Strengthening the Capacity of Marginalized Youth to Effectively Participate in Local Governance Processes in the context of Nepal’s new Federal Structure in Makwanpur
HIMRIGHTS implemented a 6-month long project “Strengthening the Capacity of Marginalized Youth to Effectively Participate in Local Governance Processes in the context of Nepal’s new Federal Structure in Makwanpur” in Manahari Rural Municipality. The main objectives of the project were knowledge and capacity building of marginalized youth, linkage building with government stakeholders and transformation of women into respected leaders; for their meaningful and effective participation in local level government processes. The programs were designed to build linkage between the participants and local government stakeholders with meaningful participation in the programs, either directly or as observers and beyond.The project was implemented through three major activities: human rights and good governance training programs, mock municipal council sessions (roles and responsibilities of all the elected and committees,
resources, policy formulations) and dialogues with elected leaders and municipal officials. Effective results and impact was seen within short duration of time. Participants had increased knowledge on the newly formed federal structure and the government’s 7 step participatory planning process. They were able to demand for accountability and transparency from concerned stakeholders. The project enhanced capacities of marginalized youth as a result of which they were able to participate in several government processes and committees after project implementation. It developed a sense of responsibility and need for increased accountability among stakeholders too. Three youth networks were formed in ward 3, 4 and 6 who are now in the process of proposal submission and approval for their planned projects. Women have transformed into proactive leaders. They were able to secure higher decision making positions during the role-play of mock sessions and have continued to show similar leadership both in the networks and with local government. Elected women government officials and representatives are able to build their capacity too and used this project as a platform to encourage local women for their engagement in the local government processes.
Impact in other different areas was also very evident. The dialogues created a bridge between participants and stakeholders through two-way communication and highlighted several opportunities in agriculture, employment, government provisions and funding, which the locals were unaware of. One of the most crucial outcomes of the project was the change in lens towards concept of development. The stakeholders and locals understanding of development was limited to infrastructural development. However, the people centered discussions, issues sharing and engagement of different groups of community in the programs changed this perspective and stakeholders have promised to include these elements in project designing and policy formulation as well as youth participation in decision-making and funding support for projects. Recently as committed by the Municipality in the dialogue, conducted a skill development training to 13 participants and advanced training will be conducted in the coming financial year; two dialogues were conducted too with the community.
A total of 221 direct beneficiaries followed by 9000+ indirect beneficiaries (through print/online media, engagement in participant led program and sharing) were benefitted from the project. They are organizing several awareness programs against issues like child marriage and polygamy, advocating against us social issues such as discrimination and untouchability, demanding for effective information dissemination and equal/equitable distribution of resources and opportunities.
“This program has helped us connect to the grassroots level people more effectively and identify their priority issues. We will conduct similar dialogues in all 9 wards of our municipality and allocate budget for it in the next fiscal year”- Manila Bista, Deputy Mayor, Manahari Rural Municipality.
Enhancing Empowerment of the Youth from Marginalized Groups in Nepal for Inclusive Democracy and Greater Realization of Human Rights
HIMRIGHTS successfully conducted transformative leadership project ‘Enhancing Empowerment of the Youth from Marginalized Groups in Nepal for Inclusive Democracy and Greater Realization of Human Rights’ (March 2013-June 2016) intensively in 3 districts (Banke, Makwanpur, and Bhojpur) and at national level (25 districts) with the objectives of fortification of inclusive democracy, accountability and transparency; civic responsibilities, right to information, freedoms of opinion, expression and communication; reduction of various forms of discrimination and oppression taking into consideration and respect women's leadership in the decision making process both as leaders and colleagues together with the creation of an overall socio-political environment conducive to equal access to justice in Nepal.
The project was strategically designed to increase visibility and meaningful participation of marginalized youths in local development process through promotion of gender equality and meaningful participation in each of the activities. For their visibility as prospective leaders and linkage, local government stakeholders and political parties’ involvement was sought from initial preparations to project implementations at all levels which created conducive environment to increase access to local decision-making, resources, local development and candidacy in local elections. Qualitative documentation was conducted with 512 participants from second and third year. 55% of the women were in the major posts of Ward Citizen Forums, Integrated Plan Formulation Committee, Citizen Awareness Center, Consumer Groups and other groups. In April and May 2017, seven of the participants were elected in the Local Level Elections as ward members.
The youths who were invisible and voiceless are actively participating in planning, prioritization, implementation, budget allocation and monitoring of the development projects as given in Local Self Governance Act, 1999. They are holding key positions in local level decision-making bodies, such as Ward Citizen Forums, Integrated Planning Committees, Citizen Awareness Centers and Consumer’s Groups. 26% of the participants (from year II and III) were selected or elected in above-mentioned bodies especially after the participation in HIMRIGHTS activities. They followed systematic procedure to submit the project proposals in their VDCs. They were successful to access fund from their VDCs with due process. 35 participants received US$ 56,874 for 52 successful proposals in the third year and 22 of them were female. In all 90 working VDCs, targeted budgets were spent on respective groups.
