General Introduction:

Gauri Pradhan has completed his service as a Commissioner (Member) and Spokesperson for the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), a national constitutional body of Nepal. He is a well-known social activist and human rights defender in South Asia. He is a founding President of a number of national institutes including a pioneer child rights organisation CWIN (Child Workers in Nepal). For his work on child rights in Nepal he has received a number of national and international honours including the UNICEF Global Leadership on the Rights of the Child in 2000 along with Mr. Nelson Mandela, the former President of South Africa. Currently, he is working as the International Coordinator of LDC Watch, a global CSO platform of the least developed countries.

He was born on 5 August 1962 in Chautara, Sindhupalchok, Nepal and undertook his schooling in the native birthplace and higher studies in Kathmandu, Nepal. He has studied Masters in Business Administration (MBA) and Bachelors in Law (Thesis on Child Labour in Nepal) from Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu. He has also received several professional training on Human Rights, Child Rights, Conflict Resolutions and Peace Building, International Relation, Development Studies, Leadership Development, and Gender Justice through a variety of national, regional and international institutes.  

By invitation, Gauri Pradhan has attended numerous international conference, seminars, symposiums, and dialogues on human rights, climate change, trade, right to food and food sovereignty, conflict resolutions, children, women and other social developmental issues, both as a speaker/resource person and participant. Such engagements have led him to the United Kingdom, USA, Germany, Japan, China, Finland, Holland, Switzerland, Cambodia, Thailand, Iraq, India, The Philippines, Bangladesh, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Italy, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Sweden, Norway, France, South Africa, Chad, Pakistan, Malaysia, Singapore, Kirgizstan, Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH) and Kenya. He has also travelled across the country during his field works, studies and human rights missions. 

Involve in Democratic Movement:

Since the 1980’s Gauri Pradhan has worked extensively in the movement for democracy, human rights and social justice in Nepal. He was elected President of the University Free Students' Union, Central Campus Kirtipur in1982-1983 and national president of ANNFSU playing a prominent role in the pro-democracy movement. During his student activism in 1980s, he was arrested and detained a number time for his active involvement in the movement for the restoration of democracy. As a representative of Asian Student Association (ASA), he also extended his solidarity to the movement for the restoration of democracy, human rights and social justice in other Asian countries. During 1989/90, he significantly mobilised international support and solidarity in favour of Nepal's pro-democracy movement. Unfortunately, the young democracy was plundered by the dictatorship and he was arrested in 2005 for his international campaign against the then dictatorial rule and for broader democracy. He was later released by the decision of the Supreme Court of Nepal. At that time, he was also registered as the prisoner’s conscience by the Amnesty International and campaign for his release.

Work on Human Rights:

He joined the first human rights organization in Nepal - FOPHUR (Forum for the Protection of Human Rights) - as the Secretary in 1986. He coordinated the first Asia regional seminar-workshop on Human Rights held in Kathmandu in 1986 under the repressive government. During the General Elections in 1991, he worked as the executive coordinator of the National Election Observation Committee (NEOC), which had coordinated the international election observation in Nepal. He was one of the founder members and National President of the Human Rights Alliance, an alliance of human rights organizations working throughout the country for the period of 2003-2007. He has been an integral part of the civil society initiatives to advocating the rights of women, children, Dalit, person with disabilities and ESC rights in the country. He also successfully served as the national president of NGO Federation of Nepal for the period of 2001-2003. 

Gauri Pradhan completed his six-year service (2007-2013) as a Commissioner (Member) and as the Spokesperson of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), a national constitutional body of Nepal. During the period he led a number of high-profiled fact-finding missions and forensic investigations on serious cases of Human Rights violations and abuses that have occurred during a decade long armed conflict (996-2005) in Nepal. In this capacity, he coordinated a number of delegations to regional and international forums held in different parts of the world. He also played a significant role at the NHRC by introducing a number of guidelines and directives for the promotion and protection of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights in Nepal. As a head, he also led the national delegation consist of NHRC, National Women’s Commission and National Dalit Commission to the UPR Session of Human rights Council held in Geneva in 2011. In his capacity as human rights commissioner, Gauri Pradhan actively involved in dialogues at the highest national level on issues of human rights, justice, and peacebuilding in Nepal.  

Work on Child Rights:

Immediately after graduating from university, and recognizing that the Rights of the child were not being adequately considered in Nepal, Gauri Pradhan established an NGO called CWIN, the pioneer child rights organisation in Nepal. During the 1980’s Nepal was still in an era when an independent NGO movement had not yet taken root, and social work was limited to a few charity actions strictly under government control. He became one of the pioneering leaders of a general movement for CSO’s, and specifically to raise the voice of an independent civil society on issues such as child labour, child abuse, bonded labour, street children, human trafficking and child marriage, which were almost non-issues in the society at that time.  He is the one who first translated the Convention on the Rights of the Child into Nepali and disseminated through-out the country for social awareness.

