AWC seeks UN Special Rapporteurs' intervention in "Indian blockade against Nepal"

KATHMANDU: Accountability Watch Committee on Monday made submissions to the UN Special Rapporteurs on the "negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights" for the urgent action to address the current humanitarian crisis in Nepal caused by the blockade imposed by India on Nepal.

Also, the AWC, which is a network of human rights activists and civil society,  submitted separate letters to the Special Rapporteurs on the right to health and the right to education -- Kishore Singh and Dainius Pūras respectively -- to address the crisis in health and education sectors.

In the 49-point submission titled "Humanitarian crisis and human rights violations resulting from unilateral coercive measure used by India in the form of blockade", the AWC has sought the UN Special Rapporteur's intervention to stop the Indian blockade on Nepal.

"... Nepali people and civil society urge the Special Rapporteur for immediate appropriate intervention to help stop the blockade imposed by India on Nepal. We urge the Special Rapporteur to take the initiative to make an initial appeal to the Government of India, given the urgency of the situation in Nepal in light of the upcoming winter and the escalating crisis in essential supplies including fuel. We would also ask the Special Rapporteur to consider making an immediate trip to Nepal to assess the situation on a personal basis, to take action as required thereafter," the 49th point of the submission reads.

In the letters to Singh and Pūras, the AWC has written that India has continued the blockade violating the uninterrupted trade rights of landlocked Nepal and breaching its independence and sovereignty despite frequent requests from the Nepal government and civil society to ease the blockade.