Odhikar has a Documentation Team that keeps the organisation updated with human rights abuses published in the major national dailies. The work of the Documentation Team is to gather and document relevant information for fact-finding purposes from both the daily papers and personal and organisational sources/contacts, including human rights defenders.
Key topics of documentation:
- Extrajudicial killings
- Custodial deaths/death in jail
- Enforced Disappearances
- Human rights violations at the Border
- Political Violations
- Freedom of the Media
- Freedom of Association
- Violence against women (Dowry, Rape, Acid, Stalking)
- Illegal Fatwa and Illegal Arbitration
- Situation of RMG Workers
- Ethnic and Religious Minority
- Public Lynching
- Death Penalty
- Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure
- Arrest under Anti Terrorism Act/Section 54 of the Cr.PC
Every month, the documentation team develops separate tables and graphs of the reported and published human rights abuses in order to determine and analyse the rise or fall of such incidents. These are included in monthly and annual human rights reports of human rights violations, which are disseminated to the media for publication and to other national and international NGOs. Other activities of the unit include cataloguing material for future reference and research work; compiling information for in-house use and in response to external requests; and preparing such documents and material for inclusion in the annual human rights reports.
The system of documentation prevalent in the organisation reinforces Odhikar’s other activities of fact-finding, research and advocacy. Systematic documentation of such violations and dissemination of information to interested organisations and individuals involve maintaining newspaper clippings and gathering of information from other sources.
Odhikar has earned good repute and credibility in human rights documentation, because of the organisation’s strictly neutral reporting policy. National and international media, foreign missions stationed in Dhaka and local, regional and international human rights organisations and networks regularly use information and statistics maintained by the Odhikar documentation unit. Odhikar interviews are occasionally heard on the BBC international, Al Jazeera and VOA news services (radio) and found in the annual human rights reports published by the US State Department, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and the Observatory of the for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders by OMCT and FIDH.