Community Rural Development Society – Nepal (CRDS – Nepal), founded in 1992, is a consortium of 11 members. The early focus was on improving infrastructure in remote areas and supporting agriculture extension activities. Today, its programs are wide-ranging and promote equitable and sustainable livelihood in rural areas of Nepal. The programs include improving people’s access to food, health, education, economic opportunities, natural resources and safe environment; promoting governance, peace and disaster risk reduction; and strengthening the ability of the poor and marginalized to exercise their rights and participate in the decisions that affect their lives. These projects prepare non-governmental organizations in Nepal to advocate for land rights for Harawa-Charawa families. This preparedness will help address a root cause of their vulnerability to debt bondage.
Photo credit: Jenna Mulhall-Brereton/Geneva Global
The purpose of this grant is to provide support to Freedom Fund partners in the South-eastern Nepal hotspot to empower Harawa-Charawa communities to access land rights and citizenship documentation through engagement and dialogue with government stakeholders at the sub-national level.
In 2017/2018, CRDS’ project activities built upon previous efforts to build the necessary skills and knowledge among partner staff, community members, local stakeholders and newly elected government officials, so they are able to support the land rights of Harawa-Charawa community members. This will include: advocating for and facilitating the application for land inhabitant certificates; capacity development of partner organisations, focusing on land rights and the process of applying for and obtaining land inhabitant certificates; and resource and information dissemination to 3,000 Harawa-Charawa community members and stakeholders
This project will assist landless bonded labourers to secure land which is available for distribution through the Government of Nepal. It will provide a land rights curriculum and training to these community members as well as to the NGOs working with these groups regarding how to submit their claims for new allocations of land as well as for recognition of their inhabitation of their current plots, and how to advocate with the authorities on these issues.
CRDS will help bonded labourers to map land that they currently occupy in support of their claims. CRDS will also guide and advocate with district and village-level authorities to allocate more land for bonded labourer communities. They will undertake outreach to media to support wider awareness of the importance of land rights.
This project will increase the knowledge and capacity of Freedom Fund partners on issues of land rights in order to assist landless haruwa-charuwa community members when they are applying for and claiming land which is available for distribution through the Government of Nepal. The long term goal of this training is to prepare non-governmental organisations in Nepal to advocate for land rights for haruwa-charuwa families. This preparedness will help address a root cause of the haruwa-charuwa’s vulnerability to debt bondage.