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Mukunda Raj Kattel

HRD & Director
The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)

Mukunda Raj Kattel is the director of The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA). Mukunda has been involved with several human rights initiatives for the last 20 years and is a prominent human rights advocate. He has also worked as a senior advisor at Danish International Development Agency's Human Rights and Good Governance Program in Nepal. He is one of the two Directors of FORUM-ASIA and is based at the secretariat in Bangkok, Thailand. FORUM-ASIA works to promote and protect human rights, including the right to development, through collaboration and cooperation among human rights organisations and defenders in Asia and beyond. FORUM-ASIA is a network of 58 members in 19 countries, as of January 2016, across Asia.

Human rights defenders in India face a diverse range of attacks and harassment from state and non-state actors alike, including killing, physical assault, arbitrary detention, threats and judicial harassment. Police officials are often the perpetrators of violence against HRDs, which is usually carried out with impunity. Armed groups and private companies also target HRDs for work related to economic development projects and their impact on the local communities or the environment. HRDs are increasingly the targets of online smear campaigns by radical nationalists.