Contents: Introduction. I. The charters: 1. Citizen's Social Charter for South Asia. 2. National citizen's social charter: Bangladesh. 3. National citizen's social charter: India. 4. National citizen's social charter: Maldives. 5. National citizen's social charter: Nepal. 6. National citizen's social charter: Pakistan. 7. National citizens' social charter: Sri Lanka. II. The process: 8. The citizen's social charter: modalities for formulation and implementation. 9. Report of the first SACEPS Task Force meeting on a Citizen's Social Charter for South Asia. 10. Report of the International Symposium on the Citizen's Social Charter for South Asia. 11. Report of the final 'Task Force Meeting on the Citizen's Social Charter for South Asia.
"The South Asia Centre for Policy Studies (SACEPS) has commissioned a Task Force drawn from across South Asia to prepare a Citizen's Social Charter for South Asia (CSCSA). This charter, which was prepared over a period of six years, involved citizen's groups from across Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. This is the first volume published on the CSCSA.
The present volume is divided into two parts. Part I presents the CSCSA and the National Citizen's Social Charters prepared by citizen's groups in each of the above six countries. The charter documents in this volume spell out a charter of obligations for each of South Asian states to address such vital social issues as the eradication of poverty, the empowerment of women, protection of children and the elderly, environmental degradation and the development and utilisation of human resources. The various charters spell out specific plans of action, policies and programmes and the allocation of resources needed by the states to meet their obligations under the charters.
Part II of the volume reviews the preparatory process involved in drafting the charters. It contains the reports of the three meetings of the Citizen's Task Force set up to prepare the CSCSA convened by SACEPS in 2002, 2003 and 2004 in Dhaka and Colombo. The reports of these meetings have spelt out the rich discussions involved in designing the CSCSA and the initiatives needed to operationalise the Citizen's Charter. The report of the final meeting of the Task Force in Dhaka in February 2004 has pointed to the need for carrying forward the work of the national citizen's groups by building up a broad constituency of citizen's groups in each country of South Asia.
The CSCSA as well as the national charters published in this volume should serve as instruments for social mobilisation by citizen's groups across South Asia who remain committed to the concerns of the deprived and the excluded. The volume should provide policymakers, citizens, scholars, students as well as the development community with a better understanding of the actions needed to correct the injustices which permeate South Asian society."