American Bar Association
The American Bar Association (ABA) Center for Human Rights is the ABA’s focal entity for critical human rights concerns in the United States and around the world. The ABA Center for Human Rights (ABA CHR) works to promote and protect human rights worldwide by mobilizing lawyers to help threatened advocates and vulnerable communities; rallying leading experts on vital issues; and holding abusive governments accountable under law.
In 2022, ABA CHR released a report, Challenges for Dalits in South Asia’s Legal Sector, documenting a number of impediments for members of the Dalit community to function as members of the legal sector in Bangladesh, India, and Nepal. Following from the findings of the report, ABA CHR will work with a contractor to convene a conference seeking to identify strategies to proactively address the following harms to the Dalit community at large:
a) Inability of the justice system to deliver justice to victims of caste discrimination.
b) Lack of access to justice for the Dalit community.
c) Lack of effective enforcement of already-existing laws criminalizing hate crimes and discrimination.
d) Lack of sensitivity to issues relating to explicit and implicit bias impacting the Dalit community, which also impacts the country’s overall rule of law.
The four-day conference would begin with two days of trainings on various topics (listed below) and two days of strategic cross-regional dialogue on how to proliferate access to justice, protect human rights defenders from the community, and increase the representation of the community in the legal sector itself. The two-day training would equip Dalit justice defenders with access to trainings they have otherwise been excluded from in the past and would cover the following topics:
a) Fair trial monitoring.
b) Responding to persecution or prosecution against Dalit justice defenders or leaders in the Dalit community.
c) Engaging with the international press.
d) Advocating international human rights fora in the EU and the UN and effectively engaging with the regional and UN human rights protection mechanisms.
The latter two days would facilitate dialogue among the invitees concerning the following issue areas with the goal of creating action plans for the participants to pursue once they return to their home nations. The topics would include:
a) Strategies to proliferate anti-discrimination and anti-hate crime/atrocity laws in the region.
b) Lessons learned from across the region regarding enforcement of laws protecting Dalits.
c) Strategies to increase sensitivity and anti-bias training among justice sector actors including judges, prosecutors, and police.
d) Strategic litigation strategies.
The conference will be held in Spring 2024 in Kathmandu, Nepal, and will include invitees from across the South Asia region. ABA CHR will handle the travel and accommodations for participants, help prepare materials for the two days of training, and help prepare materials to facilitate the final two-day dialogue.
The contractor will be responsible for:
· Collaborating with ABA CHR to substantively develop the curriculum for the two training days
· Jointly facilitating the dialogue on the final two days of the conference.
· Working with ABA CHR to identify, select, and vet participants.
· Meeting with ABA CHR and other stakeholders to plan and execute the conference.
· Providing on-the-ground logistics coordination, and in country assistance to participants
· Performing other tasks as agreed upon between ABA CHR and the contractor.
· Based in Nepal, with contacts in the South Asia region.
· Demonstrated experience and proven record of convening training meetings and conducting training, conferences, or other fora around human rights issues.
· Demonstrated knowledge and experience in issues related to discrimination against Dalit community and justice defenders.
How to apply
· Statement of interest detailing your experience working on related projects, and your availability through June 30, 2024. Maximum 1 page.
- A sample curriculum, toolkit, or other learning platform.
- Proposed timeline.
- Resume or CV.
- Cost estimate (per deliverable) for each of the tasks listed above.
- Hourly rate.