The National Human Rights Commission has lamented the lack of cooperation from the Government of Nepal towards the rights body in upholding human rights.

In its annual report submitted to President Bidhya Devi Bhandari, the rights body said the government had a special obligation to protect, promote and uphold the human rights of citizens as their guardian. "It is also the responsibility of the government to provide necessary support to the national bodies working for human rights. The government is just paying lip service to cooperation with the NHRC. It is not cooperating with the rights body in practice as expected," the report said.

The NHRC also expressed concern that its functioning had not been effective due to non-cooperation from the government despite the adoption of federal governance system in the country. On 22 June 2017, the rights body made some timely changes to its organisational structure and sent it to the government for approval. But despite repeated follow-up, the government has not shown any interest in endorsing those changes for operation of the NHCR in line with the federal structure. It said the government had also taken for granted the issue of amendment to the NHRC Act, 2012.

The rights body also said there was no clarity in the jurisdiction and nature of work among the NHRC and other thematic commissions established by the Government of Nepal. In addition to the NHRC, the constitution provides seven other thematic commissions related to human rights. These include National Inclusion Commission, National Dalit Commission, National Women Commission, Indigenous Nationalities Commission, Madhesi Commission, Tharu Commission and Muslim Commission.

All of them work for human rights.

"There is no clarity in the jurisdiction and nature of work among the NHRC and seven thematic commissions. No discussion or debate has been held on this matter. Even though the constitution mentions the functions to be carried out by these commissions, duplication is likely and there may be the possibility of varied reports on the same issue. In such a situation, more complexities will be seen in the implementation, and relations between the commissions and this may not be healthy. It may also lead to duplication of work," it warned.

The NHRC also said there seemed to be lack of coordination and collaboration among the stakeholder agencies regarding the issues of protection and promotion of human rights. This problem is apparent, particularly in government-to-government, government-to-non-government, and non-government organisations, among others.

A version of this article appears in the print on December 12, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.