One day Seminar/Workshop on Crisis Management and Human Rights
The Human Rights Organisation of Nepal (HURON) in association with the Institute of Crisis Management Studies (ICMS) organized a one-day workshop/seminar on Crisis Management and Human Rights. The program focused more specifically on the context of human rights in Nepal, particularly the Tibetan refugee crisis. The seminar/workshop was designed to bring together representatives from across the government and civil society for an open dialogue and workshop focusing on current issues, challenges, and solutions moving forward.
The first session focused on a paper by Dr. Ram Thapaliya on “Human Rights and Crisis Management."Dr. Thapliya represented a more academic approach to the interrelated topics and looked at human rights and crisis management through a theoretical and conceptual framework. He emphasized that human rights violations are at the root of all crisis. Specific to the workshop’s topic, he identified basic elements that characterize the refugee crisis worldwide, such as: diversity, needs, perceptions, power and structural inequality, interests, and relationships. Dr. Thapaliya also emphasized that crisis dynamics can both be an opportunity as well as a possible danger.
The second session featured a paper by HURON Refugee Desk Analyst T N Lama titled: “Refugees and Its Management – Special Focus on Tibetans in Nepal. This paper was especially insightful because Mr. Lama was able to offer an insider-perspective on how the refugee crisis directly affects the Tibetan community in Nepal. He discussed the lack of documentation for many Tibetan refugees due to the Nepalese government’s decision to stop issuing Tibetan Refugee Identity Cards after 1989. This has had a grave impact on Tibetans’ daily lives in Nepal, limiting them in legal status, work, education, obtaining driver’s licenses, travelling, and in the post-earthquake reconstruction. He points out that the stateless Tibetans in Nepal are now in the third generation, so this prolonged crisis needs to be addressed before it becomes an even bigger one.
The last session was an interactive group workshop that allowed participants to voice their opinions and create a dialogue on the topics of “Human Rights and Governance,” “Refugees,” and “Crisis Management.” The participants split into three groups according to individual preference. ICMS senior students and faculty led the group discussions covering 1.) issues; 2.) challenges, and; 3.) future plans.