The primary focus of NDW rests on influencing state policies and interventions to ensure caste induced vulnerabilities are first recognised, and then addressed by the State. Aligned to this vision and mandate, we have has been engaged in advocacy for Hyogo Framework for Action 2 (HFA2) at the national, regional and international levels, from the perspective of caste and descent and work discriminated(DWD) communities globally and regionally (South Asia). Here are the advocacy initiatives of NDW towards social exclusion sensitive and cognizant HFAII.
About the Post 2015 DRR Framework (HFA 2)
The Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) was launched at the World Conference on Disaster Reduction (WCDR) held in Kobe from 18-22 January 2005. The HFA was adopted by 168 UN member states as a guiding framework on disaster reduction for the period 2005 - 2015.The expected outcome of HFA over this period is “substantial reduction of disaster losses, in lives and in the social, economic and environmental assets of communities and countries. Since 2005, the HFA has become the guiding framework for the work on disaster risk reduction (DRR) of not only the national governments and international organizations but also the civil society organizations, and the academia. The HFA places equal emphasis on formulating appropriate national policies as well as building capacities at the local level for DRR. The National policy documents for DRR formulated by various countries since 2005 including India had increasingly referred to the five priority areas of HFA.
In 2015, the HFA is due to expire. The negotiations have been underway for Post 2015 DRR Framework, whereby the priority areas and core indicators will be determined. Prior to international platforms of consultation with humanitarian stakeholders including the governments, several consultative processes to elicit inputs to the HFA2 have taken place at national level. These consultations as national and regional conferences and solution exchange inputs have been facilitated by UNDP for the Govt. of India. All these regional consultations and the recent 2nd World Reconstruction Conference, will culminate into the 3rd World Conference on DRR, in March 2015, Sendai, Japan, where the new DRR Framework will be adopted by the 168 UN Member states.
NDW's Rationale for Interventions
While the HFA focused on achieving resilience building and reduction in economic losses, it also needs to recognize the vulnerabilities and multiple marginalisations when several factors like gender, age and disability integrates with caste. In the event of disasters, this exacerbates the conditions of these communities as vulnerability gets compounded. Caste and descent and work (DWD) based discrimination exist across the globe including in Nigeria, Senegal, Mauritania, Yemen and Japan, and South Asia with 260 million reportedly affected worldwide.
While the HFA talks about addressing underlying risks and vulnerability, the need is to recognize various heinous societal forms of social exclusion and marginalization. Caste based discrimination is long pending this recognition. The acknowledgment of this aspect of vulnerability will enable civil society organizations and governments to systemically and strategically redress humanitarian interventions and institute legislative safeguards.
In South Asia, the implementation of HFA and the South Asia Regional DRR Framework which is aligned with the priorities of HFA, has resulted in significant progress in the area of creating legislative and policy framework for DRR. Reducing underlying risk factors and mainstreaming DRR into sectoral planning process remains a challenge; and these underlying risks do not officially recognize caste based discrimination and inter-sectionality of gender, age, disability etc with caste. This validates the advocacy needs for inclusion as national and South Asian voice.
Our Participation and Inputs to International consultations: as Asia Dalit Rights Forum
NDW represented India in a delegation from Asia Dalit Rights Forum, comprising members Dalit organisations from Nepal, Bangladesh and India to advocate for recognition of CBD as larger South Asian issue and not that of one country. ADRF delegation intervened in the recent two international consultations on HFA2. These are:
- Participation at the Second World Reconstruction conference from 10-12 Sept 2014, at the World Bank Head Quarters, in Washington D.C., USA, as South Asian delegation of Asia Dalit Rights Forum. The conference concluded with the WRC2 Conference Statement for Recovery-English Version. Here, the efforts were focused on securing terminologies like ‘Inclusive’, ‘Equitable’ and ‘Marginalised communities’ in the official statement, which didn't find mention in the draft version. These UN terminologies weren't easily incorporated but persistent interventions ensured their inclusion.
- The 6th Asian Ministerial Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction (6AMCDRR), 22-26 June 2014, Bangkok, Thailand, whereby the key themes identified from the HFA2 consultation process concluded with recommendations from the Asia-Pacific region to HFA2. ADRF issued Position Statement on the Inclusion of communities affected by Caste Based Discrimination (CBD) in DRR to the Asian Disaster Reduction and Response Network (ADRRN), official platform to amplify civil society inputs (read the Statement here: http://slidesha.re/1p3BvhC ). The concerns related to social exclusion contained in the Statement were incorporated in the final Statement of Voluntary Commitments of Civil Society Organizations for the 6th Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction
- Final Asia-Pacific Input Document for the Post-2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (HFA2) , (p. 18)
- Inputted into the NGO Major Group Formal Statement 1st Prep Comm 14-15 July 2014 (concern acknowledged as socially excluded groups).
Our Inputs to national consultations on Post 2015 DRR Framework
- The First session on First session on National Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction, 13th -14th May, 2013 at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi, organised by the GoI (p. 59)
- Virtual Global Platform 2013- An online discussion covering HFA2 issues at the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (GP13)– online discussions from 15 May 2013 (response available at- http://bit.ly/1sXNT3r): The Global Platform for Disaster Reduction was established in 2007 organized by UNISDR, the UN's office for disaster risk reduction and secretariat of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction.
- Framework for Action (2005-2015) for Disaster Risk Reduction, Northern Regional Consultation in Chandigarh on 30 October 2012, organised by UNDP India: Outcome document, (p. 3, 5)
- Response to the UN Solution Exchange query on Recommendations for developing a Road map for Disaster Risk Reduction beyond HFA (2005-2015): to recognise Caste induced vulnerabilities is recommended into the Post HFA Framework, 12/4/2012