8th Human Rights National Magna Meet 2016

1.   INTRODUCTION

 

8th Human Rights National Magna Meet was organized by CSOs of Nepal in collaboration with National Human Rights Commissions of Nepal (NHRC).National Indigenous Women Forum (NIWF) was the national coordinator and thematic focus of this year’s Magna meet was human rights of indigenous peoples. “Our Voice, Our Participation. Our Inclusion based on Justice and Diversity” was the official slogan.

8th Human Rights Magna Meet was celebrated on occasion of 68th International Human Rights Day 2016. The formal opening, closing and rallies were held on 9-11 December in Kathmandu whereas thedates between 25 November – 18 December 2016 was assigned as an official timeframe of Manga Meet 2016 to include the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence and other important International Days of Observance which are directly related to human rights. It alsogives organizers an opportunity to organize events and programmes in diverse region of Nepal in an integrated way.The formal opening and closing ceremony were organized in Rastriya Nachghar, Jamal which was attended by 1200 participants.

8th Human Rights National Magna Meet was unprecedented in many ways because for the first time Magna Meet thematic  focus was  on human rights of indigenous peoples, arguably the most vulnerable and marginalized group of Nepal. As of now only one side event has been organized to address the issues of Indigenous Peoples in the past Magna Meets[1]. This time Magna Meet has come to become more inclusive by focusing on human rights of indigenous peoples who makes 35.46% of total population of Nepal. In the light of newly promulgated constitution, this year’s Magna Meet was crucial in advocating for protection and promotion of human rights in Nepal. In addition to it, Magna Meet gave a stronger message of solidarity as 180 human rights organizations came together under umbrella of Magna Meet. Events such as massy rally, workshops, panel discussion, interaction program, exhibitions on human rights issues of women, LGBTI, PWDs, migrant worker, children, climate change, land rights, indigenous peoples, disaster risk reduction, SDGs, local election and democracy, new constitution etc were conducted as a part of Magna Meet 2016.

 

2.   BACKGROUND

 

Human Rights National Magna Meet, is celebrated every year by Nepalese human rights community since 2009. It is an opportunity for bringing human rights discourses on single platform in solidarity amongst CSOs. The Magna Meet has proved to be an instrumental forum to pressurize state actors, including government bodies and political parties to meet their national and international human rights obligations; deepening democracy and strengthening human rights in the country. The Magna Meet has become a symbol of unity, dedication and solidarity.The Magna Meet provides direction for expansion and consolidation of human rights in future helping to create public awareness and consolidate human rights movement in Nepal. It paves way to create a common platform for political parties, governmental bodies, human rights organizations and other likeminded organizations for protection and promotion human rights.

The overall goal of the Magna Meet is to create a critical consciousness and concern about human rights among general people, political parties and various stakeholders and celebrating human rights day in solidarity amongst civil societies. Thereby, building a conducive environment; for the protection and promotion of human rights in holistic and integrated manner.

3.   OBJECTIVES OF MAGNA MEET 2016

 

  1. To celebrate achievements of human rights movement in Nepal
  2. To advocate for overall protection and promotion of human rights and social justice in Nepal.
  3. To advocate to ensure human rights in relation to achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particular focus to goal 5[2], 5[3]  and 2[4]
  4. To advocate “50:50 participation by the year 2030” – ensuring women’s representations in every sector with particular focus with Nepal’s new Constitution
  5. To advocate for Economic Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR) and collective rights of the indigenous peoples

4.   MAGNA MEET ORGANIZERS

The heart of Magna Meet lies in building solidarity among human rights defenders and organization which works on the issues of human rights. It strives towards building a culture of recognizing everyone who works on diverse issues of equality, justice and development are defenders of human rights. Thus, every organization who registers to become the part of Magna Meet Organizers of Magna Meet. This year 180[i]  organization registered to become to the organizer of the 8th Human Rights National Magna Meet. These organizers work in diverse issues directly related to human rights.  Oxfam and its 14 partner organizations from 5 different region also registered as the organizer of the Magna Meet 2016.

