Nepal: WHRD Nepal national consultation

Women Rehabilitation Center
The Kathmandu Declaration adopted by the National Conference of Women Human Rights Defenders.
A total of 450 participants from 62 Districts gathered in Lalitpur of Kathmandu Valley on March 3 & 4, 2006 at the National Conference of Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRD), organized by the Women Rehabilitation Center (WOREC).
Recognizing the provisions of human rights and fundamental freedoms guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, Vienna Declaration and Plan of Action, Beijing Declaration and Plan of Action, and the Declaration of Human Rights Defenders;

Stressing the implementation of the principles of international human rights standards in relation to women’s human rights, particularly taking initiatives for the protection of women’s human rights;

Realizing the additional risks of WHRD’s due to lack of recognition, as part of the continuation of established patriarchal social mechanisms in the country;

Drawing the attention of the United Nations to immediately set up the necessary mechanisms to create accountability of concerned parties regarding the ill-treatment of WHRDs committed by state and non-state actors (family, society, religious organizations, multinational companies, armed groups);

Agreeing to equal respect of WHRDs and protection of their rights in the workplace, while the WHRDs play an important role in the movement of protection and promotion of human rights, peace and democracy;

Recognizing the important role of WHRDs to create a human rights-friendly society through identifying the risks faced by WHRDs during the time of protection and promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms;

  1. Urges the state to create a conducive environment for respect and compliance, as well as the protection and promotion, of universal, indivisible and indispensable principles of human rights;
  2. Demands state and non-state actors to create a conducive environment for the protection and promotion of human rights of women, while WHRDs face increased risks due to the deteriorating situation of human rights in the country;
  3. Demands an immediate end to all forms of ill-treatment against WHRDs that is a product of increasing militarization, which is a result of the ongoing armed conflict;
  4. Stresses with state and non-state actors to halt all forms of violence and ill-treatment against WHRDs that is a product of increasing impunity institutionalized by the autocratic regime in the country;
  5. Emphasizes with the state to play a responsible role for the protection and promotion of human rights by ending all activities in relation to harassment of human rights defenders carried out by the state after the establishment of the King’s direct rule on February 1, 2005;
  6. Demands the parties to the conflict to ensure a conducive atmosphere for human rights defenders to carry out their activities in conflict-affected areas without any restrictions respecting the principles of human rights;
  7. Expresses the commitment by WHRDs to demonstrate their solidarity with the political parties, civil society, human rights organizations, lawyers, professional associations, trade unions, women, Dalits, Disabled peoples, Janajatis, etc… to achieve the goals of the ongoing democratic movement through ensuring their active participation in protest activities, while they believe that democratic polity only ensures and protects the human rights of the people;
  8. Demands leadership roles for women in every sector, recognizing WHRDs’ important role in the movement for democracy, civil liberties and human rights;
  9. Calls for the implementation of the 12-point Understanding signed between the seven political parties and the CPN (Maoists) on November 22, 2005 to find a peaceful solution for ending the ongoing violent conflict in the country;
  10. Calls upon the democratic political parties to take initiatives for holding a constituent assembly election as the political solution to the violent conflict, while the WHRDs believe that the constituent assembly election plays an important role in establishing a sustainable peace by ensuring people’s sovereign rights thereby creating political stability in the country;
  11. Demands with the CPN-Maoists to ensure the freedom of movement of human rights defenders and to create a conducive environment to carry out their independent activities in their strongholds by respecting the principles of human rights and international humanitarian laws;
  12. Emphasizes that the parties to the conflict must protect the human rights of ordinary civilians and calls upon them to stop all forms of human rights violations, including killing, violence, abduction, and torture, and to respect the provisions of Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions;
  13. Declares to carry out campaign activities and mobilize ordinary civilians in human rights related movements that include ending of all forms of domestic violence and assurance of full enjoyment of women’s human rights; equal rights; and citizenship rights under the mother;
  14. Demands the immediate disclosure of the whereabouts of all disappeared persons at the hands of state and non-state actors, and also condemns the manhandling of women by the security forces of the autocratic regime, while the families of disappeared persons were gathered to inform the status of their missing family members inside the premises of the National Human Rights Commission on March 3, 2006;
  15. Condemns the brutal killing of Januka Nepali, a WHRD based in Udayapur District, due to her involvement in safeguarding human rights of the people, and WHRDs demand with the state to create an appropriate mechanism to address such killings and take action against the perpetrators;
  16. Recognizes that human rights violations occur as a form of violence, including harassment, torture and killing based on separate identity of sex (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People) and demands with the state to create appropriate mechanisms to address the freedom to choose sexual identity and protection of their rights;
  17. Demands the immediate release of all illegally detained persons including human rights defenders, political prisoners, lawyers, etc.
March 2006