Council of Minorities in Bangladesh uses Cadasta Land Rights Grant as Step Toward Upgrading 50-year-old Refugee Camps | Land Portal

Cadasta is pleased to award a Data Accelerator Grant to the Council of Minorities, a Bangladeshi human rights organization founded in 2013 that works for establishing the rights of minority communities in Bangladesh. 

Council of Minorities (COM) is receiving a grant under Cadasta’s second round of the Global Land Rights Challenge Fund. The organization will use the funds, along with technology and training from Cadasta, to organize youth and community leaders to conduct a household survey. The survey will provide baseline information on the population, housing investments and quality, and perceptions of tenurity security/insecurity. It will also solicit community ideas for the camp’s long-term rehabilitation and upgrading. The community data collectors will link household data to geospatial location mapping, identifying block structures and the location of current communal infrastructure, such as water taps and toilets.   

“Bihari community members have been living in 116 camps all over Bangladesh for nearly 50 years, since 1972. In 2008 the High Court declared that the camp-based Biharis are Bangladeshi citizens and that they have equal rights,” said the Executive Director of Council of Minorities Khalid Hussain. “Now that the camp dwellers are Bangladeshi citizens, they want to permanently upgrade their communities in Bangladesh, however, we don’t have any comprehensive family data. Cadasta’s platform and tools will help us to document the land rights and family data of around 6,000 households in the Geneva and Adamjee Camps, which will allow us to make a rehabilitation plan for the camp dwellers.”

Commenting on the grant, Cadasta CEO Amy Coughenour Betancourt said, “We are happy to enable the Council of Minorities to use our GIS platform to support these long-standing camp communities as a step toward improving the quality of life in these camps,  while engaging youth, women, and digital leaders as data collectors and actors in their own development.”  

For more information, including application requirements and selection criteria, visit: or contact: 

About Council of Minorities: 

The Council of Minorities (COM) is a human rights organization that works to establish the rights of minority communities in Bangladesh. Since 2013, the organization has been working for promoting the rights of the Urdu-Speaking people who are living in 116 refugee camps spread across the districts of Bangladesh. For establishing legal rights, COM has been creating awareness and accessing services among the camp dwellers regarding their birth and death certificates, passports, trade licences, national identity cards, commissioner certificates, bank accounts, etc. In addition, COM distributes winter clothes, blankets, emergency food and supplies, and educational materials among students. In order to connect minority youth with each other and with mainstream society, COM also organizes an Annual National Youth Leadership Summit. 

Notes to Editors: 

Council of Minorities’ website:

Council of Minorities’ Facebook:

Council of Minorities’ Media Contact:  Ali Imran, 

Council of Minorities Youtube : 

About Cadasta Foundation:

Founded in 2015, Cadasta Foundation is a Washington, D.C. based nonprofit that develops and promotes the use of simple digital tools and technology to help partners efficiently document, analyze, store, and share critical land and resource rights information. By creating an accessible digital record of land, property, and resource rights, we help empower individuals, communities, organizations, governments, and businesses with the information they need to make data-driven decisions and put vulnerable communities and their needs on the map.

For more information about Cadasta’s work visit:

Notes to Editors:

Cadasta Land Rights Challenge Fund: 

Cadasta’s Twitter: @CadastaOrg

Cadasta Press:

Cadasta Media Contact: Madaleine Weber, Communications Director, 

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