South Asians for Human Rights

Promoting Democracy, Upholding Human Rights

Transparency in ParliamentThis publication is on the state of transparency in parliaments in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. It examines the extent to which parliaments are accessible and open from the point of view of both Members of Parliament (MPs) and citizens.

An earlier version of this publication was presented as a paper at a regional workshop organised by SAHR in Dhaka, Bangladesh on 21 April 2009 on the ‘Right to Transparent Governance’ (RTG). The present publication counts with comments and suggestions by workshop participants.

This workshop follows from a series of national and regional consultations on RTG that were organised by SAHR across the region during 2007, which provided a basis to identify issues regarding transparency in government that affect all countries of the region. Subsequently SAHR constituted a committee to oversee and continue work in this sphere; it met in early 2008 to draw up a draft regional convention titled “Citizens’ Charter for Transparent Governance”, which was deliberated at the workshop in Dhaka.

Agreed at the workshop and included in this publication are ‘Summary Principles for Engendering Transparency in Parliament’, as well as a set of detailed guidelines recommended for improving transparency and accountability in the functioning of parliaments across South Asia.

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