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Newsletter | April 2015

With Easter almost upon us the GHRD staff would like to take this opportunity to give you an update on the human rights situation in South Asia and the progress that we have made in the last 3 months, changing the region one life at a time!

Read further to learn more about the discriminatory Chittagong Hill Tracts directives, the dire situation of women human rights defenders in Bangladesh, the terrifying pattern of abductions and forced marriages in Pakistan and the attacks on Pakistan’s religious minorities. Don’t forget to check out our website and social media profiles. Thank you for supporting Global Human Rights Defence, our battle against gross human rights violations would not be possible without the generous support of our donors!

Happy Easter, and may the long weekend bring joy and happiness to your homes!

GHRD team


Tackling inequality in Nepal: A grassroots approach

The Nepalese organization Village Development Foundation (VDF) and The Organisation for Socio-Economic Development Nepal (OSED), with support of GHRD, started projects to help tackle inequality and discrimination in Nepal. ‘Fight Discrimination – Equal Rights for All” project has contributed to the creation of 34 watch groups and saving over 100 children from the brutality of child marriages. “We for Us” has trained over 200 women, enabling them to actively pursue their rights and live healthier and more fulfilling lives. Read more to learn how.

Rejoicing in Celebration: International Women’s Day 2015

8th of March is a time to reflect on the progress, call for change and celebrate acts of courage and determination by women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities. Each year Global Human Rights Defence supports its partner NGOs in celebrating Internal Women’s Day events. This year, our partners held 1 event in India, 2 events in Nepal, and 1 event in Pakistan. Read more about the activities here.

Human Rights Defenders - A dangerous occupation

Despite many global initiatives, the situation of women rights is still dire in numerous countries. Realisation of women's rights and gender equality is an ongoing struggle in Bangladesh. Recent attacks on women human rights defenders demonstrate the dangers associated with human rights work for women. These women are often viewed as a threat to social stability because they are defying cultural, religious or social norms on femininity and the role of women in society. Read on to learn more about the brevity in the face of constant threats and intimidation.

Living in a state of insecurity

In the first 3 months of 2015 alone, Global Human Rights Defence (GHRD) has monitored 10 attacks on religious places of minorities around the country. As if this wasn’t enough, religious minorities in Pakistan have to also deal with land grabbing, desecration and the constant threat of being accused of blasphemy. Click here to read about the shocking account of the current situation of Pakistan’s religious minorities.

Chittagong Hill Tracts: Discriminatory directive removed

Last week the Government withdrew the controversial CHT-travel restrictions.  These discriminatory directives were in place for over a month and restricted foreigners’ travel to CHT and meetings with the indigenous community. Whether the lift of restrictions will be indeed implemented, however, remains to be seen. Read our analysis of the situation here.

The culture of impunity and forced marriages in Pakistan

The pattern of abductions, forced conversions and marriages of young children in Pakistan often gets lost under the general “forced marriages” label, yet has a distinctively different nature to it. Despite the presence of several protective laws, many girls fall victim to this horrible practice, suffer from unjustifiably prolonged legal process that is more often that not likely to end in defeat. Read more to find out about the stories of the victims and understand the obstacles they face in their fight for freedom.