Youths conducted Right to Information (RTI) Campaigns and submitted applications to the heads of Local Health Posts, Agriculture Services Centers and local schools and they raised issues for effective local resource mobilization and project implementation in VDC. Most importantly, they are raising voice against corruption and financial irregularities to make local government agencies accountable to citizens and their financial transactions transparent.
18 Mock Village Councils, 18 Village Public Hearings, 12 Village Dialogues, six Mock District Councils, nine District Public Hearings, and six District Dialogues were conducted in Banke, Makwanpur and Bhojpur districts and three National Youth Legislative Parliaments and 2 National Dialogues at National level (participants from 25 districts). The target groups were marginalized youths (18 – 26 years); worked very closely with VDC (Secretary and Social Mobilizer), Ward Citizen Forums, political parties and heads of local government agencies throughout the project period. Directly worked with 3,495 marginalized youths (60% female, 40% male) from 90 VDCs and they shared their learning and knowledge to 420,000 people. Women friendly spaces were created and strategically encouraged them to take key-positions with the provision of 50:50 in all the processes, elected/nominated with their male counterparts. This further resulted in significant increase of women’s participation in decision-making and political leadership in the local government.
“The program was very effective in transforming youths as leaders and should be conducted in all districts of Nepal” Hon. Ranju Jha, Chairperson of Parliamentary Committee on Woman Children Elderly and Social Welfare Committee which owned Youth Declaration from the Mock National Youth Legislative Parliament.
“We appreciate the effort and trainings organized by HIMRIGHTS which has trained marginalized youth about the planning process from the local level and empowered them with leadership and different skills. We hope that this program will continue. I would commit to help anyhow necessary for the continuation of the program.” (Chandra Bahadur Karki, Assistant Chief District Officer of Makwanpur).
This process has been accepted by the government and implemented by the Youth Council.
Mock Parliaments and Constituent Assemblies –Child / Youth / Women
HIMRIGHTS initiated Mock Parliaments since 2004 with the aim of providing a platform to children, youth and women to build their leadership skills, self-confidence, knowledge on policymaking, their roles and responsibilities and democratic values and principles. Four Mock Child Parliaments and four Mock Youth Parliaments were organized in collaboration with the Parliament Secretarial in various districts of Nepal. During the programs major parliamentary sessions were exactly replicated at micro level facilitating to raise the voices of children and youths through a final declaration of prioritized issues. The declarations of youth were submitted to parliamentarians, ministries and concerned government line agencies for legal enactments and policy changes and most of them were owned by the interim Parliament.
HIMRIGHTS organized district and community level interactions to get children’s and women’s issues, concerns and opinions, which were taken into account and successfully integrated in the Constitution. HIMRIGHTS organized Mock Constituent Assemblies and Public Hearings with women and children in Kathmandu. Furthermore, conducted a massive Regional Public Hearing in Makwanpur especially with conflict-affected women to raise their priority issues and lobbied for its integration in the draft Constitution in 2009. The participants were from diverse and inclusive background of geographic locations, gender, caste/ethnicity, age and language. At the end of the program, the participants came up with a list of priority issues and suggestions and finally the declarations were submitted to the Chair and Vice Chair of Constituent Assembly (CA) and to concerned CA committees and to the country President, Hon. Ram Baran Yadav. Declarations from women and children Mock Constituent Assemblies are reflected in Draft Constitution, especially on fundamental rights on health, economic security/employment, education, social justice, legal rights, etc. Committee on Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of CA has incorporated the issues raised by HIMRIGHTS and Partnership for Protection for Children in Conflict (PPCC). Many of the marginalized participants from Child and Youth Parliaments/Constituent Assemblies are in leading roles in various sectors at district and national level.
On the other hand, HIMRIGHTS organized training on ‘Effective practice of the Constituent Assembly in the context of Constitution making’ for marginalized women CA members in 2009. The program played significant role to strengthen their capacity. The program was focused on CA procedures, enhancing presentation and negotiation skills and process of submitting proposals in the Constituent Assembly’s session. 67 of the total 197 women CA members from 13 political parties were part of the program.
