Journal of South Asian Development 12(3) pp 286–307
Against the backdrop of continuing rights violations in Bangladesh, this article analyses issue-salience and framing in the policy discourse of civil society organizations (CSOs) and state elites on the implementation of the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). Data from the reports submitted to the second-cycle United Nations’ Universal Periodic Review (UPR), the official monitoring mechanism associated with UN rights treaties, show how state discourse is framed in instrumental, administrative terms. In contrast, civil society discourse is critically framed and highlights poor implementation and enforcement of the CRC, poverty and corruption. This helps to explain on-going rights violations in an increasingly hostile political context wherein government is unresponsive to civil society claims, mobilization is suppressed and CSOs are forced to focus on service delivery and advocacy functions.