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Background:

Bangladesh returned to democracy following the fall of an autocratic regime through a popular upsurge in 1990. Since then, three credible elections were held successfully. However the growth of constitutional liberties still faces some challenges. Democracy or free and fair elections alone are not enough to protect the rights of the disadvantaged and vulnerable groups. Unfortunately, continued occurrences of election violence, arbitrary arrests, custodial death, and torture by state and non-state actors hamper the enjoyment of civil and political rights, often with ominous consequences. The need for an independent and objective human rights organization in safeguarding basic human rights, particularly civil and political rights of the people of Bangladesh is strongly felt. In 2006, a group of human rights activists initiated discussions and underscored the need to uphold the civil and political rights of the people of Bangladesh along with social, cultural and economic rights. Eventually, a decision was arrived at to form an organization and established in order to advance such rights. In October 2008 PHRAS has gets its legal entity. Participatory Human Rights Advancement Society came into being with the aim to create a wider monitoring and awareness raising system on the abuse of civil and political rights. The principal objectives of the organization are to raise the awareness of human rights and its various abuses and to take participation with National and International agencies, the organization also performs policy advocacy to address the current human rights situation. In Bangladesh, women, children, religious and ethnic minorities are among the groups that are most vulnerable to human rights abuses.  Furthermore, poor peoples inability to access the justice system is blatantly obvious. Keeping this in mind, the organizations missions in rural Bangladesh also play a role in awareness raising among the vulnerable groups. PHRAS always emphasizes the active participation of the grassroots community. It realizes that empowerment is the precondition to establish human rights, which is based on a recognition and faith in peoples own power and resources. With this in mind, PHRAS is working with the vision of society where full enjoyment of human rights by every human being will be ensured.