Empowerment and Leadership Building of Marginalized Groups:
HIMRIGHTS has been conducting the project ‘Empowerment and Leadership Building of Marginalized Groups in Makwanpur’ (April 2017 – continuing) in Handikhola, Manahari (currently Manahari Rural Municipality) and Sarikhet and Raksirang (currently Raksirang Rural Municipality) of the district. The project is working on empowerment of marginalized groups especially Chepang community through education support and leadership building activities. As the part of the project, we provided scholarships and educational materials to 100 Chepang children and benefitted their parents and communities. They were selected based on extreme impoverished family background, single parent, and need for educational support without which they would not be able to enroll or continue in school. Some of them have never attended schools at the age of 12. Several extra-curricular activities such as speech and song competitions were conducted for confidence and capacity building in marginalized children. The children are doing exceptionally well both academically and socially with tutorial and food support. Similarly, we have conducted workshops on importance of education and dialogues between the community and education stakeholders in all four locations. These programs help in enhancing understanding of importance of
education and create linkages between education stakeholders and the community for improved education services to marginalized children and prevention of human trafficking and child marriage.
As part of their right to health safety especially as preventative measures to combat COVID Pandemic, we provided masks, soap, and additional food in 2020 to all our 100 scholarship recipients, their families, and their schools. In 2021 we expanded the support to their local health facilities and all the habitants of 6 wards where their schools are located with 10,000 people distribution for masks, soaps and mask, soaps, facemasks, PPE, Thermometer, Thermo gun and cetamol in local health office
Earthquake Recovery through Empowerment, Leadership, and Reconstruction of Marginalized Survivors of Kathmandu Valley - May to December 2016:
HIMRIGHTS implemented the project ‘Earthquake Recovery through Empowerment, Leadership, and Reconstruction of Marginalized Survivors inner cities of Kathmandu Valley’ in Thecho and Khapinchhe, Lalitpur District. Thecho and Khapinchhe are selected as the target clusters because they were severely affected by April 2015 earthquake. Hundreds of houses turned into rubbles and dozens of lives were lost in these areas.
The objective of this project was to build capacity and leadership of earthquake survivors; facilitate them to access the government relief packages and services and create dignified space to voice complex traditions and cultures of the Valley and earthquake policies with government stakeholders. Workshops: Human Rights and Earthquake Policies; Local Governance Process; Municipal Level Dialogue were conducted in both clusters with 307 (190 Female and 117 Male) earthquake survivors; heard their stories and facilitated them to raise their voices and issues with Executive Officers of Municipalities, members of Parliament, National Reconstruction Authority and political parties.
The major issues raised: relief amount by the government is insufficient to demolish homes or even dispose the debris. The indigenous people living in old parts of the Valley for generations, many do not have any land or house ownership documents, which are crucial to claim government relief packages, preventing access to government relief. Moreover, majority is not familiar with government process, voiceless, have low political awareness, some cannot speak Nepali; their issues not integrated in policies, both government and most international community do not give attention needs and rights. The earthquake policy is not friendly for the indigenous inhabitants of Kathmandu Valley. Furthermore, it is not priority area for most of the bi-lateral, multi-lateral and I/NGO support, especially in inner cities which are most affected by the earthquake.
The project provided earthquake victims a platform to raise the burning issues to relevant stakeholders and highlight their specific issues in the national forum for policy change. The survivors have better linkages with ward and municipality officials. The government changed the policy to be able to get access to relief package without land ownership document
Nepal Earthquake Relief Program – 2015:
HIMRIGHTS Crisis Support Fund is a social accountability initiative of staff members of this organization to support marginalized children, women and marginalized groups deprived of basic needs and rights. The massive earthquakes on April 25 and May 12, 2015 and continuous aftershocks left thousands of people injured, homeless and dead. Millions were forced to live in temporary shelters. Right from April 26, we started the emergency support and raised support for earthquake survivors from friends and relatives to provide emergency food relief, medicines for health camps and temporary shelters. HIMRIGHTS distributed food, blankets and tarps to 1067 families in most affected areas of Lalitpur, Kathmandu, Makwanpur, Rasuwa, Sindhupalchowk and Ramechap. Provided medical support to thousands of injured through health posts in Bungamati, Harisiddhi and Lubhu of Lalitpur; District Public Health Offices of Dolakha, Makwanpur and Nuwakot; health camps were conducted in Singati and Marbu of Dolakha, Ichangu and Sitapaila of Kathmandu and different VDCs of Sindhupalchwok; Paropkar Central Hospital and Kanti Children Hospital of Kathmandu.
Distributed and built temporary shelters in Lalitpur, Kathmandu and Makwanpur: seven emporary homes with corrugated zinc roofs and bamboos to Pahari and Nagarkoti community of Badikhel, Lalitpur and seven Chepang families from Sarikhet, Makwanpur; one family from Lubhu, Lalitpur; two community
shelters in Swoyambhu temple area; and six classrooms in Shree Narayan Jan Secondary School, Machhegaon, Kathmandu.
