We are a group of human rights activists and organisations that dream of a just, caring and peaceful South Asia. We came together in December 2015 to document the condition of the region’s minorities – religious, linguistic, ethnic, caste and gender, among others – hoping this would help in bettering outcomes for South Asia’s many marginalised groups. We call ourselves the South Asia Collective. We have since been able to rally other like-minded groups and platforms to our cause. Building on this initial success, we have also begun experimenting with small-scale practical support to minority groups across borders, to nurture their capacity for better outcomes for minority communities, working at local and regional levels. This coming together of like-minded groups is particularly gratifying given the otherwise political environment in the region, which militates against any serious regional effort by state parties on minority and human rights. It is then left to civil society initiatives to try to pave the way in the hope for more formal efforts, going forward. Eventually we want to see the establishment of a South Asia charter of minority and human rights, and regional and national mechanisms to enforce those.
Nagorik Uddyog, “the Citizen’s Initiative”, is a Dhaka-based organisation that seeks to promote people’s participation and access to democracy, rights, justice & development. Since its establishment in 1995, Nagorik Uddyog (NU) has worked to strengthen local government in Bangladesh via the dual imperatives of, on the one hand, raising awareness among the general masses of people’s basic human rights and, on the other, building people’s capacity to pursue and realize these rights.
Citizens Against Hate (CAH) is a Delhi-based collective of individuals and groups committed to a democratic, secular and caring India. It is an open collective, with members drawn from a wide range of backgrounds who are concerned about the growing hold of exclusionary tendencies in society, and the weakening of rule of law and justice institutions.
Minority Rights Group (MRG) International is an international non-governmental organisation (NGO) that campaigns worldwide with around 130 partners in over 60 countries to ensure that disadvantaged minorities and indigenous peoples can make their voices heard. Through training and education, legal cases, publications and the media and cultural programmes MRG supports minority and indigenous people as they strive to maintain their rights – to the land they live on, the languages they speak, to equal opportunities in education and employment, and to full participation in public life. MRG has consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and observer status with the African Commission for Human and Peoples’ Rights.
Formation, Awareness & Community Empowerment Society (FACES) Pakistan is a Lahore-based non-profit organization which, since its inception, has been striving for the emancipation and empowerment of the underprivileged groups in the society along with advocating the rights of marginalized communities. Besides, FACES Pakistan aims at facilitating collective action for sustainable development to achieve the broader aims of peace, harmony, social justice and gender equality.
The Law and Society Trust (LST) is a legal research and advocacy organisation based in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Its goals are the promotion of legal reforms for access to justice, justiciability of rights, and public accountability.
Social Science Baha, Kathmandu
Social Science Baha is a prominent Kathmandu-based research organisation which aims to promote and enhance the study of social sciences, with a focus on areas including gender, social inclusion, and governance. SSB has published a number of books, reports, and journals; hosted prominent workshops and conferences; and provided advisory and policy support to numerous domestic and foreign government bodies, regional and international agencies, and CSOs.