Round-table Discussion on The Situation of Human Rights Defenders completed
Bagmati Province Coordinator of National Human Rights Commission, Yagya Adhikari, informed about initiating talks regarding the issuance of identity cards to the Human Rights Defenders, in order to ensure their safety and security.
Human Rights Defenders shared their concerns about having to put their own safety at risk while working for the protection and promotion of Human Rights.
These concerns were raised at the roun-dtable discussion organized by INSEC, at Kathmandu, on 20th September.
They spoke on the existing need for an integrated law for the protection of the rights of Human Rights Defenders, who have been standing up against injustice and tyranny.
Shree Ram Bajgain, director of INSEC presented a working paper on the topic “Concerns and Challenges on Protection of Human Rights Defenders” and elaborated on the need for enactment of law regarding the same.
According to Mr. Bajgain, Human Rights Defenders raise voice on behalf of the voiceless and therefore need to form a strong institution by themselves on the district, provincial and central levels, for the protection and support of citizen’s political, economic, and social rights along with the protection of safety and security of Human Rights Defenders.
In a similar manner, Human Rights Defender, Rajesh Sharma, emphasized on the role of Human Rights Defenders to ensure accountability and end impunity.
He also commented on the lack of respect given to Human Rights Defenders despite working by putting their safety on the line, for the rights of the victims.
Representative of COCAP, Ambika Poudel, gave her opinion regarding the obstacles created by political interference, in the work of Human Rights Defenders. She also pointed out the responsibility of the National Human Rights Commission to hold police administration accountable for the protection of Human Rights Defenders.
Sajnita Timalsina, another Human Rights Defender, shared the grim reality of Women Human Rights Defenders being victims of character assassination and domestic violence.
She also stressed the need for serious surveillance of political parties’ manifestos by the National Human Rights Commission.
Advocate Neha Gurung, the representative of FWLD, highlighted the possibilities of victims of Human Rights violations, advocating against injustices and playing the role of Human Rights Defenders.
She talked about the case where individuals deprived of citizenship, have themselves been part of protests for advocacy of their rights.
Similarly, Laxim Ghalan, founder of Mitini Nepal, put forth the existing biases faced by Human Rights Defenders working on the rights of sexuality and gender-based minorities.
According to her, there is an existing bias against advocates working for queer community and sexual minorities’ rights among Human Rights Defenders and such discrimination should be eradicated.
Madhu Dawadi, a fellow Human Rights Defender, pointed out the lack of a strong collective voice for the protection of Human Rights Defenders.
He also suggested distribution of different categories of ID cards for assurance of safety to the Human Rights Defenders.
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