Child Friendly Spaces (CFS) – 2015 to 2016:
HIMRIGHTS in partnerships with Plan International Nepal established Child Friendly Spaces (CFS) in earthquake affected areas of Lubhu and Siddipur, Lalitpur district to help children cope with the psychosocial problems faced in earthquakes. CFS provided a safe place and empowerment for girls and boys to overcome anxiety, fear and leadership building. These spaces helped children to reduce their mental stress by interaction, artwork, dance, singing and playing with their friends and peers and provided alternative education. 721 children (350 male and 371 female) benefitted from three Child Friendly Spaces. This was a great help for parents during this difficult time and helped them to internalize the rights of the children.
Post December 2015 HIMRIGHTS handed over the project to Lubhu Secondary School of Lubhu and Satya Youth Club of Siddipur and supported financially by local government for its continuation and further capacity building. They also allocated fund for Children's Park as safe space. Local community and local youth clubs has prioritized child protection and formed Child Protection Committee and Child Clubs. In addition, 16 awareness programs for 441 participants (374 Female and 67 Male) from different caste and ethnicities were conducted in the various earthquake-affected areas of Lubhu and Siddipur on Women Rights, Children Rights Protection, and Disaster Risk Management. HIMRIGHTS continue to provide technical support to both these groups
HIMRIGHTS Lifeline – 2004 to 2012:
HIMRIGHTS Lifeline was mechanism for monitoring, reporting, fact-finding, and response and impartial platform to address grave human rights violations during the armed conflict. HIMRIGHTS documented over 4000 cases of grave human rights violations including gender based violence (GBV) during the armed conflict and provided emergency, legal, medical support to the victims of conflict, prevented re-arrests of innocent, filed heabus corpus, legal support and reintegration. Based on the complaints registered by people, Lifeline successfully resolved the problems through negotiation with concerned stakeholders. Toll free telephone numbers were provided for access to LifeLine from all parts of the country. Regular media monitoring was conducted to document human rights violations for trend and fact-finding. Lifeline published quarterly, bi-annual Human Rights Situation Report and shared with NHRC, UN agencies, related human rights organizations, embassies and international HR mechanisms. HIMRIGHTS is continuing monitoring and documentation of human rights violations including women and child rights.
HIMRIGHTS was one of the founder members of Partnerships for Protecting Children in Armed Conflict (PPCC) established in 2005 as a child protection network of national and international organizations. PPCC documented 1274 cases of child rights and education related violations during the project period. Similarly, 104 cases of sexual violence documented. Provided emergency support, rescue, mediation, medical support, scholarships, transportation, reintegration, relief and counseling services to 99 survivors. Legal support was provided for cases of rape, domestic violence and gender based violence. As a member of Mine Action Working Group, HIMRIGHTS had conducted landmine awareness programs within schools and communities, and provided emergency and logistic support for the child survivors of Improvised Explosive Device (IED). District level awareness programs on human rights, child rights and reconciliation workshops conducted in its working districts.
Published bi-annual Human Rights Situation Report; shared with human rights organizations, NHRC, embassies, UN Security Council and international HR mechanisms.
Girl Child Consultations
HIMRIGHTS in collaboration with Beyond Beijing Committee (BBC, conducted First and Second Girl Child National Consultations in September 4-9, 2007 and December 18-21, 2010. Children from 31 districts across the country raised their experiences and priorities; followed by interaction with parliamentarians and high-level ministerial representatives and media; submitted their issues to the law and policy makers. Girls aged between 11-18, from child clubs, in and out of school, conflict affected/mine victims, trafficking/circus survivors, Kamlari, Badi, restaurant workers, girl mothers, orphaned, intellectually challenged, sexually exploited, children in conflict with law, slum, HIV affected, substance abuse, religious minority, Dalit (Hill and Terai), Raji, Madheshi and indigenous groups participated in the program. These were excellent examples of girl child friendly spaces with least interference from adults and right based participatory approach.
Sexual exploitation, violation of right to freedom, child marriage, discrimination, education, child labor, disability, and conflict affected children and girl child participation; these are major nine issues identified and prioritized by participants. The collaborating partners of the Consultations as project priorities, lobby and advocacy implemented the priority issues.
Youth Action Fund
HIMRIGHTS conducted this program to build capacity and leadership development of the youth. Conducted workshops in 33 districts to priorities issues, write proposal and budget and supported through the entire implementation period of each individual project. Many of the participants were successful and integrated in bigger local projects. 80 participants successfully submitted their proposals, awarded, majority USD 1000 each, 2008-2010.
Collaborative Leadership and Dialogue for Peace, Security and Local Development
HIMRIGHTS conducted district level and VDC level public dialogues on various social issues relating to public services in collaboration with INSEC, Fatima Foundation, and HURON. It aimed to develop collaborative leadership and dialogue for peace, security and local development in the target areas. Furthermore, HIMRIGHTS organized trainings for district and community level stakeholders. The reported cases were related to financial transaction, land and properties, domestic violence and others social disputes. As a member organization of District Local Peace Committee, we have played supportive role in establishing VLPCs in different VDCs.
