NHRC role sought for new statute

Kathmandu, May 13:

Human rights activists today urged the National Human Rights Commission to intensify its activities to ensure that the new constitution exclusively guarantees human rights.

Participating in a discussion on the draft of the NHRC’s second three-year strategic plan (2008-11), the civil society leaders suggested that the NHRC should work to influence the Constituent Assembly to frame a ‘human rights-friendly’ constitution.

“Only constitutional guarantee of human rights can ensure protection of rights,” they said.

“The three-year strategic plan would concentrate on the making of new constitution through the Constituent Assembly,” NHRC chairman Kedar Nath Upadhayaya said hoping that human rights situation will improve in the coming days.

The civil society members also sought more teeth for the NHRC and opined that the body should be more accessible to the general public.

They also stressed that the NHRC needs to work in tandem with the Women Rights Commission, Dalit Commission and other authorities to uplift the human rights situation in the country.

Former Supreme Court Justice Laxman Prasad Aryal, former NHRC members Prof Kapil Shrestha, Dr Ram Dayal Rakesh and Dr Gauri Shankar Lal Das and former ambassadors Damodar Prasad Gautam and Surya Prasad Shrestha spoke on the occasion. They suggested that the government and the rights bodies should work together for protecting the human rights and for improving rule of law in the country.

Chairperson of National Women Rights’ Commission Naina Kala Thapa, chairperson of National Dalit Commission Ram Lal Bishwokarma, Prof Birendra Prasad Mishra and Durga Ghimire saod the NHRC should work effectively to protect the rights of the people.