We are pleased to announce that the Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association has been awarded the prestigious 2020 Tang Prize.

The 2020 Tang Prize in Rule of Law has been jointly awarded to Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (BELA), Dejusticia: The Center for Law, Justice and Society (Dejusticia), and The Legal Agenda. The NGOs were awarded “for their efforts in furthering the rule of law and its institutions through education and advocacy.”

The three non-governmental organizations operate within a context where the rule of law faces severe challenges, including human rights infringements, degradation of the integrity of the environment that poses threats to human lives, health and livelihood, and inadequacies in basic fundamental freedoms and judicial independence.

Established in 1992, BELA promotes the rule of law and environmental justice through public interest litigation, advocacy, research and publication. BELA has covered various issues, including river pollution, industrial pollution, vehicular pollution, illegal construction, labor welfare, illegal mining, wetlands protection, prevention of soil erosion, reduction of plastic use, and prevention of ship pollution.

“While the general public reflects a distrust of legal authorities, BELA promotes the rule of law and environmental justice through public interest litigation’s, legislative advocacy, research and publication, as well as capacity-building for actors both in the public sector and civil society. Their innovative approaches to the Bangladesh Constitution has enabled them to interlink environmental pollution with the threats to people’s well-being. By successfully persuading the domestic courts to recognize its legal standings on behalf of the people afflicted by environmental degradation, BELA established the path for public interest litigation’s in Bangladesh. Its initiative has a far-reaching effect of setting a goal for other social activists in Bangladesh to strive for.”

Facebook post published by Tang Prize

For the above reasons, the 2020 Tang Prize in Rule of Law is jointly awarded to BELA, Dejusticia and The Legal Agenda for their efforts in furthering the rule of law and its institutions through education and advocacy. 

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For more information contact:
Rehmuna Nurain,
Coordinator- Research, Campaign & Advocacy
Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (BELA)
Email: rehmuna1979@gmail.com


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