5.   EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES

180 organizations registered as the organizers of the 8th Human Rights National Magna Meet.  They also organized series of activities and events[5] organized during the timeframe of 25 November – 18 December 2016 both in Kathmandu and in the regions.  39 organizations conducted events such as workshops, rallies, interaction programs both at national and regional level. Similarly 32 organizations including Human Rights Cell of Nepal Police had exhibition booth of publications on 11 December which attracted large number of participants.

 

09 December 2016

 

 8th Human Rights National  Magna Meet Inauguration at RastriyaNachghar Jamal
 10 December 2016  International Human Rights Day Rally  coordinated by NGO Federation of Nepal
11 December  Formal  Closing Ceremony at RastriyaNachhgahr Jamal, Kathmandu

Exhibition of Publications and products my women’s organization

 

       I.            Day 1- 09 December 2016

The 8th Human Rights National Magna Meet was formally inaugurated by honorable Member of NHRC Mr. Prakash Sharma Osti.Honorable Mr. Osti gave important statement highlighting the important aspect of organizing Magna Meet and why it is one of the important initiatives by human rights defenders and CSOs of Nepal.

Honorable  Mr. Prakash Sharma Osti,  stressed that Magna Meet has contributed the culture of promotion and protection of human rights in Nepal as CSOs., INGOs , NGOs and Government bodies comes together to celebrate the  Magna Meet in single platform.

Magna Meet Has Set an example of building human rights movement in Nepal – Honorable Member of NHRC, Mr. Prakash Sharma Osti.

 

 

Honorable Member of NHRC Mr. PrakashOsti and National Coordinator Ms Suni Lama inaugurating the event

 

Rt. Honorable Vice President of Nepal Mr. Nanda Bahadur Pun sent his wishes and statement to 8th Human Rights National Magna Meet as he was unable to participate in the program as a special guest.

Today, when we talk about human rights in Nepal, in addition to individual rights we also talk about collective rights of peoples who are women, indigenous, Madhesis, Muslims, Dalits, minority and person with disabilities. They are also addresses in national laws, plans and policies. Thus I would like to congratulate to all human rights defenders of Nepal. This achievement of establishing and institutionalizing all forms of human rights goes to immense effort and work of human rights community of Nepal.

 

Furthermore, Honorable Acting  Chairperson of National Women Commission Ms. BhagawatiGhimire further highlighted that human rights is not gender neutral and women are more vulnerable to human rights violations.

Women are victim of many human rights violation. Human rights can be safeguarded only by ensuring equal rights for them – Honorable Acting Chairperson, Ms. BhagawatiGhimire

National Coordinator of 8th Magna Meet 2016 and Chairperson of NIWF Ms. Suni welcomedthe guestsand participants who came to attend the Magna Meet through rituals of Thakali Indigenous Peoples.  Group of women from marginalized Hyolmo Indigenous Peoples performed the welcome song making the participants realize the diversity and rich culture of Nepali society and such is the dynamics of human rights issues in Nepal.

In her welcome statement Ms. Lama highlighted that social movement initiative such as Magna Meet helps to build the inclusive and broader human rights movement as it brings together the diverse issues of human rights in the same platform.

The protection and promotion of human rights is our everyday responsibility and respecting and acknowledging diversity of Nepali people and theirs special needs based on their different language, culture, religion, and ethnicity advances protection of human rights helps to build the real human rights movement in Nepal – Ms. Suni Lama, National Coordinator.

Similarly, founder of Magna Meet 2016 Mr. CharanPrasai highlighted the importance of celebrating Human Rights Day from one space in solidarity among NGOs, INGOs and government bodies.

Since its beginning in 2009 Magna Meet has grown to become more bigger and inclusive, it is a huge achievement that Indigenous Women Organization has taken the lead to coordinating it and that should be taken as achievement because every organizations and individual’s work are related to human rights at the end and they are all human rights defenders – Mr. CharanPrasai

In addition to that, community representative and land rights activists Ms.PhulMatiChepang from Chitwan also spoke on the opening day. Having her as a speaker in the opening day was to give the message that Magna Meet is not just a celebration but peoples action towards building social movement, where every community and regions has a meaningful participation. Citing an example of issue of citizenship and land rights of the Chepang Indigenous peoples she stressed that –

 

Ms. PhulmatiiChepang delivering the statement on opening day

Over 80% Chepangs neither have land nor is citizenship, our rights a far cry from human rights advocacy. She mentionedthat she was honored and pleased to be invited as a speaker in a national level forum such as 8th Human Rights National Magna Meet 2016 where  shegot an opportunity to directly share the experience from the ground, experience. – Ms.PhulmatiChepang, Land Rights Activist

Almost 20 Human Rights Activist shared the forum to give short statement and welcome message to the participants. They represented different issues, region and areas of work.

