Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
License needed for work use Register

World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Nepal: For The Ordinary Folk, Limited Progress In Liberties,

August 9, 2012
A Statement from the Asian Human Rights Commission
Nepal: For The Ordinary Folk, Limited Progress In Liberties, Opportunities And Income In Recent Years
A group of human rights lawyers and activists gathered for a two-day seminar on the Rule of Law and Criminal Justice in Dhulikhel, Nepal. This seminar was organized by Advocacy Forum and the Asian Human Rights Commission.

Reviewing liberties, opportunities and income, the participants discussed a large number of issues relating to the recent developments in Nepal. While several participants appreciated the expansion of freedoms since the 1990s, particularly in the area of freedom of expression and association, they also had reservations about the extent to which the ordinary people have benefited from the recent developments relating to democratization. One participant observed that in the past people suffered violations of rights in silence; however, now they are able to express their protest against such violations and to let other know about what they have experienced. However the same participant underlined that in the ground realities, no substantial progress has been made in terms of redress for such violations and the elimination of the causes of such violations.

Observing the situation in terms of opportunities, several participants observed that new opportunities may have risen for the small group of people in power and those close to them but that the ordinary people only marginally benefited from new opportunities. Their situation remains difficult.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

Observing the situation in terms of income, hereto the rich, the powerful and the politically influential may have made gains but the ordinary folk continue to depend on foreign remittances. In the rural areas, young people have left, putting the work in the fields in serious crisis. Overall, there has been no improvement in the income level of the people.

The participants observed that while some democratic achievements have been made in the area of development of the basic institutions, there is no attempt at all to bring about comprehensive reforms. The talk of the democratic reforms has not translated into efforts to improve the basic institutional structure of justice in Nepal.

There were lengthy discussions on the situation of the police. The participants concluded that in Nepal there is hardly any discussion focusing on improving the policing system in the country. It remains very backward and human rights abuses form an integral part of its functioning. This includes, the routine use of torture, abuse of arrest and detention, abuse of power and extrajudicial killings in particular districts. There is no independent system of investigation into the complaints of abuses by the police. The existing system of investigations is restricted to internal inquiries done by the police authorities themselves, in spite of political promises to bring about an independent investigation system.

Several lawyers felt that they are not being respected by the police when they make interventions on behalf of their clients. Instead, political or other influence is needed to get anything done. Their work is often being obstructed and some lawyers reported having faced physical assault. Much improvement is needed in building a professional relationship that respects the rights of the clients as well as the lawyers.

Institutional reforms, including police reforms, have not yet become significant part of discussions and debates in the political discourse. Several participants felt that action is required to trigger public discussions on the issue of such reforms.

The participants discussed many related matters and the discussions continued into many other aspects of reforms that are needed in order for people to be able to participate in the political process and to benefit from these exchanges.
Read this statement online
# # #
About AHRC: The Asian Human Rights Commission is a regional non-governmental organisation that monitors human rights in Asia, documents violations and advocates for justice and institutional reform to ensure the protection and promotion of these rights. The Hong Kong-based group was founded in 1984.


© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
World Headlines

UN News: Aid Access Is Key Priority

Among the key issues facing diplomats is securing the release of a reported 199 Israeli hostages, seized during the Hamas raid. “History is watching,” says Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths. “This war was started by taking those hostages. Of course, there's a history between Palestinian people and the Israeli people, and I'm not denying any of that. But that act alone lit a fire, which can only be put out with the release of those hostages.” More

Save The Children: Four Earthquakes In a Week Leave Thousands Homeless

Families in western Afghanistan are reeling after a fourth earthquake hit Herat Province, crumbling buildings and forcing people to flee once again, with thousands now living in tents exposed to fierce winds and dust storms. The latest 6.3 magnitude earthquake hit 30 km outside of Herat on Sunday, shattering communities still reeling from strong and shallow aftershocks. More

UN News: Nowhere To Go In Gaza

UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said some 1.1M people would be expected to leave northern Gaza and that such a movement would be “impossible” without devastating humanitarian consequences and appeals for the order to be rescinded. The WHO joined the call for Israel to rescind the relocation order, which amounted to a “death sentence” for many. More

Access Now: Telecom Blackout In Gaza An Attack On Human Rights

By October 10, reports indicated that fixed-line internet, mobile data, SMS, telephone, and TV networks are all seriously compromised. With significant and increasing damage to the electrical grid, orders by the Israeli Ministry of Energy to stop supplying electricity and the last remaining power station now out of fuel, many are no longer able to charge devices that are essential to communicate and access information. More


Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.