South Asians for Human Rights

Promoting Democracy, Upholding Human Rights

SAHR commissioned background papers which examined the history and current state of emergency regulations and national security laws in South Asia, and how the States have abused them. These papers formed the basis of SAHR’s Regional Workshop to Develop Guidelines for States to Observe when Carrying Out Counter-Terrorism Measures, held on 17th and 18th September 2012, in Kathmandu, Nepal.

The two day workshop contained country situations and perspectives on anti-terrorism laws, before discussions opened on the guidelines, and what areas they should focus on. The remaining sessions focused on the drafting of the guidelines, which include: Situations in which laws can derogate from domestic and international obligations; The investigation and prosecution of rights violations; Situations in which the armed forces can be deployed; The role of an independent judiciary; and minimum guarantees that should always be afforded to the people. The guidelines will be published in 2013.

SAHR plans to conduct a campaign to have the guidelines endorsed by various non-State actors, regionally and internationally, with a view of having them recognised at the SAARC level. Furthermore, a compilation comprising the guidelines and the background papers, will be published and disseminated as a resource for academics and human rights activists and also as a tool for advocacy.