Chairperson of Mitini Nepal and LGBTI Activist LaxmiGhalan thanked Magna Meet Organizers for giving space to talk about LGBTI rights which otherwise, at times overlooked and stigmatized even within women’s movement.

Human Rights holds no value until and unless LGBTI  rights are ensured therefore human rights advocates should show courage to acknowledge sexual and gender minorities , at least have some knowledge about them – LaxmiGhalan, Mitini Nepal

Speaking up for Dalit rights Ms. PunyawatiRamtel appealed to advocate for everyone’s rights as mentioned in this year’s International Human Rights Day slogan.

She said “ grew up in a very diverse society with my neighbors and community belonging to different religion, caste and ethnicity but as I grew up and started working for Dalits rights I realized that our decision making spaces are not diverse, it should be changed. The best way to change such system is not only advocating for ourselves but for someone else too – Ms. PunyawatiRamtel, FEDO Nepal

After the powerful statements by the human rights defenders representing diverse field the program moved forward towards felicitating the founder s and former national coordinators of Magna Meets. The hard work and effort of bringing together human rights defenders and stakeholders in one platform through Magna Meet was recognized by presenting a certificate and ‘dossalla’ by honorable Mr. Osti and Ms. SuniLama.

Name list of the person felicitated during 8th Human Rights National Magna Meet

  1. CharanPrasai – Funder and National Coordinator (2009)
  2. Ganesh BK- National  Coordinator  (2010)
  3. KapilShrestha – National Coordinator ( 2011)
  4. SudharshanSubedi – National coordinator ( 2012)
  5. GajadharSunar – National Coordinator ( 2013)
  6. Krishna Subedi – National  Coordinator ( 2014)
  7. ShantaLaxmiShrestha – National Coordinator (2015)

 

A.     ShantaLaxmi Women Human Rights Award 2016

In 2015 on occasion of 7th Human Rights Magna Meet 2016, Ms. ShantaLaxmiShrestha,                                    (Chairperson, Beyond Beijing Committee) has established the prestigious women human rights award  entitled “ ShantaLaxmiShrestha Women Human Rights Award” to honor one of the women human rights defenders of Nepal on the very day of  Human Rights  Magna Meet every year.This year this prestigious Award was awarded to Women Human Rights Defender from UdaypurMs.Nazbul Khan from MulddharMailaSewa Kendra. Ms. Nazbul is a young women activist from Muslim community; she has been actively contributing towards promotion and protection of women rights and human rights. She belongs to a minority Muslim community. She was awarded with cash amount of NPR.10, 000 along with the certificate.

 

Ms. Nazbul Khan with ShantaLaxmi Women Human Rights Award 2016

 

After the Award ceremony, Vice Chairperson of NIWF Ms. YassoKanti mentioned that 8th Human Right national Magna Meet is historical because for the first in history Indigenous Women organization, National Indigenous Women Forum had opportunity to coordinate Magna Meet. It has touch the aspiration of Indigenous peoples, Indigenous women and excluded groups.Basic focus on Human right and collective right. Ms. Bhattachan formally ended the program by giving vote of thanks to all the organizers, supporters, donors and participants for coming together to organize the Magna Meet successfully.

 

   II.            Side Events in the Venue:

On the opening day two thematic side events were organized by OXFAM Nepal and National Indigenous Women Federation on the venue after the formal opening ceremony was over.

  1. Gender and Disaster Response Policy – OXFAM Nepal
  2. Indigenous Women in Constitution of Nepal – National Indigenous Women Federation (NIWF) and National Indigenous Women Federation.

