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Bangladesh

In Bangladesh, The Carter Center has built hope among mothers and infants plagued by a painful and often deadly disease and has promoted a more free and peaceful democracy.

Waging Peace

An August 2001 mission to Bangladesh by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter on behalf of The Carter Center and the Washington, D.C.-based National Democratic Institute resulted in the first serious meeting in years between rivals in upcoming parliamentary elections, during which they made commitments to ensure a democratic and peaceful election.

+Advocating Human Rights

In the early 1990s, President Carter became involved with the effort to free a young Bangladeshi girl who had been abducted—a victim of a notorious Pakistani slave trade. President Carter acted individually, as a renowned human rights advocate, in cooperation with the international effort on her behalf.

+Rule of Law Program

A popular demand for a right of access to information did not gain traction in Bangladesh until the 1980s, when journalists began to fight against restrictions on press freedom. Momentum toward establishing right to information legislation was slowed and not revisited again until 2002, when the Law Commission first presented a working paper on the right to information in Bangladesh. In 2006, Manusher Jonno Foundation, a leading human rights organization in Bangladesh, circulated a second draft right to information bill. Following continued political conflict, a militarybacked caretaker government came into power and in 2008, issued a right to information ordinance. In 2008, the Information Ministry collaborated with civil society on a draft of the Right to Information Act based on the existing ordinance and with minor amendments it was passed into law. The Right to Information Act went into effect in Bangladesh on July 1, 2009.

The Carter Center's Rule of Law Program has developed programming to advance the effective exercise of the right of access to information for women in Bangledesh. Learn more about this work >

Fighting Disease

Until 1992, The Carter Center and the Task Force for Child Survival and Development worked in Bangladesh to reduce the incidence of neonatal tetanus, a primary cause of infant death during the first seven days of life in many countries.

+Reducing Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus

Until 1992, The Carter Center and the Task Force for Child Survival and Development worked in Bangladesh to reduce the incidence of neonatal tetanus, or lockjaw. Caused by a toxin called Clostridium tetani, maternal and neonatal tetanus is a primary cause of infant death during the first seven days of life in many countries.

The Carter Center, in collaboration with government and local health professionals, studied the beliefs and practices of midwives to improve the education of mothers about the need for immunization. Studies also evaluated birthing techniques that might affect the risks of neonatal tetanus, such as unclean surgical instruments or the failure of midwives to wash their hands before performing a delivery.

The Center also worked to improve collaboration among local ministry of health staff and midwives to avoid unsafe birthing and neonatal care practices, to establish antiseptic delivery methods, and to refer pregnant women and mothers with histories of neonatal tetanus for immunizations.

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QUICK FACTS: BANGLADESH

Size: 148,460 square kilometers


Population: 157,826,578


Population below poverty line: 31.5 percent


Life expectancy: 73 years


Ethnic groups: Bengali, ethnic groups


Religions: Muslim, Hindu, other (includes Buddhist, Christian)


Languages: Bangla (official, also known as Bengali), other

Source: U.S. Central Intelligence Agency World Factbook 2018 

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