UN body to examine Nepal human rights situation next week

KATHMANDU: The United Nations Human Rights Council is scheduled to examine Nepal's human rights record next week.

It is the second time the UN Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Working Group is examining human rights situation of the nation.

Earlier, Nepal was reviewed at the UN body on January 25, 2011.

The session has been scheduled for coming Wednesday, November 4 in Geneva.

The Nepali delegation led by Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Agni Prasad Kharel would defend Nepal's position during the review.

The Council is examining human rights record of 14 nations including Nepal during its upcoming session from November 2 to 13.

Three UN member states - Latvia, Morocco and Qatar – have been chosen as rapporteurs for the review on Nepal.

According to the UN, the review will be based on three documents including a national report prepared by the government; information provided by independent human rights experts and groups; and information provided by stakeholders that include national human rights institutions, regional organisations and civil society groups.

The examination will cover a range of issues including "combating all forms of discrimination, including  against women, based on caste and against the Dalit community; addressing gender-based violence; preventing excessive use of force by law enforcement and allegations of extrajudicial killings and combating impunity for such cases; improving detention conditions; preventing early and forced marriages; combating human trafficking; reducing child labour; eradicating poverty; access to safe drinking water and sanitation; transitional justice; addressing alleged reprisals against human rights defenders and journalists; the rights of refugees; post natural disaster responses; rehabilitation and reintegration of ex-combatants and minors; and progress made in the peace process."

The UPR is a unique process which involves a periodic review of the human rights records of all 193 UN member states.  Since its first meeting was held in April 2008, all 193 UN member states have been reviewed during the first UPR cycle and 140 thus far during the second cycle.