Webinar Session 1: Redefining And Strengthening Human Rights Activism And Development Work In The Context Of COVID 19 In South Asia

Webinar Session 1: Redefining And Strengthening Human Rights Activism And Development Work In The Context Of COVID 19 In South Asia

Date: 20 May 2020, Time: 3 pm– 4.30 pm (Nepal time)

An online discussion on Redefining and Strengthening Human Rights Activism and Development Work in the context of COVID 19 in South Asia

Hosted by : South Asia Alliance for Poverty Eradication (SAAPE) & FORUM-ASIA 

In light of COVID-19 pandemic, FORUM-ASIA and South Asia Alliance for Poverty Eradication (SAAPE) aim to exchange information and learn from the efforts of State and Civil Society Organizations to overcome this crisis and enhance post-pandemic recovery actions by bringing a focus to human rights and development in the South Asian countries. For this purpose, FORUM-ASIA and SAAPE are hosting the webinar series, The State of Human Rights in the Time of COVID-19 Pandemic in South Asia.

The first session of this webinar series “redefining and strengthening human rights activism and development work in the context of COVID 19 in South Asia” will provide an overview of the current situation of South Asia impacted by COVID-19 pandemic. This Session will take place on 20 May 2020, from 03:00 pm to 04:30 pm Nepal time.

The outbreak of COVID 19 pandemic has impacted all spheres of life of the people all over the world. While the public is advised to take a step back on their daily routine, human rights work and development including monitoring as well as advocacy to protect the rights of the people for their safety and security, health, food and shelter (basic needs) must continue.

The objective of the webinar is to provide a common platform in South Asia to bring perspectives together from social movements, CSOs, human rights defenders and grass root organizations from the region to discuss the short-term and long term strategy to be taken by South Asian Governments in response to the pandemic in order to realise the rights, development and livelihood for millions of South Asian people.


• What are the challenges that the poor and marginalized people in South Asia are facing as the effect of COVID 19 Pandemic? Nature of the states’ response and coping strategy of the most affected people?
• What does the right to development mean and how do we realize the rights to development and livelihood for millions of people in South Asia when people are in lockdown and it is likely to take longer to come back to normalcy?
• How do we exercise our freedom of expression and association when no gatherings are possible?
• What are the alternatives to continue our struggle for rights, dignity and livelihood?


Online zoom meeting, around an hour and a half, maximum of 500 participants can participate with 3 to 4 speakers. The session will allow a few discussants selected from the registered audience to comment (around 2 minutes) on speakers’ presentation to promote debate. There will be open forum (15-20 minutes) to make some interventions from the participants. The session will allow participants to share their comments through the chat box. As time allows, questions and comments will be transmitted to the speakers by the moderators. Speakers will present their deliberations in 8-10 minutes (each speaker)based on the guiding questions.

Members of the FORUM-ASIA and SAAPE will facilitate and moderate the session. Following the webinar there will be a summary report with presentations and issues from the chat box presented online with other webinar outcomes in the series.


03:00: Welcome and Introduction: Debendra Prasad Adhikari, South Asia Programme Manager, FORUM-ASIA

03:02-03:07: Remarks: Shamini Darshni Kaliemuthu, Executive Director, FORUM-ASIA

03:07-03:10-: Remarks and Moderation: Netra Prasad Timsina, Regional Coordinator, SAAPE

Speakers’ Presentations and Moderated Discussions

03:10: John Samuel, President National Center for Advocacy Studies

03:20: Zakia Soman, Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA), SAAPE Core Committee Member

03:30: Gauri Pradhan, Former Member, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Nepal and Global Coordinator of LDC Watch

03:40: Moderated Discussion and Q&A


04:20: Major highlights of deliberation and interventions

04:30: End of the sessions

Registration and connection details:

The webinar will take place via Zoom. Click here to get registered to attend the meeting. Any interested individual can participate in the webinar however; the priority will be given to the registered participants if the quota of participants exceeds.

You can go directly through this link to join the webinar.

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