Genuine quake victims deprived of relief: NHRC

KATHMANDU: The National Human Rights Commission today said genuine earthquake victims were being deprived of relief due to lack of effective coordination between government and non-government agencies.

Speaking at a meeting of Social Justice and Human Rights Committee of the Legislature-Parliament in Singha Durbar, NHRC Chairman Anup Raj Sharma said the rights watchdog was closely monitoring relief distribution, rescue operation, rebuilding process and overall human rights situation in the aftermath of the massive quake.

“The monitoring will continue. We have been regularly summoning the responsible officials of government agencies to NHRC office to draw their attention to shortcomings on their part,” said Sharma.

NHRC members Prakash Osti, Sudip Pathak, Mohan Ansari and Govinda Sharma Paudyal told committee Chairperson Sushil Kumar Shrestha and other lawmakers that lack of effective coordination and collaboration between government and non-government agencies had affected the post-earthquake relief operation.

According to them, relief materials were yet to reach the genuine victims while the foods distributed to the victims were found to be substandard in some places. They also brought to the committee’s notice that women and children were vulnerable to human trafficking in the post-disaster situation. NHRC officials also urged the government to remain alert to protect citizens from floods and landslides, as monsoon is near.

Committee Chairman Shrestha and other members said they will work in tandem with NHRC while also directing the government to relocate the settlements, which are vulnerable to landslides, to safer places.