Peace Building and Reconciliation Workshop: 30 Peace Building and Reconciliation workshops were conducted in 16 districts of five development regions with the objective to generate empathy, empowerment, positive self image and confidence and leadership building of survivors and facilitate them access to justice. The primary target groups: women and children directly affected by armed conflict including ex-soldiers, survivors of sexual and physical violence, imprisoned, tortured, landmine victims, and others victims of armed conflict. The workshop was a safe and dignified platform for trauma healing; sharing their experience of victimhood and transcending need for revenge, building empathy and compassion for opposing sides, with major focus on their empowerment to seek access to justice.
Public Hearing: Successfully organized 30 Public Hearings with more than 1100 children and 300 women. These were platform for women, adolescent girls and boys affected by the armed conflict to raise their issues, express their grievances and question stakeholders on issues such as disappearances, killings, torture, rape, sexual abuse, return of land and or homes, compensation (education, health, income generation/skill development etc), reintegration, transitional justice, reconciliation and reparation etc. It provided opportunities for women and girls to obtain direct answers and solutions from relevant stakeholders. The program sensitized and created awareness on rights and accountability of stakeholders by facilitating a positive environment for ‘Peace Building and Reconciliation’. Many policies have positively formulated as the outcome of these programs and many have been able to get relief packages from government.
HIMRIGHTS also conducted Public Hearings, especially focusing on Convention on the Rights of Children. It played key role in redress of human rights violations, including education, recreations, health rights, socio-economic, rights to be treated humanely in the context of street children, domestic workers etc. This proved to be an empowering process for them to claim their rights by themselves.
Reconciliation through Artwork: 16 reconciliation workshops were conducted with children directly affected by the decade long armed conflict. The use of art in these workshops became very rewarding and healing experience for children. Furthermore, graffiti on child rights, Paris Principles to Protect Children from Recruitment and Use by Armed Groups. They got opportunity to express their experiences and voices in the form of artwork as drawing, poems, songs and personal stories. Directly witnessed angry, violent, and forlorn children all parts of the country overcome the need to take revenge and transform into
happy children, sharing their stories, and becoming friends and empathetic with victims from opposing sides. Similarly, 10 Reconciliation Workshops were conducted from their lens with 300 community people including parents, teachers, social leaders, journalist and NGOs for the effective reintegration of conflict-affected children
Pictorial Book and Exhibitions: The children’ experiences of conflict were expressed through drawings, poems, personnel stories and artwork during the reconciliation workshops were exhibited in 14 working districts, national and international level. The purpose was to sensitize community members, stakeholders at local, national, and international on the status and impact of armed conflict on children especially girls. The vivid graphic presentation of artwork became a powerful to sensitize people at larger level to lobby to address the issues and stop the armed conflict. Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy, UN Under-Secretary-General and Special Representative inaugurated a national level exhibition on December 5-10, 2008. The artworks was produced as “Reconciliation: Voices and Experiences of Children Affected by Armed Conflict”.
We produced other two comic/pictorial books titled “Farewell to Firearms" with children in their experience of armed conflict and “Path to Reconciliation” on root causes of conflict, and what reconciliation mean for them. Used three publications massively to raise awareness, lobby and advocate at national and international level. We were integral part of lobbying the issues in UN Security Council Working Group and Group of Friends on Children and Armed Conflict, similarly, to UNICEF, DPKO, SRSG – CAAC office and sessions for Paris Principles, Declaration on Principles and Guidelines on Children in Armed Conflict and DDR, organized by French Government and UNICEF.
Ensuring Participatory and Secure Transition (EPST): HIMRIGHTS worked on the UN Resolution 1325 and 1820 and National Action Plan (NAP) with various activities such as capacity building of local peace committee, conflict affected women, civil society organizations, seed grant to conflict victims and training to girls and women for civil service examinations preparation were conducted. All the activities concluded in close coordination with District Administration Office, District Development Committee, Women Development Office, Birgunj Sub-metropolitan City, Local Peace Committee and media agencies. HIMRIGHTS has reformed the District Coordination Committee and developed district action plan based on NAP. Similarly, HIMRIGHTS Parsa was successful in inaugurating the peace memorial in Laxmanuwa Park in the memory of known and unknown martyrs of the decade long armed conflict on July 18th, 2014. HIMRIGHTS was given certificate of appreciation by Women Development Office, Parsa for its outstanding contribution towards the issues of women, children and youth.
The project has strengthened the capacity of concerned stakeholders like District Coordination Committee (DCC), Local Peace Committee (LPC) for the implementation of National Action Plan on UNSCR 1325 & 1820. Before this project, the activities of DCC and LPC were not seen in an active manner. But after the implementation of EPST, the DCC members were able to stand in a common platform for the action and implementation of NAP 1325 and 1820 and the activities related to DCC and LPC has been increased in the district level.
Conflict Management and Peace Building (CMPB): HIMRIGHTS conducted CMPB project in Banke district since 2009. The main objective was to minimize direct and structural political conflicts/violence, as well as to establish a culture of peace, coexistence and harmony. District level interactions and peace dialogues have been organized with district stakeholders, civil society, and religious groups with marginalized, youth and women, local political parties; religious, communal and ethnic leaders, conflict victims. Five Village Mediation Groups (VMGs) have been formed in Kachanapur, Rajhena, Bankatwa, Gangapur and Chisapani. VMGs are playing active role in monitoring and solving local disputes at local level as well as establishing Village Local Peace Committees (VLPCs). VMGs in Banke mediated 85 out of 98 reported cases from five VDCs in 2010. Similarly, women's representations in Village Council, Program Monitoring Committee, Consumer Groups has also increased. In Bankatuwa VDC, there are four women heading the Committee, earlier only one woman was the head
Human trafficking is one of the worst forms of human rights violations; it deprives the victim from right to life, freedom, dignity, and security. It is modern day slavery expanding for many purposes. HIMRIGHTS has been implementing programs on prevention of human trafficking, unsafe migration, and violence against women and children in the Makwanpur, Bara, Parsa, and Rautahat districts since 2000.Trafficking affects both women and men, but the most vulnerable and the main victims are women and girls. Taking this into account and to prevent human trafficking at a grassroots level, HIMRIGHTS formed "Nigarani Samuha" (Surveillance Groups) in 2003. There were 76 and 33 surveillance groups in Makwanpur and Bara districts respectively with 1088 members. The main purpose was to raise awareness on human trafficking, safe migration and women’s rights issues to their own communities. They play a key role as a watchdog in the community to prevent girls and women from being victim of trafficking or unsafe migration and gender based violence. The groups also conducted trainings and awareness on safe migration and human trafficking at local level. Another key role of Surveillance Groups is lobbying in VDC budget committee. They successfully lobbied in some VDCs to allocate budget for women’s programs. The anti- trafficking activities empowered 30,374 women from Makwanpur, Bara, Rautahat by educating them about women's rights, anti-trafficking, violence against women, related legal rights and procedures, etc. This campaign has empowered women at a grassroots level to speak up for their rights, pursue justice, help others in their community to do the same, and create a micro-credit system with a membership of over 40000 women. Provided education scholarships to 320 circus returnees, vulnerable, conflict-affected, and marginalized girls; 750 women survivors of armed conflict, gender-based violence, vulnerable to trafficking were provided with income-generation, skill development training, and seed money.
HIMRIGHTS started “Child Alert, Protection and Prevention of Cross Border Child Trafficking” project in coordination with Plan International Nepal, Makwanpur district in 2012-2014 to prevent children and young people from being trafficked; establish cross-border child friendly track; rescue, repatriation, rehabilitation and reintegration adopting national standard for Missing Child Alert system; highlight the issues of internal and external trafficking, nationally and internationally and lobby for urgent action to address them.
District and VDC level coordination meetings, trainings, orientations, capacity building programs, rallies and street dramas were successfully conducted followed by formation and strengthening of 29 Village Child Protection Committees and support program. The VDCs allocated budget to VCPC to conduct community awareness activities to protect child rights and women rights. HIMRIGHTS rescued and reintegrated 52 boys from all over India who were brought to Nirdesh Bal Griha, Muzzafarpur, from Makwanpur and other districts. Similarly, we have developed Makwanpur District Action Plan Against Trafficking for Women and Children Office in coordination with government and non-government organizations.
HIMRIGHTS has been co-founder of Alliance Against Trafficking of Women and Children since the conceptual phase, currently it has 40 organizational members. Has been working on lobbying and advocating for legal and policy change, building capacity of members and other stakeholders. Has member of National Committee to Control Human Trafficking for third four-year terms. HIMRIGHTS was elected as the chair from 2017-2019 during this period apart from all the leadership role focused lobbying on Parlemo Protocol against human trafficking was unanimously passed by the National Parliament in March 4, 2020, AATWIN had been advocating for it over a decade.
HIMRIGHTS Helpline: Helpline Centers in Makwanpur, Bara, Parsa, and Sindhuli in the District Administration Office to provide information on safe migration processes and distribute Safe Migration Booklet. Many have realized that they were going to be trafficked and opted not to go abroad others migrated with informed choice and followed the government policies. Around 30,000 women and youths have received the safe migration and foreign employment procedure and orientations from helpline centers. District and local level interactions and activities were conducted. HIMRIGHTS rescued and
intercepted internal and external trafficking of 63 women and children to brothels, circus, and hazardous foreign employment including men. The Makwanpur Helpline has been intergrated by the district government.
