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Europe-South Asia Exchange on Supranational (Regional) Policies and Instruments for the Promotion of Human Rights and Management of Minority Issues (EURASIA-Net)
Start date: Jan 1, 2008, End date: Jun 30, 2010 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Human rights, and especially minority rights, have a clear supranational dimension both in Europe and in South Asia. Europe has made wide use of the mechanisms and soft law approaches developed and implemented at regional level by the OSCE, the Council of Europe and the European Union. In South Asia there is a long tradition of study and robust experience in the field of cultural, religious, linguistic and ethnic management, including the gender dimension, within national boundaries. However, it is only recently that some albeit limited attempts have been made to enhance regional cooperation on these very sensitive issues. Studies carried out by South Asian scholars have created the knowledge base underlying the first rudimentary attempts by the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and the foresight initiatives of human rights NGOs and activists. Furthermore, the geopolitical context is now particularly favourable to a supra-national discourse on human and minority rights as a consequence of recently improved relations between India and Pakistan. The overall objective of EURASIA-Net is therefore to enhance the requisite knowledge-base for new policies and instruments to reduce ethnic-religious conflicts and to foster stability and security in South Asia. The specific objectives are: 1. To develop a better understanding of regional South Asian attempts to define (by the research community) and implement (by decision-makers and activists) new supranational instruments for the protection and promotion of human rights, with a particular focus on cross-border minority issues. 2. To sustain Euro-Asiatic research cooperation and exchange on those issues and to enlarge the discussion forum to encompass politicians and human rights activists. 3. To create a framework for future research cooperation between Europe and South Asia that is twofold: (a) a Joint Research Agenda and (b) a modus operandi based on mutual knowledge and understanding.
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