POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS TO PROECT FoRB HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS IN SOUTH ASIA
- Conduct thorough and transparent investigations into attacks on HRDs.
- Make it easier for NGOs to acquire the appropriate paperwork and documentation to carry out activities in certain districts of Pakistan.
- Amend blasphemy laws, particularly those that violate freedom of expression, thought, conscience and religion, with a view to fully repeal them in the future: Sections 295A, 295B and 295C of the Pakistan Penal Code
- Honour its constitutional and international obligation to protect HDRs, ensuring they are not intimidated or harassed..
- Add safeguards to existing legislation so as to protect NGOs from politically motivated curtailment of funding: Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act 2010.
- End the arbitrary detention of HRDs.
- End intrusive surveillance of HRDs.
- End the smear campaigns against HRDs committed by the state, especially through the passing of laws that stifle political dissent.
- Publicly condemn harassment of HRDs, and ensure that the perpetrators are held accountable.
- Reform sedition laws so that they may not be misused against HRDs: Section 124A Indian Penal Code.
- Encourage an environment in which HRDs are able to work without fear ofv reprisal, and remove restrictions on HRDs attempting to travel to international assemblies which promote human rights.
- Create a commission that seeks to uphold the rights of religious minorities.
- Repeal an order that prevents NGOs from operating on the basis of faith: District Development Committee stay order.
- Ensure the independence and safe working of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).
- Amend the constitution so as to fully ensure the protection of freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) and freedom of expression in Nepal: Article 26(3) of the Constitution and Section 9 of the Penal Code
- End surveillance and intimidation of HRDs by state officials, and hold to account those who make discriminatory statements against them.
- Thoroughly investigate cases of attacks on HRDs; provide details on the current status of ongoing investigations in relation to rights violations of HRDs.
- Uphold Sri Lanka’s national and international commitments to protect the rights of HRDs.
- Repeal anti-terror legislation that has been used to curtail the activities of HRDs in Sri Lanka: Prevention of Terrorism Act
- Conduct thorough investigations into the spate of attacks on and murders of bloggers, and bring the perpetrators to justice.
- Amend financial legislation that is used to deregister NGOs that criticize the government and restrict the work of HRDs: Foreign Donations Regulation Act
- Amend legislation that restricts the rights of HRDs to voice criticisms and concerns online without fear of sanctions: Digital Security Act 2016