Human Rights at the Center of Democratisation
6 June 2006 6:00 pm

“Human rights should be at the center of democratisation in Nepal, where no political compromise should be allowed to be made at the expense of it, and ending impunity should be prioritised”.

The message is part of the Dhulikhel Declaration publicised during the First Human Rights Defenders Forum in South Asia (HRD-SA) in Nepal, from 6-8 June.

“Human rights should be at the center of democratisation in Nepal, where no political compromise should be allowed to be made at the expense of it, and ending impunity should be prioritised”.

The message is part of the Dhulikhel Declaration publicised during the First Human Rights Defenders Forum in South Asia (HRD-SA) in Nepal, from 6-8 June.

Participated by more than 50 participants from various South Asian countries – Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, India, Kashmir, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Tibet – the people gathered to reiterate their commitment to Asian solidarity, peace and democracy.

Themed “Promoting Asian Solidarity for Peace and Democracy: Strengthening the Role of Human Rights Defenders in South Asia”, participants also had a timely opportunity to critically reflect on the role of HRDs and people’s movement in Asia.

Jointly organised by FORUM-ASIA and its member organisation, Kathmandu-based INSEC (Informal Sector Service Centre), participants shared their experiences, struggles and strengthened their solidarity with victims as well as people’s movements in the region.

At the event, FORUM-ASIA executive director Anselmo Lee, read out the Declaration, which outlined several recommendations addressed to the United Nations, Governments and National Human Rights Institutions, on how to promote, protect and strengthen the role of HRDs.

“The forum was organised in Nepal during this critical juncture marked by an ongoing historical process – from democratic transformation of an illegitimate absolute monarchy under King Gyanendra to a people-centred government,” said Lee, at the event.

“The experience of people’s power in Nepal reminds us once again of the historical lesson that human rights were first fought for and won on the streets,” he added, reading out the declaration, which was prepared by the Dhulikhel Declaration Drafting Committee.

“Human rights are the most powerful and effective instruments in bringing about social and political changes”.

In the three-day forum, participants also honoured fellow HRDs and advocates of democracy and peace who have fought at the forefront of people’s struggles and have sacrificed their lives for the cause of human rights and democracy.

For more information regarding the Dhulikhel Declaration, please read the full text (.pdf, 88kb, 7pp.).