 

Side event on Indigenous Women in Constitution of Nepal

 

III.            Day 2- 10 December 2016

 

NGO Federations of Nepal coordinated to organize a rally on occasion of 68th International Human Rights Day and 8th Human Rights national Magna Meet 2016.  Almost 150 0rganizations participated in the rally along with the women musical band of Nepal Police. The really began at Bhrikuti Mandap at 8 AM in the morning and ended at Shantibatika at 10 AM.  Human Rights Activists Mr. CharanPrasai, Ms. Suni Lama, Mr. Gopal Lamsal, Ms. Shanta Laxmi Shrestha, Ms. Tika Dahal addressed the rally . Almost 500 people participated in the rally.

In the afternoon at1.45 PM, National Human Rights Commissions (NHRC) organized a program to celebrate International Human Rights Day 2016 at its premises. Rt. Honorable Prime minister of Nepal, Mr. Pushpa Kamal Dahal attended the program as the special guest .This event was well attended by ministers, government officials, politicians, activists, academics and representatives from NGOs and INGOs. Ms. Suni Lama and Mr. Gopal Lamsal gave statement on behalf of CSOs and their contribution in building a human rights movement.

Rally on 10 December 2016

 

 IV.            DAY 3- 11 December 2016

 

Adoption of 8th Human Rights National Magna Meet Declaration, Parallel side events, exhibitions of publications and books and handicrafts by organizers were highlight of the closing day 32 organizations had stall during the closing day and was visited my almost 600 participants. The chief guest of the formal closing ceremony was Honorable Chairman of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Mr. Anup Raj Sharma. Almost 500 participants directly participated in the event.

Ms. Sandhya Shrestha, OXFAM Nepal and member of Major Working Committee of Magna Meet 2016 welcomed the participants and presented the agenda of the closing program. This was followed by statements from special guests. On the same day,   National Coordinator Ms. Suni Lama and Declaration Committee Coordination Mr. Devika Timilsina handed over the Declaration of 8th Human Rights National Magna Meet 2016 to Honorable Chairman of National Human Rights Commission Mr. Anup Raj Sharma. The program ended with a solidarity dinner and a cultural program.

B.      Side Events

 

  1. Sustainable Development Goals and gender based violence prevention- Beyond Beijing Committee
  2. Right to Water Sanitation and Hygiene –  Federation of Drinking Water and Sanitation Users, Nepal
  3. Indigenous Peoples Tribunal – Human Rights on Land and Resources

 

6.  MEDIA COVERAGE

 

The official press meet of 8th Human Rights National Magna Meet 2016 was organized on 07 December 2016 amongst journalists form various media house. Major national media both print; TV and radio covered the news of 8th Human Rights National Magna Meet. Daily papers such as The Kathmandu Post, The Himalayan Times, The Rising Nepal, Gorkhapatra, and Annapurna Post printed the news along on its online portals. Whereas ABC News, NEWS 24, NTV, Kantipur News, Sagarmatha Television also broadcasted the opening ceremony clips.

 Press Meet of 8th Human Rights National Magna Meet on 07 December 2016

 On the other hand   talk programs (both TV and radio), were broadcasted and short videos about the Magna Meets were circulated and shared widely in the social media. Live tweets and facebook updates were posted during the event with hash tag #8HRNM #MagnaMeet2016 and #Human Rights from NIWF twitter handle and facebook page which were retweeted and shared widely among social media users network.

Some links to the media coverage of 8th Human Rights National Magna Meet

  1. Setopati: http://setopati.net/society/18894/
  2. The Himalayan Times: https://thehimalayantimes.com/kathmandu/human-rights-magna-meet-begins/
  3. The Annapurna Post: http://www.annapurnapost.com/news/60529

     V. Videos

Various short videos were produced for the dissemination of information about the Magna Meet. During the Magna Meet interview of   Honorable Chairperson of NHRC and National Coordinator Ms. Suni Lama were also interviewed for the TV programme.

  1. Magna Meet Opening Video : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2VpwwS70sA
  2. Magna Meet Full Coverage: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdNonuu_DBU&t=7s
  3. Magna Meet Preparatory Meetings Video 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NwM3XKgALM
  4. Magna Meet Preparatory Meeting Video 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DlxcHKBWM8
  5. Talk Show about Human Rights Magna Meet 2016: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZapC5rpnyg
  6. Felicitation Program to Founders and Coordinators: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpUzQcnv_qs

 

7.  MAGNA MEET KIT

Magna Meet Bags

700 tote bags with a slogan of International Human Rights Day, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and 8th Human Rights National Magna Meet 2016. These bags were given as token of love and souvenir to organizer to help in the visibility of Magna Meet.  In addition to it Magna Meet leaflet, Schedule and Magna Meet Bulletin, some books on indigenous peoplesrights and collective rights published by LAHURNIP were also distributed to the participants.

