New Bangladesh Report Reveals Priorities of the Bihari Minority

Residing in 116 slum-like “camps” across Bangladesh, the country’s Bihari community – or the non-Bengali, Urdu-speaking citizens – have suffered marginalization since migrating to Bangladesh after Partition in 1947. While the country’s government has made recent progress in improving the rights and welfare of Biharis, the living conditions in the camps remain poor and the community continues to face prejudice.

To help empower this community and understand their needs, the International Republican Institute (IRI) has partnered with a local research firm to organize focus group discussions in the most densely Bihari populated areas across Bangladesh. These areas include Chattogram, Dhaka, Khulna and Rangpur.

This report is part of a three-part study, funded by the U.S. Department of State, on the needs of marginalized communities in Bangladesh. The study includes Biharis, plainland ethnic groups and LGBTI people. This research advances IRI’s goal to promote the inclusion of historically marginalized communities in political discussion and policy decision-making in Bangladesh. In-depth research on community needs is essential for evidence-based advocacy for policy change.

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