Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Many NHRC recommendations go unimplemented


Based on complaints of human rights violation, the National Human Rights Commission has made 1,059 recommendations to the Government of Nepal since its establishment to provide relief and compensation to rights abuse victims and for punishment against the perpetrators. It has made 19 policies and 58 case-based recommendations, including for ratification of international human rights instruments. However, of the total recommendations, only 10 per cent have been fully implemented, 40 per cent are partially implemented, while 50 per cent have yet to be implemented.

According to Joint Submission for the Third Cycle Universal Periodic Review of Nepal-2020, submitted by the National Human Rights Commission, National Women Commission and National Dalit Commission to the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council, prosecution and punishment against the perpetrators is less than five per cent. The NHRC Act-2012, requires the government to inform the rights body about the implementation of its recommendations within three months. But the NHRC has had a few communications, illustrating limitations of the government.

The Joint Submission made public by the rights body earlier this week stated that non-implementation of the recommendations obstructed the development of an environment conducive to the enjoyment of human rights, while increasing impunity.

“The government should fully implement the recommendations of the NHRC within a year, including ratification of international human rights instruments like Rome Statute, Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families and Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance,” it reads.

Article 16 of the constitution states that everyone has the right to live with dignity. However, the government is not able to protect the lives of people.

According to the Joint Submission, altogether 52 complaints of alleged killings have been registered with the NHRC within the reporting period of the past four-and-ahalf years, till March, 2020. Kumar Paudel was shot dead on 20 June 2019 by Nepal Police and the NHRC found three police personnel guilty in the incident and recommended the government to prosecute them.

Torture has been criminalised by the Criminal Code- 2018, which is positive. However, the statutory limitation of six months is not in line with the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. The government has also adopted a zero-tolerance policy, but 100 complaints on torture have been registered with the NHRC within the reporting period. “The government should establish an independent and credible mechanism for investigation of torture within a year and establish the statutory limitation in line with the convention,” it suggests.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on September 12, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.

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