Rokaya slams govt over impunity

Kathmandu, March 10:

At a time when the human rights situation in the country is deteriorating, a commissioner of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Dr KB Rokaya, today revealed that the constitutional rights body was not getting cooperation from the government.

“The absence of state is responsible for the escalating incidents of human rights violations, as criminal groups are busy with their activities and breaking laws,” Dr Rokaya told this daily today. He also said the government’s non-cooperation to the NHRC was another cause behind it. Dr Rokaya said the government had only been implementing less than 30 per cent of the NHRC recommendations.

“We expect the government response even if it cannot implement our recommendations. But we don’t get any,” he said, adding, “We don’t get help from the political parties, NGOs and civil society either, as they are always criticising us.”

He, however, acknowledged that the government had increased budget for the NHRC. “Some high-profile government officials also visited the NHRC office when we summoned them. But this is not enough. The government should implement our recommendations,” he said.

Dr Rokaya also said the government was yet to introduce the NHRC amendment bill to make it a constitutional body in a real sense as envisaged by the Interim Constitution.

Dr Rokaya also felt the need to update the definition of human rights in Nepal. “People have been facing criminal group’s threat and intimidation in the absence of the state. Since the government is not involved in rights infringement cases, we have to take the rights violation case in a different way,” he added.

The NHRC commissioner also called the government to strengthen the national institutions instead of strengthening the UN rights body. “Since OHCHR-Nepal is going back after terminating its agreement with the government soon, the government should do the needful to strengthen the national institutions,” he opined.

“In the changed context, we can manage even in the absence of the OHCHR-N. The role of UN body was not much effective, as no right violator was punished under its recommendation,” he added.