Initiation of National Workshop For Human Rights Defenders

  February 20, 2024 By: Shreya Parajuli

The national workshop of the National Human Rights Defenders started in Kathmandu on February 20. The program was organized by INSEC, the National Human Rights Commission, and Dan Church Aid Nepal.

The Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission, Tap Bahadur Magar, started the program by lighting the lamp. During the event, Magar emphasized the role of human rights defenders in raising awareness in society. He added that it is the main responsibility of human rights workers to create a suitable environment for citizens to enjoy their rights.

Chairman Magar said that the main responsibility of the state is to protect, respect and fulfill human rights. He stated both the negative and positive impacts of advancements in science and technology. Highlighting that labor rights are compromised when individuals are displaced from certain jobs, he emphasized the essential need for the proper utilization of science and technology. The National Human Rights Commission is continuously working on the issue of human rights defenders. He reminded that the Commission has issued guidelines about the work, duties, and rights of human rights defenders.

He emphasized that the government’s primary responsibility is to protect human rights defenders. According to him, the government should ensure the safety of human rights defenders, acknowledging the potential risks they face in their work. The Commission is actively working to initiate the creation of laws aimed at protecting human rights defenders and is in the process of finalizing these laws for submission to the government. Ensuring the safety of human rights defenders is crucial for positive advancements in the field of human rights and will contribute to reducing human rights violations.

Dr. Kundan Aryal, Chairperson of INSEC, said that now the circle of human rights has widened. He emphasized that while yesterday they focused more on civil and political rights, now they should focus on all the fundamental rights of the Constitution. Dr. Aryal emphasized that human life is at risk due to environmental changes, advocating for the recognition of this issue as a human rights concern. He expressed the view that one cannot truly defend human rights without understanding the consequences of environmental degradation. He said that environmental rights are also included in social life and are basic rights.

In the program, Taskila Nicholas of Good Safer International Nepal emphasized that human rights are fundamental rights for all citizens. She shared that they are actively involved in promoting and protecting the human rights of women, children, and marginalized communities.

Bimal Ghimire, Chief of the Program of Dan Church Aid Nepal, said that the meeting of human rights defenders will lead to a common understanding of the issue of human rights and help in moving forward.

During the event,  the coordinator of the Human Rights and Environment National Network, Abhayraj Joshi, said that protecting the environment is the basis of building a civilized society. He said that taking precautions to create a clean and sustainable environment will help to make the government accountable. District representatives of all 77 districts of INSEC, human rights workers, and others participated in the program.

Nawaraj Ghimire