After realizing the limited potential of SAARC due to a number of political circumstances, the civil society of South Asia started organizing Summits under a different umbrella aimed to strengthen people-to-people contact in the region. This took the form of ‘People’s SAARC’ which now holds its session parallel to the SAARC Conference. In its declarations presented at the end of the summits, People’s SAARC has always emphasized on shift of resource allocation from defence to education, health and poverty.
The idea of South Asia Social Forum emerged from the World Social Forum (WSF) which calls for a just world free of wars, commercial globalization, militarization, capitalism, and neo-liberal imperialism. It aims to provide space for people from all spheres of society to openly share and debate their ideas. It was decided to have a similar forum in South Asia. PILER is a prominent contributor to the forum.
The Pakistan Peace Coalition (PPC) is a civil society initiative for peace launched in September 1998 following the nuclear tests carried out by India and Pakistan. PPC comprises numerous pro-peace organizations, groups and individuals from across Pakistan. Sharing the common goal for de-nuclearisation and peace in South Asia, the PPC and its component organizations work with regional movements and organizations on broader themes of: reduction in defense expenditure to promote human development in the two countries; de-nuclearisation of South Asia; and countering the increasing trends of intolerance and violence in society.
The South Asian Labour Forum evolved as a consequence of a South Asian Consultation Conference on labour rights known as “The Kathmandu Consultation” during 20th to 23rd May, 1996. The aim was to devise a region-based platform that mobilizes labour organizations in South Asia and allows them to articulate their interest in a coordinated manner. The objective is to f formulate alternative strategies and action plans to ensure universal labour standards. PILER and Center for Education and Communication (CEC), India jointly function as co-conveners of the South Asian Labour Forum.
PILER supports marginalized the Hindu community of Dalits in their struggle against injustice and discrimination being done to their people. PILER also acts as the secretariat for the network. The Dalit community, under the umbrella of Pakistan Dalit Solidarity Network (PDSN), has been recording protests against forceful conversion of religion, kidnappings of Dalit girls, sexual harassment of Dalit domestic workers and a lack of basic facilities of health and education.
PILER is part of the Clean Clothes Campaign which, since its inception in 1989, has been working to ensure the fulfillment of workers’ fundamental rights and also for the improvement of working conditions in the global garment and sportswear industries.
The concept of Asia Floor Wage emerged after a meeting in 2007 between South Asian union leaders and labour activists who identified wages as a key challenge facing labour. PILER is also an active partner in the campaign that has now become an international alliance for Asia Floor Wage.
PILER is also working with the Asia Pacific Research Network (APRN),a network of the Asia Pacific region’s leading research NGOs. The network emphasizes the need for information, education and advocacy of grassroots through research. APRN has now become a family of 37 leading research organizations from 17 countries of Asia Pacific region.
SAAPE was formed in 2001 as a civil society alliance to fight against poverty and injustice in South Asia through policy research, advocacy, lobbying and campaign work on key themes.
The Reality of Aid Network (RoA) is an international non-governmental initiative focusing exclusively on analysis and lobbying for poverty eradication policies and practices in the international aid regime.