Human rights

Human rights

Human rights are universal, and civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights belong to all human beings, including members of minority groups. Members of minorities are entitled to the realization of all human rights and fundamental freedoms on equal terms with others in society, without discrimination of any kind. Minorities — both the individuals belonging to minorities and the minorities as groups — also enjoy certain human rights specifically linked to their minority status, including their right to maintain and enjoy their culture, religion, and language free from discrimination. The human rights of minorities are explicitly set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenants, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious or Linguistic Minorities and other widely adhered to international human rights treaties and Declarations.

Debate on state restructuring in general and federalism in particular is not welcoming wider segment of minorities in the process. Minorities have sacrificed during all movements and revolts for democracy, right and federalism. Their agenda, unfortunately, slipped under the carpet during peace process or democratization or transition to federalism in the country. Exclusion of minorities in the state organs have led to marginalization of minorities’ participation or agenda setting in the mainstream of Nepal’s civil society and human rights movements. Some political parties attempt to stand with and for minorities but their organizational setups are posing huge gap between the manifesto and actions. Highly politicization of minority rights movements in Nepal is another challenge which tends to weaken rights movements where minority leaders may have access to some privileges but the population at grass root have to pay the price. 

What does SNP do?

  • Raising awareness on minority rights agenda though open public discussions, traditional means of communication, e.g. street theatre and electronic medias, e.g. radio and TV.

  • Capacity building of minority rights advocates and activists to participate meaningfully in the dialogue of state restructuring and federalism.

  • Policy advocacy with the statutory bodies and other state agencies to protect and promote the rights of minorities.

  • Promote role of minority women in women rights movements such as in realization of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 and 1820.

  • Organization of national and international roundtables and workshops to share information, establish networking and develop collaborative actions to promote and protect the rights of minorities.

  • Knowledge exchange on peaceful ways and means of protecting and promoting the rights of persons belonging to minorities in transitional settings.

Democratic governance

Democratic governance

Good governance enables citizens to have opportunities to secure their basic needs, freedom and rights through an access to markets, assets, and economic goods and properly regulated civic institutions so that poor and marginalized sections of the society can realize their potential and claim ownership of the political process and its outcome. Nepalese people have witnessed several systems that always claim for better governance addressing the need of people who have almost nil access to governance and development work. Sacrifices made and so were the acts, policies and strategies formulated in order to improve systems that could ensure better delivery. Yet, significant challenges remain ahead including addressing the exclusion of minority population in governance process. Absence of accountable and transparent local governance mechanism in districts in general and at rural areas in particular followed by mounting corruption in local development has resulted into declining performance of public service delivery system.

Highly centralized and politicized process of government policy formulation results into exclusive allocation of resources and prioritization of programs that do not promote the culture of transparency and inclusive development. Deteriorating performance of government institutions in providing minimum services to the people is posing serious threat in sustaining citizen government interface which is a critically needed to sustain the outcomes of various movements for peace, equality and democracy. 

What does SNP do?

  • Development of effective communication strategies and media mobilization for raising mass awareness on governance issues and demand for good governance.

  • Capacity building of local CSOs and local communities in engaging the process of local governance and developments in conflict affected and rural areas.

  • Building interface between local government agencies and local groups/organizations to promote people’s voice in local governance processes such as in municipal planning of solid waste management and urban environment, green job creation etc.

  • Building information base for proper planning of local development such as VDC profiling and Strategy Planning of VDCs.

  • Support to local community members/groups/organizations in demanding for transparent and effective service delivery mechanisms at rural areas such as campaign for citizenship/birth/voter registration.

  • Facilitating minorities’ access to participate and contribute in fair, scientific and GESI sensitive national housing and population census 2011.

Peace building

Peace building

Nepal has a long history of extreme poverty and under-development, with significant social, economic and political challenges. Nepal is the poorest country in South Asia and among the poorest in the world. A relatively small, landlocked country of over 25 million sandwiched between India and China, it is a complex society vulnerable to a range of internal and external forces dominated by a dynamic of conflict, elite capture of decision-making and resources, and exploitation. The people’s movement of April 2006, the November 2006 Comprehensive Peace Agreement to end the armed conflict, and the April 2008 and November 2013 Constituent Assembly elections followed by the promulgation of new Constitution in September 2015 all marked critical steps towards the establishment of a peaceful and democratic Nepal. There are, however, many challenges lie ahead that could lead to more violent conflicts.

Kathmandu centred Nepal’s peace process has shown some considerable limitations over the issue of exclusive participation and exclusion of minorities’ agenda which were seriously denied by the groups not yet brought into national mainstream. Indigenous nationalities’ movement, Madhesh Revolt of early 2007 followed by Tharu movements were some of the excluded peoples’ struggle seeking fair share of peace deal. Record breaking representation of minorities and other excluded groups in the Constitution Assembly had raised another hope that the new constitution would break the cycle of exclusion, exploitation and deprivation based on identity to certain caste/ethnicity, language spoken or religion practiced or geography located.

One of the main causes of decade long armed conflict in Nepal was the exploitation, discrimination, marginalization and social exclusion of minority groups. The demand for a federal governing system is largely to address this problem. However, the recent struggles of various group debating over naming and delineation of federal boundaries have surfaced some of the structural and institutional inequalities of Nepalese societies. How Nepal addresses the issues of exclusion and marginalisation through the federalisation process will determine the future of sustainable peace in the country. 

What does SNP do?

  • Improve the quality of social and economic life and help sustain peace in most vulnerable and conflict-affected areas by delivering small-scale Immediate Impact Micro Projects (IIMPs) focused at tangible benefits through participatory, inclusive community-led action planning.

  • Strengthen the capacity of local peace focused institutions such as the Local Peace Committee (LPC) in identifying and facilitating issues of conflict victim and addressing causes of tension.

  • Support the localization of national peace instruments and action plan such as NAP on UN SCR 1325 & 1820.

  • Support to local administration in opening window of opportunity to the victims of conflict.

  • Build a culture of peace though peace education, peace journalism, conflict sensitive program planning and wider engagement of stakeholders in the process.

  • Facilitate increased participation and issues of minorities in peace building efforts at local, regional and national level.

  • Monitor and analyse trends, set up early warning systems and institutionalization of ideal approaches to sustain peace.