Since its establishment, Advocacy Forum (AF) has been actively confronting the decades-old culture of impunity in Nepal by systematically documenting human rights abuses, monitoring detention centres, and formally building court cases. The information is published and presented to national and international audiences and provides necessary evidence for the reform of the justice system.
The organisation regularly engages internationally recognised legal mechanisms, and works closely with Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the Asian Federation against Involuntary Disappearance, the International Commission of Jurists and the Asian Human Rights Commission. AF was very active in ensuring the establishment of the Office of The High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Nepal in 2005.
AF holds regular consultations with principal actors in the criminal justice system to discuss and try to resolve the inherent contradictions and conflicts of interest confronted by all concerned. Moreover, they provide regular trainings to sensitise judges, doctors and police personnel either as preventive measures or for the purpose of effective documentation of cases. AF seeks every possible legal avenue to help victims of human rights violations in strong recognition of the prime agency of the victims and relatives of the disappearances; the recognition of their rights and needs is put as a prime focus in its work. AF assists them in many different ways in their quest for justice and self-empowerment.
AF's primary initiatives cover the following areas:
- Reviewing the existing legal framework in Nepal and making consistent efforts to harmonize national laws with international human rights standards
- Lobbying for the establishment of functional mechanisms to ensure conflict victims' access to justice
- Lobbying for reform of the criminal justice system
- Promotion of juvenile justice system
- Fighting impunity firmly entrenched in Nepal's political culture via intensive lobbying, advocacy and campaigning nationally and internationally
- Reducing practice of torture by monitoring places of detention, systematic documentation and promoting system of accountability.
- Global recognition (inter alia by Human Rights Watch) of its work on accountability promotion and fight against impunity; AF is a key partner of the UN in Nepal as well as international NGOs
- By constantly sending cases and communications to different special procedures of the UN, AF managed to bring Nepal’s human rights agenda an international forum
- Creating a database of human rights violations
- Support to conflict victims to get organised and take concerted measures to get justice for the injustices they have suffered
- The publication of a survey report (jointly with ICTJ) on the basis of interviews with 811 victims of the conflict in Nepal
- Publishing the impunity report “Waiting for Justice: Unpunished Crimes from Nepal’s Armed Conflict” in collaboration with Human Rights Watch
- AF was the first organisation to bring the first case to the UN human Rights Committee, using the treaty obligation of Nepal.