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Dhaka Resolution – Regional Consultation: Towards A South Asian Human Rights Mechanism

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Dhaka Resolution, 2014

18 November 2014, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Recalling the struggles and the journey towards ensuring the human rights and dignity of the peoples of South Asia;

Recognising the increasingly key role played by the National Human Rights Institutions in South Asian States towards institutionalising human rights in the region;

Appreciating the efforts made by National Human Rights Institutions in assisting South Asian States in guaranteeing the commitments made under international human rights treaties and instruments including regional instruments;

Expressing concern over growing challenges faced by South Asia as a region and the fact that human rights violations affect the lives of peoples across borders;

Prioritising issues including trafficking in women, child rights, condition of migrant workers and climate change which shall require concerted and cooperative efforts;

Emphasising that regional problems require regional solutions, which can only be achieved through a common resolve for ensuring that the peoples of South Asia are free from oppression and are able to live a life of dignity to their fullest potential;

Committing to a culture of peace and fraternity among all peoples and States in South Asia and our common goal of working towards ensuring freedom and rights for all;

Being cognizant of the fact that regional human rights mechanisms are functioning and expanding in different parts of the world;

Highlighting the rationale and need for a regional human rights mechanism for South Asia to promote and protect the pluralistic nature of the region;

Resolving to mobilise greater support for the creation of an independent, effective and efficient regional mechanism in South Asia;

Reaffirming the essential role of National Human Rights Institutions, CSOs and human rights defenders in advocating for, establishing and ensuring effectiveness of a South Asia Human Rights Mechanism;

We, the participants at the ‘Regional Consultation: Towards A South Asian Human Rights Mechanism”, Dhaka, 18th November 2014 resolve to work towards:

  • Amplifying efforts made by civil society in developing discussions relating to the need for a South Asian human rights mechanism;
  • Enhancing systematic and close cooperation among National Human Rights Institutions in the region in addressing the common challenges and struggles of the peoples of South Asia;
  • Supporting and providing constructive inputs to other National Human Rights Institutions in the region towards better protecting human rights at the domestic level;
  • Ensuring fullest cooperation among National Institutions in the region in addressing violations that impact lives across borders;
  • Strongly urging the SAARC member States, where there are no National Institutions, to establish National Human Rights Institutions in conformity with Paris Principles and further strengthen existing National Institutions;
  • Collectively advocating with SAARC member States to establish a robust South Asia Human Rights Mechanism with a mandate for the protection and promotion of human rights;
  • Inclusion of greater deliberations and commitments relating to human rights and the establishment of a regional human rights mechanism at the SAARC conferences and summits; and
  • Convening annual consultation of the National Institutions in the Region to strengthen inter-NHRI bond of collaboration and cooperation to promote and protect human rights, and for fulfilling the above objectives.

Click here to download the statement (PDF)