Although Bangladesh achieved a satisfactory economic development in the last year, it witnessed little progress in terms of human rights, speakers said.
They also urged the country's civil society actors to speak up to stop discrimination and ensure human rights for all irrespective of persons with disabilities.
They came up with these remarks in a seminar held at the auditorium of NGO Affairs Bureau in the capital on Thursday.
Marking the International Human Rights Day, the seminar styled "Stand up for Human Rights: Better Recovery" was organised by Voice for Interactive Choices and Empowerment (VOICE).
Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, chairman of PKSF, presided over the programme.
Md Rashedul Islam, director general of NGO Affairs Bureau, graced the event as the chief guest while Ahmed Swapan Mahmud, executive director of VOICE, moderated the programme.
Among the panellists, Saleem Samad, general secretary of Forum for Freedom of Expression Bangladesh and representative of Reporters San Frontiers; Dr Syeda Aireen Jaman, secretary general of PEN International Bangladesh Chapter; Saimum Reza Talukder, senior lecturer of the Department of Law at Brac University, spoke the event.
In his remarks, Dr Kholiquzzaman said it is very imperative to reduce various levels of inequality persisting in the society to uphold the human rights.
He particularly emphasised the joblessness of a big portion of people in the country during the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said the government should take rehabilitation and re-employment programmes for these unemployed group so that further economic inequality can be reduced and their human rights be upheld.
Director General of NGO Affairs Bureau Rashedul Islam said international communities should be more responsible and committed towards the repatriation of the Rohingya community to uphold their human rights.
He also mentioned the government is working to achieve the sustainable development goals focusing on the motto of "leave no one behind".
The NGO Affairs Bureau is working particularly on the advancement of disadvantaged communities through the NGOs which envision the government's goals, he said.
Eminent journalist Saleem Samad said, besides the government's efforts, people should also behave responsibly to uphold human rights.
Pen International Bangladesh Chapters' Secretary General Dr Syeda Aireen Jaman said human rights in Bangladesh are enshrined as fundamental rights in the Part III of its constitution.
But this country's laws need to be reformed to enforce fundamental rights and reflect democratic values of the 21st century, she opined.