HIMRIGHTS leads a network of the Human Rights Protection and Anti-Trafficking Network, which is made up of 13 national and district organizations combating trafficking in Banke, Bara, Makwanpur and Parsa; also, it was one of the founders of Alliance Against Trafficking in Women and Children in Nepal (AATWIN), which works together to advocate for anti-trafficking. HIMRIGHTS Chairperson has been elected as Chairperson of AATWIN for next two years from August 2017.
Sexual Violence against Girls Assessment (SEVA): HIMRIGHTS conducted the assessment in seven districts of Nepal: Kanchanpur, Kailali, Banke, Bardiya, Dang, Parsa and Bara, (piloted in Makwanpur and Bara). The objectives of the assessment were to gain a better understanding of sexual violence against girls and foster dialogue to ensure improved policies and programs to protect children and more specifically girls from sexual violence. We reached to 3000 girls aged 13-18 years (both in school and out-of-school) from eight districts. Boys aged 13-18 years, community leaders, government and non-governmental stakeholders such as CDO, LDO, WDO, DEO, Women Cell officials, district lawyers and representatives of NGOs working on women and children were also the major target groups of the project. This project also explored and documented information on how communities and more specifically girls are affected by sexual violence. It also examined patterns and trends of sexual violence in the community. The docudrama ‘Pabitra’ is produced based on the findings of research and policy brief was produced as a lobbying tool.
Birth Registration: HIMRIGHTS promotes Birth Registration, a critical step in obtaining citizenship, which is also a prerequisite to own or inherit land, voter's right and participate in other democratic processes and obtain jobs in the formal sector. Door-to-Door Campaign, Birth Registration Camps and Awareness Programs of birth registration were conducted in Makwanpur, Bara and Rautahat in coordination with VDCs, Local Development Office and Municipalities since 2000-2003. We registered 135,476 births very successful, which was far beyond our targeted numbers, even during the heights of the conflict period as part of preventative activities against human trafficking. Similarly, IEC materials were distributed at local level to sensitize community on importance of Birth Registration.
Election Observation: HIMRIGHTS has been part of Election Observation, Monitoring Voter education activities. The activities not only focused on importance of right to vote, promotion of free, fair election but also on child rights violations before, during and after the election. HIMRIGHTS coordinated the Constituent Assembly Election Observation on behalf of Partnerships for Protecting Children in Armed Conflict (PPCC), 2008 to monitor the child rights violations as well all previous elections- voter’s education and monitoring. PPCC observed the CA election in 17 districts of Nepal and mobilized 117 observers. PPCC found that many children were used in different stages and in various capacitates. Prior to the election, political parties used children in their campaigning including to write political graffiti, to distribute posters and pamphlets. On the Election Day, children were found to be casting vote. They were also used in victory rally after results were announced. A detailed report of the observation was submitted to the Election Commission, political parties, child rights organizations and relevant government officials. Similarly, election observation and monitoring have been conducted in April, May and September 2017 local election.
Health Rights: HIMRIGHTS in partnership, Youth Welfare Society, Beyond Beijing Committee, ARROW/WHRAP conducted programs on safe abortion: advocacy campaigns, policy dialogues and panel discussions with district stakeholders and the conclusions and findings were submitted to Committees of Constituent Assembly and Ministry of Health through District Development Committee for policy change. HIMRIGHTS Banke has been involved in monitoring the health rights of local people, we were the first to conduct a fact- finding mission and national media attention on the deaths related to use of uninformed and misuse of elephantiasis drug
● Asia Pacific Resource and Research for Women (ARROW)/Women’s Health Right Advocacy Program
● Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW)
● NGO Working Group on Women, Peace, and Security
● Watchlist in Children in Armed Conflict
● Alliance against Human Trafficking of Women and Children in Nepal (AATWIN, Chairperson 2017-2019)
● Beyond Beijing Committee (BBC)
● District Coordination Committee, Parsa
● Human Rights Alliance
● Human Rights Treaty Monitoring Committee (HRTMCC)
● Mine Action Working Group
● National Coalition for Children as Zone of Peace and Child Protection (CZOPP)
● National Network for Protection of Human Rights and Anti-Human Trafficking of Makwanpur, Bara, Banke, and Parsa districts.
● NGO Federation Nepal
● Partnerships for Protecting Children in Armed Conflict (PPCC)
● UN Security Council Resolution 1612 -Task Force Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism
Research, Publication and Audio/ Visual for Awareness and Advocacy
● produced art comic book “Sachetana” on child/girl trafficking and lunched on National Day against Human Trafficking, 2014.
