Human rights activists in South Asian countries have for a long time supported the concept of evolving collective mechanisms on many issues of common concern, particularly in view of the fact that many human rights issues demand bilateral and regional solutions.
Recognizing this need a five-member committee comprising Mr. I.K. Gujral, former Prime Minister of India, Dr. Kamal Hossain from Bangladesh, Dr. Devendra Raj Panday from Nepal, Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy from Sri Lanka and Mrs. Asma Jahangir from Pakistan organised a convention to discuss the possibility of a South Asian regional human rights organization. Delegates were drawn from recognized human rights organizations and included jurists, academics, public figures, trade unionists and media persons. The convention was held at the Neemrana Fort, Rajasthan, India on July 21-22, 2000. After extensive discussions the convention adopted the Neemrana Declaration and decided to set up an organization called South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR).