Himalayan Human Rights Monitors (HimRights) is a non-governmental, non-partisan, and non-profit organization committed to defending the rights of poor, marginalized and socially excluded communities and individuals, with a special focus on women, children and youth. .

Good Governance, Democracy and Leadership

Enhancing Empowerment of the Youth from Marginalized Groups in Nepal for Inclusive Democracy and Greater Realization of Human Rights

HimRights super 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 to June 2016) intensively in 3 districts (Banke, Makwanpur, and Bhojpur) and at national level (25 districts) with the overall 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; leadership building-respect and internalization of women as leaders and colleagues; and the creation of an overall socio-political environment conducive to equal access to justice in Nepal.

15 Human Rights Trainings, 18 Mock Village Councils, 18 Village Public Hearings, 12 Village Dialogues, 6 Mock District Councils, 9 District Public Hearings, and 6 District Dialogues were conducted in Banke, Makwanpur and Bhojpur districts and 3 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. Created women friendly spaces; strategically encouraged women 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 project was strategically designed to increase visibility and meaningful participation of marginalized youths in local development process through promotion of gender equality and participation of 60% women 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 to facilitate 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% Women were in of the major posts of Ward Citizen Forums, Integrated Plan Formulation Committee, Citizen Awareness Center, Consumer Groups, and in other groups. There is high chance for majority of them to be successful candidates in next local elections for their knowledge on governance system and leadership roles in their communities.

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 Forum, Integrated Planning Committee, Citizen Awareness Forums 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. In all 90 working VDCs, targeted budgets were spent on respective groups.

 Youths conducted Right to Information Campaigns and submitted RTI 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.

 Parliamentary Committee owned Youth Declaration and the Hon. Ranju Jha, Chairperson of the Committee said, “The program was very effective in transforming youths as leaders and should be conducted in all districts of Nepal.” 
Chandra Bahadur Karki, Assistant Chief District Officer of Makawanpur said, “We appreciate the effort and trainings organized by HimRights which has trained the 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.”

  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 several parliament sessions were concluded and raising 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. Most of it was integrated by the Interim Parliament and policies. 

 HimRights organized district and community level interactions to get children’s and women’s issues/concerns and opinions, which were integrated in the Constitution. HimRights organized a Mock Constituent Assemblies and Public Hearings for women and children in Kathmandu. Furthermore, conducted a massive Regional Public Hearing in Makwanpur especially with women to raise their priority issue and lobbied for its integration in the draft Constitution. 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, suggestions and finally the declarations  were submitted to Chair and Vice Chair of CA and to concerned CA committees  as well as to the country President, Mr. 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.

HimRights organized training on ‘Effective practice of the Constituent Assembly in the context of Constitution making’ for marginalized women CA members. 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.

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