of Geneva camp of Moammadpur, theoretical background. This research work would elucidate the socio-psychological and other factors affecting the human rights behavior of the people Geneva camp of Moammadpur. 


1.1 Statement of the Problem:
In 2004 the already desperate living conditions of the stateless Biharis in Bangladesh have continued to worsen. This year alone, they have lost their government-subsidized food aid, and many families have lost their homes to tornado, fire, and eviction. They continue to eke out an inhuman existence in their camps of decaying squalor. The situation is critical and requires immediate attention. 

In pre-independence India, the Biharis were an Urdu-speaking Muslim minority in the Hindu region of Bihar. In 1947, at the time of partition, the Biharis moved to what was then East Pakistan. When civil war broke out between East and West Pakistan, the Biharis, who consider themselves Pakistani, sided with West Pakistan. In 1971, however, East Pakistan became the independent state of Bangladesh. The Biharis were left behind as the Pakistani army and civilians evacuated and found themselves unwelcome in both countries. Pakistan feared a mass influx of Biharis could destabilize a fragile and culturally mixed population, and Bangladesh scorned the Biharis for having supported the enemy. With neither country offering citizenship, the Biharis (also called stranded Pakistanis) have remained stateless for 33 years. 

1.2 Objectives of the Study:
The specific objectives of this study are as follows:

1. To procure information about the collection, handling, of Bihari 
2. To determine the level of knowledge, attitude and practices of the individuals involved in the life of Geneva camp.
3. To explore the human rights of the stateless persons live in Geneva camp of Moammadpur.
4. To explore the risk perception of the dwellers of Geneva camp. 
5. To examine the applicability of Health Belief Model in analyzing risk perception and health belief of the concerned respondents.

1.3 Rationale of the Study:
Human right of refugee community is a complex socio-psychological construct. It has been shown in various researches. Bihari studies as Stateless person studies as which often determine persons’ health risks (Bihari problem has been a major concerns and environmental management issue in many developing countries of the world including Bangladesh. A portion of the population directly comes into contact with this type of stateless people which is infectious and hazardous in nature; serious health problems may be spread out including HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis-b due to mismanagement and lack of necessary skill or knowledge. As these stateless are being considered as the core agents of certain types of health threats, which directly affect the persons like.