Kathmandu, December 10
Overall situation of human rights in the country has not seen progress as expected, the National Human Rights Commission has said.
According to the rights body, progress in socio-economic and educational aspects of the Dalit, indigenous people, people with disabilities, gender and sexual minorities and marginalised community has remained dismal.
Though right to health, right to employment, right to housing, consumers’ right, right to education and children’s right have been established as fundamental rights by the Constitution, all citizens are yet to get easy and efficient access to health services.
Speaking at an event to mark the 71st International Human Rights Day in Kathmandu today, NHRC Chairperson Anup Raj Sharma said children were still being deprived of education. He said human rights situation of migrant workers and disaster survivors, including the earthquake and flood survivors has also not improved.
“Law enforcement agencies need to give due attention towards effective implementation of the provisions laid down in the Constitution for the protection of human rights,” said Sharma.
Stating that thematic constitutional commissions have yet to get full shape, Sharma said violence against women, child marriage, menstruation taboo (Chhaupadi) human trafficking, racial discrimination and untouchability, gender-based discrimination continued to exist in the society. “The violence survivors should have easy, efficient and safe access to justice,” he said.
Sharma also said various mechanism and organs of the state, the custodians of human rights, were playing the role of human rights violators. He said the government had not fully implemented the NHRC recommendations, though it is constitutionally binding for the government.
“Enforcement of international commitments made in regards to human rights does not look satisfactory, either.
Thirteen years have passed since the country moved towards peace through the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, but the conflict survivors are yet to get a sense of justice, which is continuity of the culture of impunity and is unfortunate for the people,” he said.
Referring to Minister for Foreign Affairs Pradeep Gyawali’s speech in the UN Human Rights Council in February, where the minister had expressed commitment to amend laws related to transitional justice in line with the Supreme Court verdicts and international norms, Sharma said it was unfortunate that no progress had been made towards that end.
The National Human Rights Commission recommended that government agencies, thematic commissions, stakeholders, civil society and non-government organisations take appropriate measures to strengthen and advance economic, social and cultural rights, women’s rights, environment and human rights, development and human rights, business and human rights, climate change and human rights, rights of migrant workers, human rights education and exercise of collective rights.
The rights body also recommended developing laws and policies to make private industry, trade and business sectors accountable to human rights, as it is no longer a matter of concern only for the state and state actors.
Human Rights Day is celebrated globally to mark the day United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.
A version of this article appears in print on December 11, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.