KATHMANDU, April 7: Members of Forum-Asia and human rights defenders from South Asia urged the SAARC governments to work towards establishment of a South Asia regional human rights mechanism.
Attending the Regional Dialogue on Regional Human Rights Mechanism in South Asia held in Kathmandu on Thursday and Friday, the participants adopted a declaration urging the SAARC governments to support civil society efforts towards it.
"We call on SAARC Governments to support civil society efforts towards the establishment of a South Asia regional human rights mechanism, and take measures towards the establishment of such a mechanism," stated the declaration.
"We call on SAARC Governments to establish and strengthen national human rights institutions in line with Paris Principles in respective countries," the declaration read further.
The meeting of human rights defenders also urged the governments of the region to repeal all repressive laws and legal provisions that criminalize and restrict the work of human rights defenders and restrict the space for civil society to operate freely.
The meeting of human rights defenders also called on national human rights institutions to encourage governments to ensure that national laws and policies are in line with international human rights law and to repeal laws and policies that are in conflict with international human rights law.