Gauri Pradhan also became the first national chairperson of Central Child Welfare Board (CCWB), the high-level state's organization on the rights of children, representing civil society. He also served the Global March against Child Labour as the South Asia Regional Coordinator from 2003-2007. More globally, he was also nominated to and acted as an Adviser to the UN-NGO Committee on Violence against Children in 2006. He had also served as an adviser to Global March against Child Labour and Human Rights Adviser to OECD Good Governance and Human Rights program. He is the one who first formulated the concept and campaigned for the Children as Zone of Peace Campaign (CZOP) in Nepal in 1999, at the initial period of a decade long armed conflict in Nepal. As a Commissioner of NHRC, he had also taken up the responsibility for the monitoring of promotion and protection of child rights in the country. He also served the national NGOs as the national president at the Children at Risk Networking Group (CAR-NWG) from 1992-1997 and Global Campaign for Education (GCE) later registered as National Education Campaign (NCE) in 2001-2003 respectively.

Work on Conflict Transformation and Peace Building:

During a decade long armed conflict of Nepal in 1996-2005, Gauri Pradhan initiated and participated to a number fact-finding missions to monitor the violation of International Human Rights Laws and International Humanitarian Laws in the conflict areas of Nepal. Likewise, he was a part and partial of civil society initiatives for conflict transformation and peacebuilding process between the State and the then CPN (Maoist). He has been actively engaged with Friends for Peace (FFP), a peacebuilding research and ‘think tank’ institute, serving as the Secretary-General from its establishment in 2005. The “Friends for Peace (FFP)”, a civil society initiative to support the peace dialogue for the conflict transformation has been carrying out a number of research and policy advocacy in the areas of conflict management and peacebuilding in Nepal.  He has also contributed a number of articles and papers on Children in Conflict, Conflict and Women, Conflict Transformation and Peace Building and Human Rights and Federalism based on his research and experiences. 

Research and Academic Work:

As a researcher, Gauri Pradhan has coordinated a number of research programmes on child rights issues, such as child education, child labour child protection, child education, social security, and on human trafficking and labour issues. He was the coordinator of the Street Children's Project Review Team in Colombo, Sri Lanka, 1992, Convener of National Council of Women and Children, Technical Committee on Children, HMG/Nepal in 1996. He also coordinated several international seminars- workshops held in Nepal and abroad. He was also engaged in a number of rescue-operation of children for protection including the famous Mumbai rescue and repatriation of 138 trafficked girls to Nepal in 1996. As the national coordinator, he was actively involved in the formulation of the "Ten Years National Plans of Action (NPA) for Children in Nepal for the period 2005-2014." 

Gauri Pradhan has written, edited and published several books. Some of his selected publications are Misery Behind the Looms (1993), Child Labour in Nepal (1993), Trafficking in Young Girls in Across Indo-Nepal Border (1992), Back Home from Brothels (1996 & 1997), Juvenile Justice in Nepal (1998), Unfair and Exploitative Labour Relations (1998), Child Sex Abuse in Nepal (1999), Management of Child Care Centers (1999), Children under the Whirlpool of War (2002), Children and Peace (2004), Child Protection (2004) and over 200 working papers and academic articles on the rights issues, federalism, democracy, labour and social justice. He was the founding member and president of National Labour Academy, a research and resource centre for labour and development. He also worked as one of the research advisers to the Rapid Assessment of the Worst Form of Child Labour jointly undertaken by the Central Department of Population Studies (CDPS, Tribhuwan University) and ILO in 1998. Gauri Pradhan was also involved as a visiting Professor in a number of institutes including Master in Integrated Community Development (MICD), in Kathmandu, Nepal. He is one of the highly wanted resource person in the areas of Human Rights and Social Development in the country. In 2015 and 2016, he also led a research study on “Towards the Bright Future: Situation Analysis of Child Rights in Nepal” and “Social Development Report-2015” respectively. He has trained to over 5,000 persons from different fields including from Government, NGOs, Police, Teaching Service, Students, Community members, adolescents and so on in the last twenty years.  

Social Work: 

Gauri Pradhan has been also continuously contributing a lot in the field of social service. Since the inception of his college life, he has been extending his social service in the areas of building schools, libraries, health centres and in community development. He has also helped establish a number of child care centres, child helplines, community child service, schools, college, and hospital in the country. He also coordinated some emergency relief support for the victims at the time of natural disasters, armed conflict and pro-democracy movement. He has been also active in supporting the reconstruction for schools and child care centres in the areas of deadly earthquakes of 2015 with the spirit of “build back better.”

Work for the Least Developed Countries:

Since July 2015, Gauri Pradhan has been involved as the International Coordinator of LDC Watch, the global platform of CSOs working for rights and development and the best interest of the least developed countries. As the representative of the LDC Watch, he has attended a number of UN events and other international conferences concerning the Trade, Human Rights, Climate Change, Food Security and Food Sovereignty, International Development Cooperation, UN Sustainable Development Goals 2030 and so on. He also has played an instrumental role to organize the LDC CSO Conference on Mid-Term Review of LDCs which was held in Antalya, Turkey in May 2016. Likewise, he has also coordinated a number of side events for LDC Watch in different national, regional and international conferences related the LDCs held in different parts of the world. As a coordinator of the LDC Watch, he has been working hard for enhancing and strengthening the civil society campaign and alliance building for justice, freedom and development of LDCs. In past, he had also participated as the national CSO representative of Nepal at the Third and Fourth UN Conferences on LDCs held in Brussels and Istanbul in 2001 and 2011 respectively.