Nepal: UN Members deeply concerned about caste discrimination and untouchability

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Nepal: UN Members say caste discrimination remains a serious rights issue

Nepal: UN Members deeply concerned about caste discrimination and untouchability

UN Nepal UPR Review calls for effective implementation of Caste-Based Discrimination law

(Geneva, November 5, 2015) – United Nations member states yesterday urged Nepal to ensure the rights and equality of Dalits. Seventeen member states raised their concerns and recommendations on caste equality discrimination at the United Nations Periodic Review (UPR) of Nepal, Member states noted theweak implementation of the law, poor case investigation, and continued widespread caste discriminationurging the Government to ensure effective and implementation and of the Caste-Based Discrimination and Untouchability Act of 2011.

They recommended that Nepal sets in place effective measures and a concrete strategy to implement the law on caste-based discrimination.

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kamal Thapa pointed to “zero tolerance against discrimination” guaranteed with the newly adopted Constitution (adopted on 20 September 2015). He underlined that all forms of discrimination based on caste, religion and gender are punishable by law. He recognized that these social practices still continue at some places, but emphasized that with strong legislation and infrastructure in place he believed that “the social evil will come to an end”.

Members states raised concerns on the continued widespread practices of caste discriminationand called on Nepal to strengthen its efforts to effectiveness of the laws effectively implement existing laws and policies recommendedeffectiveness of the laws aimed at ending and preventing all forms of discrimination, in particular against women and Dalits. And take concrete steps to translate anti-discrimination efforts into concrete practice on the ground.

The situation of violence against women in Nepal, concern at the level of trafficking in persons especially Dalit women and girls, and numerous reports of caste-based violence and discrimination call for specific action. States commended the government for promulgation of the Constitution and also urged the adoption of public policies to eliminate all forms of discrimination, including against Dalits, women, indigenous peoples and minorities. States raised particular concerns of equal access to education for Dalits and reports on discrimination of Dalits in the relief and rehabilitation after the earthquake prompted recommendations on ensuring non-discriminatory access in relief efforts.

In its response to the recommendations, the Government noted that Dalit access to justice is a priority and referred to the development of an integrated action plan.

While acknowledging that the Nepal Government has taken strides over the past years to ensure Dalit rights through legislative measures, Dalit rights organisations are demanding a national action plan to eliminate caste discrimination and an effective coordinating mechanism to oversee its implementation. Dalit rights organisations have pointed to the importance of public campaigning and institutional reform noting with deep concern that state organs are yet to fulfil its strong commitment for inclusive and non-discriminatory institutions.

The Government of Nepal is due to respond to the UPR recommendations on 6 November.

Contact:

Rem Bahadur B.K., President, Jagaran Media Center,rembk@jagaranmedia.org.np, +977 9851086809

Bhakta Bishwakarma, National President, Nepal National Dalit Social Welfare Organization (NNDSWO), gbkbhakta@yahoo.com +977-9851084469

Rikke Nöhrlind, Executive Director, International Dalit Solidarity Network, rn@idsn.org / Tel. +45 29700630

Further information

Human Rights Situation of the Dalit Community in Nepal, Dalit Civil Society Organizations Coalition and IDSN Joint UPR Submission Nepal November 2015

For an overview of the most essential recommendations see also: Key recommendations for the Universal Periodic Review of Nepal, 23rd UPR Session, 4 November 2015.

Note on country recommendations at the Nepal 2015 Universal Periodic Review (Will Nina/Rikke compile this)

IDSN Nepal country profile page – idsn.org/Nepal

Left overs notes:

Zero tolerance policy on caste-based discrimination

Develop public policies for the implementation develop public policies for the implementation of the law

Recommend Nepal to strengthen its efforts to effectively implement existing laws and policies to eliminate all forms of discrimination.

Mechanisms for the implementation of the caste-based Discrimination and Untouchability Act.

Ensuring social and economic rights and underlines the Governments obligation to fulfil the obligation to enact the laws within three years in accordance with article 7 of the Constitution enacts laws for article.

 

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