24th Annual Program 2014 - Nepal

Nepal, November 3rd - 19th, 2014

24th Annual Program Report

The Diplomacy Training Program’s 24th Annual Human Rights and Peoples’ Diplomacy Training for Human Rights Defenders in the Asia-Pacific was held in Nepal. Thirty one participants, representing fourteen countries- Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, South Korea, Thailand, Timor Leste and the United Arab Emirates, participated in the seventeen day residential program. The Informal Sector Service Centre (INSEC) partnered with DTP in providing the training. 

DTP’s trainers, including UN professionals Professor Virginia Dandan and John Pace, experienced local resource persons, such as Dr Gopal Krishna Siwakoti and Ms Ranjana Thapa, human rights academic Joshua Cooper , IT and media specialists Philip Chung and Binota Bhattarai, led the intensive, interactive training sessions. The participants gained a comprehensive understanding of international human rights laws and principles, the relationship between economic, social and cultural rights and development and of using media for effective human rights advocacy.  Ambassador Glenn White and Stephen Rowe, Deputy Head of Mission at the Australian Embassy in Kathmandu,  and at the Norweigan Embassy  hosted lobbying meetings providing opportunities for the participants to apply skills and practical strategies built up during sessions on advocacy. The capacity of participants to engage with governmental and intergovernmental processes was also enhanced and the Nepal National Human Rights Commission, both in Kathmandu and Pokhara, hosted visits and engaged in dialogues with the participants  about the role of national human rights institutions in  influencing governments to ensure that legislation, policy and practice is consistent  with human rights.   DTP expresses its deep appreciation for the very generous pro-bono contribution of the trainers and resource people who gave their time and expertise and shared so much with the participants.

The program also provided participants with an opportunity to share their own experiences and skills, and to network with one another, governmental officials, DTP alumni and trainers. Participants prepared presentations on the human rights concerns in their own countries and on the work they are involved in as part of their preparation for the program. These presentations were shared throughout the program and were very much valued by other participants, trainers and organisers.

DTP’s 24th Annual Program was organised in partnership with one of Nepal’s leading human rights organisations, Informal Sector Service Centre (INSEC). INSEC executive director Bijay Raj Gautam, DTP alumni and head of INSEC’s Human Rights Education program, Geeta Gautam and ICT Unit Chief Shailesh Sharma devoted considerable time and energy to ensure that all aspects of the program ran smoothly and participants were well cared for.  The program was made possible through funding from the Australian government through the DFAT administered ANCP program, Forum Asia and the Ford Foundation – as well as the Friends of the Diplomacy Training Program.

The training program was extensively evaluated by the participants who completed anonymous questionnaires during the program and at its conclusion and provided continuous feedback through daily group meetings and a whole-of-group sharing at the completion of the program. 

Emeritus Professor Paul Redmond and UNSW Associate Professor Justine Nolan played a key role in sharing their in-depth knowledge on Human Rights and Business and in leading many of the discussions. Business and consular representatives provided an unparalleled set of insights into their own activities and challenges in safeguarding the rights of workers. And participants from each side of the issue joined together for productive group work, exploring how they might co-ordinate for practical progress in the future.

 

Held over three the workshop brought together an extraordinary cross-section of 30 civil society advocates, private sector representatives and senior consular staff from the governments of several countries. Intensive training and discussion sessions explored international human rights standards and their obligations for companies and their own corporate responsibilities, as well as the key human rights issues in countries of both origin and destination across the region.