8.  KEY OUTCOMES

 

  1. 180 organizations registered as the organizer of the 8th Human Rights National Magna Meet 2016,an increase by 18
  2. Adoption of Declaration of 8th Human Rights National Magna Meet 2016
  3. 39 organization organized events such as workshop, panel discussion, interaction programs and tribunals under the umbrella of 8th Human Rights National Magna Meet both at Kathmandu and in local level.
  4. 32 organizations exhibited publications on 11 December 2016  at  Nachghar Jamal
  5. First ever Magna Meet with a thematic focus on  human rights of indigenous  peoples and  coordinated by  Indigenous  Women Organization. This has helped cross movement building among   various issues and CSOs working in different issues.
  6. Active participation by government agencies such as human rights cell of Nepal Army,  Armed Police force and Nepal Police
  7. A civil society movement led by civil societies in partnership with government agencies specially National  Human Rights Commission (NHRC)
  8. Wide coverage in print, audio and video media at national level
  9. Various events and activities organized both at  national and local level by the organizes  during the period of 28 November – 18 December 2016
  10. Continuity to the campaign of 50:50 Participation by the year 2030 which was started in 7th Human Rights National Magna Meet 2016.
  11. Integration of indigenous peoples movement, women’s rights movement with mainstream human  rights movement of Nepal
  12. 43 volunteers were mobilized during the even with a joint mission of volunteering and learning about the human rights issues
  13. Magna Meet has become an well-established mechanism of advocating for human rights and collective right in Nepal

 

9.  CHALLENGES

 

  1. Short duration for preparation of such national level event  as the handover process after the selection was made only during  second week of September 2016
  2. Challenges to fundraising due to short time span of preparation which led to challenges to reaching out to donors
  3. Difficult to include and reach out to grassroots and local organizations due to limited means  of communication

 

10. WAY FORWARD

 

  1. Early call for CSO selection process and handing over to organize upcoming  Magna Meet of 2017
  2. Informing all the previous supports and new potential supporter earlier through an orientation or introductory meeting such that everyone becomes familiar with such a national level mechanism
  3. Earlier coordination with government bodies and organizations in the district to plan organizing events in the districts

 

11. SUPPORTED BY

Many National and International organizations and partners supported to organize the 8thHuman Rights National Magna Meet.

  1. Action Aid Nepal
  2. AIPP
  3. Asia Pacific Forum on Women Law and Development (APWLD)
  4. Beyond Beijing Committee (BBC)
  5. DCA
  6. Forward Looking Nepal
  7. ILO
  8. Jagaran Nepal
  9. Kathmandu Municipality
  10. LAHURNIP
  11. MADRE
  12. National Foundation for Development of Indigenous Nationalities
  13. National Indigenous Women Federation
  14. Nepal Tourism Board
  15. OXFAM, Nepal
  16. Sankalpa
  17. Tewa
  18. UN Women 

 

8th Human Rights National Magna Meet 2016

Secretariat

National Indigenous Women Forum (NIWF)

Pepsicola, Kathmandu -35, Nepal

Phone: 015156113

Email: nhrm.niwf2016@gmail.com/niwfnepal@gmail.com

Website: http://www.niwfnepal.org.np/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/National-Indigenous-Women-Forum-NIWF-1444233475887061/

Twitter Handle: @NIWF_np

[1]Child Nepal, (2015). 6th Human Rights National Magna Meet Report. Kathmandu, Nepal.

[2]Achieve Gender Equality and Empower all Women and Girls

[3]By 2030, eliminate gender disparities in education and ensure equal access to all levels of education and vocational training for the vulnerable, including persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples and children in vulnerable situations

[4]End Hunger, Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture

[5]The schedule of Magna Meet with  details of events and activities is attached as an annex

[i]List of organizers attached as an annex