In the beginning stage of the organization, the DFHRI organized multi-stakeholders meetings at regional and district levels across Nepal to raise awareness about the meaning and importance of human rights in the peace process. Participants of these meetings articulated the need for further national-level dialogues on peace, governance and human rights issues, given their inherent potential to contribute to developing a roadmap for the peace and the CA process. Participants also communicated that a common roadmap developed through national dialogues should be a guideline for the continuation of such interactions at the grassroots level, which would then ensure the ‘ownership’ of the people to the peace and CA process.
The meetings were conducted in various formats including a mass rally (the People’s Movement commemoration of 11 Baisakh 2064-April 24, 2007), public meetings before stakeholders with media present, closed-door meetings between stake-holders (political party representatives, community activists, scholars, etc.), one-on-one meetings with individual community groups, film-showings, informal gatherings, and so on. All the meetings were based on a need to analyze the existing situation and to look for ways to strengthen the transition to peace and democracy through the medium of the CA.
The meetings contributed to UNMIN and OHCHR to have civilian engagement and oversight while also bringing the issue of the country’s CA elections to the full attention of the international community and allowing different communities to discuss contentious issues of ethnic and identity politics.
Furthermore, a network of around 40 human rights organizations/defenders’ from the Tarai region banded together to form the THRD-Group (Tarai Human Rights Defenders Group). THRD-Group came together to collectively challenge the burgeoning culture of violence, be it conducted by armed groups or by the government, acting as a human rights watchdog in the Tarai region.
Another important outcome of the numerous multi-stakeholder dialogues was the creation of the “Eight Values of Nepali Democracy” published in April 2010, to set precedence for the timely drafting of the constitution. The document was a public appeal to influence the CA members and political parties to bear in mind the core values and principles of democracy while writing the constitution.