In this front, RRN embarked on a wide range of campaign, lobby, networking and policy advocacy related activities through its Kathmandu based ‘Centre for Development Studies and Policy Advocacy’ (CDSPA). These activities are undertaken at national and international levels. The key lobbying, policy advocacy, campaign and networking activities undertaken by CDSPA are on the issues and concerns of poverty, hunger, climate crisis, exclusion, debt domination, human rights including right to development, trafficking in person, child rights, etc.. The geographic coverage of these activities is Nepal, all Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and the eight countries of South Asia.
At the international level, RRN had engaged for several years on the above issues and concerns, defending rights of the people for their dignified living and urging the concerned actors to act responsibly. RRN has undertaken various advocacy, lobbying, campaign and networking activities as briefed hereunder:
i)Taking on LDC Issues through LDC Watch Initiative
Reaching out to different governments, intergovernmental organisations and other agencies (e.g., UN, EU, ESCAP, SAARC, etc.) for establishing functional relationships and influencing policy environment.
In this context, LDC Watch has been able to influence important constituencies by organising various programmes with different governments, intergovernmental organisations and other agencies such as the United Nations (UN), European Union, ESCAP, UNCTAD, OHRLLS, SAARC and ECOSOC. It has helped to develop strategies for lobby works and raise the issues of LDCs, mainly to establish functional relationships with these institutions on LDC issues including BPoA. LDC Watch has organised various global programmes, e.g., during UNCTAD XII in Ghana, ECOSOC meetings in New York, People’s Forum during CHOGM in Uganda, European Parliament in Brussels, UNESCAP meetings in Bangkok and UN headquarters in Geneva. LDC Watch has also established formal working relationships with the Governments of Austria and Turkey in order to carry forward the UN LDC IV Conference in 2011. Austria and Turkey are the candidate countries for hosting the IV UN Conference on LDCs.
ii) Tackling the Issues of Poverty in South Asia through SAAPE Initiative
South Asia Alliance for Poverty Eradication (SAAPE), the Regional Secretariat of which is under the Centre for Development Studies and Policy Advocacy of Rural Reconstruction Nepal, is a network of like-minded NGOs, mass-based organisations, academics, trade unions, community based organisations and the likes from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. They are working together towards the eradication of poverty, protection of human rights and social justice in the region.
In the year 2000, various civil society actors from across the region, together with representatives of civil society organisations from Europe convened a consultation in Manesar, India to discuss problems facing the region and to come up with possible solutions with rising poverty and escalating human rights abuses. About 200 participants, comprising of journalists, academics, trade unionists, human rights activists, NGOs and other civil society actors agreed to form an alliance to fight against poverty and injustice in South Asia which led to the creation of SAAPE. A meeting of South Asia Civil Society Network held in Kathmandu in December 2001 formalised the creation of SAAPE. Since then, SAAPE has been working actively in the region.
iii) Campaigning against Debt Domination
As a founding member of Jubilee South –Asia Pacific Movement on Debt and Development (JS-APMDD), RRN has participated in several planning meetings, events and process to campaign against the debt domination, including issues of illegitimate debts. Series of rallies, demonstrations, workshops, seminars, etc on illegitimate debt, climate change, food crisis, etc.
iv) Monitoring the Implementation Status of Commitments of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD)
RRN has attended planning and review meeting of the network including participation in different campaign and advocacy works, seminars, meetings, lobby visits, etc urging the governments and their development partners to comply with the commitments that they had made at WSSD. RRN is in the international steering committee of Social Watch.
RRN is an active member of different human rights and social justice networks in Nepal. Therefore, it has undertaken and participated in several programmes during the reporting period which are briefly discussed hereunder.
i) Monitoring of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR) under Human Rights Treaty Monitoring Coordination Committee (HRTMCC)
Human Rights Treaty Monitoring Coordination Committee (HRTMCC) is a coalition of 47 Nepali human rights organisations, functioning as a joint forum for monitoring human rights activities in Nepal. It not only monitors the activities but also disseminates the information on the status of state obligations to the UN human rights treaties in the form of civil society reports as well as other publications. HRTMCC is also active in domestic lobbying for the protection and promotion of human rights. RRN is coordinating the Sub-Committee on ESCR, which submitted CSO reports on Nepal to the Committee on the ICESCR in 2001 (26th Session, extraordinary) and 2007 (38th Session).
ii) Campaign for Children as Zone of Peace (CZOP)
CZOP is a National network of various organisations working in the fields of child rights. It was established in 2003 in order to undertake collective advocacy work, coordinate and integrate the efforts of UN, national and international NGOs working for protection and promotion of rights of children affected mainly from armed conflict. It has twenty- six member organisations. RRN is a founding member of CZOP. The movement has managed to garner the support of four major political parties in agreeing to declare Children as Zones of Peace. CZOP advocates to all parties involved in conflict not to take away children's rights to childhood, to leave children out of conflict and not recruit them as combatants or for combat-related activities.
iii) Alliance Against Trafficking in Women and Children in Nepal (AATWIN)
Established in 1997, Alliance against Trafficking in Women & Children in Nepal (AATWIN) has been working to raise the strong and collective voice against the human trafficking. From the very beginning it has been working for the policy change in local, national to international levels. Besides, it has made great efforts for the conceptual clarity among the member organisations and people in general. There are 21 member organisations of AATWIN from different parts of the country including RRN.