EU launches plan to support Human Rights Defenders in Nepal
On 10 October, the European Union launched a local implementation strategy on the EU Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) setting out practical measures on how EU Embassies in Kathmandu will support HRDs and reduce their vulnerability.
The term ‘human rights defender’ is used to describe a person who, individually or with others, acts peacefully to promote or protect human rights.
The measures set out in the EU’s implementation strategy include attending trials of HRDs; ensuring that protection issues are included in human rights projects funded by the EU; showing public support for HRDs by inviting them to Embassy events; and putting HRDs on the agenda of bilateral talks with the Government on human rights.
The EU Embassies in Nepal will promote the EU Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders to raise awareness about HRDs and their rights and roles. The Guidelines will be translated into Nepali and disseminated widely throughout the country.
Dr Andrew Hall, speaking on behalf of the EU, said,
“Human rights defenders play a key role in ensuring the protection of victims of human rights violations. And they should be allowed to do so without fear of attacks and intimidation, and without their own human rights being violated.”
Richard Bennett, Head of OHCHR said,
"I welcome this initiative by the EU to support human rights defenders and its continuing efforts to help Nepal meet its obligations to protect human rights and address impunity."
Notes for editors: The full EU Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders can be found at http://ue.eu.int/uedocs/cmsUpload/GuidelinesDefenders.pdf
The local implementation strategy in both Nepali and English is attached.