● Safe Migration Informative Booklet, updated many times with revised info 2004-2014
● Sexual Violence against Girls Assessment (a research conducted in 7 districts of Nepal) and based on this research produced “Pabitra” a docudrama. 2013
● "Khoi Nyaya – In Pursuit of Justice"- Documentary on what does government further needs to do for conflict affected women, children and elderly, 2011
● "Ashmita"- Tele Serial on sexual violence against girls; roles and responsibilities of family, community, schools and police, 2010
● Impact of Armed Conflict on Children and Women- research, 2010
● “Reconciliation: Voices and Experiences of Children Affected by Armed Conflict”- An illustrative booklet on Children Affected by Armed Conflict 2009
● Social Impact of Armed Conflict: Causes and Impact- research 2006-2008
● Status of Missing and Migrated Children in Hadikhola, Makwanpur- research 2008
● “Path to Reconciliation”- Pictorial Comic Book by Conflict Affected Children 2008
● Analysis of the Capacity of Paralegal Committees to Facilitate Reconciliation and Reintegration in Nepal’s Post-Conflict Communities, Role of PLC in Reintegration of Child Soldiers- research 2007
● IDPs Dynamics in Kathmandu Valley, Auditing of Conflict Induced Internal Displacement-research publication, 2006
● “Farewell to Firearms”- Pictorial Comic Book by Conflict Affected Children 2005
● “Bishfotan” – Mine/ IED Informative Booklet 2005
● Muglan and Pardesh: research publication on impact of armed conflict on migration and trafficking 2003
● "Cheli Rudai Chhin Dalal Hasdai Chhan" – Docudrama on unsafe migration and trafficking, 2003
● “Birth Registration”, 2003
● Circus and Gadhimai ko Mela Comic Books (Trafficking and Migration), 200
Partners ( in alphabetical orders)
● Action Aid Nepal – Participatory Democracy Initiative (2010 -2012), HIMRIGHTS Lifeline (2004-2008), Anti-trafficking (2007)
● British Embassy – Child Mock Parliament Eastern Region (2006)
● Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI)- Strengthening the Capacity of Marginalized Youth to Effectively Participate in Local Governance Processes in the context of Nepal’s new Federal Structure in Makwanpur (2018-2019)
● Canadian Cooperation Office – HIMRIGHTS LifeLine (2006)
● Core International: Empowerment and Leadership Building of Marginalized Groups in Makwanpur (2017-2018)
● DFID/ESP – Sexual Violence against Girls Assessment (2011-2012)
● From the Heart Foundation - Safe Migration (2011 - 2012)
● Global Family Village Inc: ‘Earthquake Recovery through Empowerment, Leadership, and Reconstruction of Marginalized Survivors of Kathmandu Valley’ (2016-2017).
● International Women Program (OSI) - ensure women’s meaningful participants in Constituent Assembly Process and to promote peace and reconciliation (2010 – 2011)
● Kalaiya Sub-metropolitan City- Awareness against Child Marriage with school children(2016-17)
● KIOS Finland- Partnerships for Protecting Children in Armed Conflict (PPCC) (2007- 2012)
● MS Nepal – HIMRIGHTS LifeLine, Youth Mock Parliament, Conflict Management and Peace Building Program (2006 – 2009)
● OSI/IWP- Women in Constitution and Reconciliation (2009-2010)
● Pende Foundation – Safe Migration (2012-2015)
● Plan International Nepal- Child Friendly Space (CFS) 2015, Anti Human Trafficking and Safe Migration, Child Mock Parliament, Birth Registration, Public Hearing, (2000 – 2014), HIMRIGHTS LifeLine (2004-2008)
● Rockefeller Foundation- HIMRIGHTS Helpline (2010-2012)
● Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) - Enhancing Empowerment of the Youth from Marginalized Groups in Nepal for Inclusive Democracy and Greater Realization of Human Rights (2013-2016)
● UN Women/ Search for Common Ground- Ensuring Participatory and Secure Transition (EPST) ( 2013-2014)
● UNDP- Collaborative Leadership and Dialogue (2012)
● UNICEF – Reconciliation: Voices and Experience of Children in Armed Conflict, Public Hearings, Art Exhibitions (2008-2011)
● Watchlist – Comic Book on Reconciliation (2005 - 2010),UN SC Resolution 1612 Monitoring and Response, Reconciliation workshops (2004 - 2008)
● Women and Children Office Bara - WASH program with school children (2016-17)
● Youth Action Fund (Open Society Institute) (OSI) – (2009 - 2011
HIMRIGHTS Crisis Support Fund
We distributed emergency food, medicine, tarps, blankets and other support during Nepal Earthquake in April and May 2017.
We humbly request you to join in our initiatives.
2. Ms. Indu Tuladhar – Vice Chairperson
3. Ms. Mangala Karanjit – General Secretary
4. Mr. Sashi Tuladhar – Treasurer
5. Dr. Arun Maskey – Member
6. Ms. Padma Mathema– Member
7. Ms. Yassokanti Bhattachan – Member
8. Ms. Anamika Pradhan – Member