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Rani Yan Yan

WHRD, Chakma Rani (Queen)
Chakma Circle

Rani Yan Yan is a human rights defender and the advisor of the Chakma Circle Chief. She is an alumni of the Diplomacy Training Program (DTP) at UNSW and APWLD's Feminist Legal Theory and Practice (FLTP) graduate. As a woman indigenous leader, she works for the empowerment of indigenous women, protests violence against them and regularly brings their issues in meetings in Bangladesh and abroad, including meetings at the UN.  As the Chakma Rani (queen) and the advisor of Chakma Circle Chief she effectively advocated for the appointment of more women as the headman and carbari (who deals with traditional laws) to ensure women's rights in the traditional system.

Bangladesh protest

HRDs working on different rights issues – including indigenous peoples' rights, economic social and cultural rights, women’s rights, migrant rights, labour rights, LGBTI rights, freedom of expression, police brutality, extra-judicial killings and disappearances, and sexual and reproductive rights – report decreasing their public activism and online writings in their area of expertise.

Restrictive legislation also poses a threat to the work of HRDs in Bangladesh. The 2016 Foreign Donations (Voluntary Activities) Regulation Act further restricts the space for human rights organisations by criminalizing foreign funded NGOs which engage in "anti-state activities" or make "derogatory comments about the Constitution and constitutional institutions”. The Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Act of 2006 (amended in 2013), in particular its section 57 (“publishing fake, obscene or defaming information”), is used to silence HRDs and block websites with content deemed sensitive by the authorities. Faced with the criticisms surrounding the ICT Act, Bangladeshi lawmakers drafted the 2016 Digital Security Act, intended to address the need for cybercrime legislation. More than a year after the draft was approved, it has not been enacted, but the draft includes several worrying provisions for HRDs.


Rani Yan Yan