CLD has been heavily involved through a number of projects over the years in the development and implementation of right to information (RTI) legislation in Pakistan at the federal and provincial levels. CLD’s current project involves working with selected local government actors in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to improve RTI implementation through training of information officers and development of internal protocols on this. It also involves working with oversight bodies (information commissions) in those provinces through providing advice and support in a number of areas. An important part of the work also involves working in partnership with a range of local stakeholders to develop a groundbreaking methodology to assess the quality of RTI implementation, the first time this has been done anywhere in the world.
Training at the Information Commission
In December 2017, the Centre for Law and Democracy (CLD) concluded a joint training programme for senior information officers from more than 30 different public bodies with the Nepal National Information Commission (NIC). The three-day programme focused on a range of issues including practical steps information officers can take to improve citizens’ access to information, the wider benefits of the right to information, regional developments, classification of information and future directions for information officers and the NIC.
Report on Media Freedom
In March 2016, the Report of the International Mission to Nepal for Promoting Freedom of Expression and Safety of Journalists was launched, outlining the findings of the Nepal International Media Partnership (NIMP), which visited Nepal from 19 to 23 April 2015. The primary goals of the Mission were to assess the media freedom situation in the country and to provide support to the then ongoing UNPFN/UNESCO project, Increasing the Safety of Journalists.
Analysis of Constitutional Proposals
The government of Nepal has recently released a new version of the draft Constitution, which is now being considered by Parliament. CLD has helped prepare a joint Statement by the Nepal International Media Partnership (NIMP) provides an analysis of the draft Constitution from the perspective of international guarantees of freedom of expression. It is intended to support the government and Parliament of Nepal, as well as other local stakeholders, with a view to ensuring that the final version of the Constitution is as fully in line with international standards as possible.
Protecting Freedom of Speech
The Centre for Law and Democracy participated in the Nepal International Media Partnership (NIMP) mission to Nepal from 19 to 23 April 2015, the eighth such mission which has been held since the first one ten years ago in 2005. The aim of this Mission was to assess the media freedom situation in Nepal and to provide support for reform initiatives. The Mission focused on two key areas, the creation of a specialised safety mechanism to address attacks on those exercising their right to freedom of expression and the ongoing need for legal and policy reform. A Joint Statement was issued at the end of the Mission setting out key findings and recommendations.