NHRC concerned over country’s poor human rights track record

December 09, 2017

The Kathmandu Post, 9 Dec 2017 

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has expressed concern over the state of impunity the government and political actors are giving credence by delaying the transitional justice process.

The national human rights watchdog has drawn the government’s attention towards the delay in resolution of war-era crimes by not empowering the two transitional justice mechanisms for years.

Since their formation three years ago, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Commission on Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons have not made much progress handling the cases of grave human rights violence committed during the decade-long Maoist insurgency. Thanks to the lack of laws and resources, the commissions—as their terms near end—have only just investigated around 63,000 complaints on war-era crimes.

In its annual report submitted to President Bidya Devi Bhandari on Friday, the NHRC strongly recommends the government and other parties concerned to improve the country’s human rights track record by taking the transitional process to its logical end.

 The NHRC has said the it too was facing several challenges due to reluctance of the government to implement its recommendations, lack of laws and delay in construction of its office that was destroyed in 2015 earthquake.

The commission  has continuously pressed the government to clear the hurdles to human rights implementation,  said NHRC Chairman Anup Raj Sharma.

The Commission’s report shows more than 75 per cent of its recommendations are yet to be addressed. Between 2000 and 2013, the NHRC had recommended government to initiate action on 735 cases of rights violations. Only 103 of those recommendations were implemented.

A lot left to be desired on human rights front: President

 President Bidya Devi Bhandari has said that there is still a lot to be desired on the human rights situation of the country.

Receiving the National Human Rights Commission’s annual report at Shital Niwas on Friday, the President said tardy transition process after a decade long civil war was preventing the country from improving its human rights situation.

She also stressed the need of implementing the NHRC recommendations on cases of rights violations to achieve a better human rights standing.

The NHRC delegation, led by its Chairman Anup Raj Sharma, had presented the annual report to President Bhandari.

Sharma said expressed concern over the situation of human rights in the country.  Delivering appropriate justice to the individuals and families affected by the Maoist conflict is crucial to improving the country’s human rights situation, but the two transitional justice mechanisms formed to deal with the conflict-era cases have been rendered powerless, he said. 

The tenure of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Commission on Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons is nearing end and they have not made much headway in their objectives due to lack of laws and resources, added Sharma. 

The survivors of the Maoist conflict are deprived of justice, though a decade has passed since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Accord.

The NHRC has also drawn the government’s attention towards violation of right to live peacefully, vandalisation of NHRC vehicles by cadres of political parties, increasing cases of domestic violence, use of children in the elections and sufferings of Nepali migrant workers. (RSS)