NATIONAL REPORT SUBMITTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH PARAGRAPH 15(A) OF THE ANNEX TO THE HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL RESOLUTIONS 5/1
II METHODOLOGY AND CONSULTATION PROCESS
2. A committee was formed by the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers (OPMCM), Government of Nepal (GON), with cross sectoral representation to prepare the National Report for the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). The committee conducted comprehensive inter-ministerial interactions on various aspects of UPR, and held extensive discussions and dialogue with governmental institutions, national human rights institutions including the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), National Women Commission (NWC), National Foundation for Development of Indigenous Nationalities (NFDIN), and National Dalit Commission (NDC), and with various civil society actors including the media and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Various regional level interaction programs were also held for deliberation on the contents of the Report.
3. Situated in
4. Ethnic, cultural and linguistic diversity is the most characteristic feature of
IV NORMATIVE AND INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK
6. The normative and institutional frameworks for the protection and promotion of human rights in
A Normative Framework
1 The Constitution
7. The Constitution is the fundamental law. It keeps democracy, peace, prosperity, progressive economic-social changes and sovereignty, integrity, independence and dignity of the country as the central concern and provides a political system that fully upholds, inter alia, the universally recognized basic human rights and establishes rights of all citizens to education, health, housing, employment and food sovereignty. Its cardinal focus is on social and ethnic inclusion, constructive recognition of diversity and attainment of social justice through inclusive, democratic and progressive restructuring of the state.
8. The Constitution with a comprehensive catalogue of fundamental rights is the basic source of human rights. It incorporates almost all the rights set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the rights and obligations enshrined in human rights instruments to which
9. A number of economic, social and cultural rights are also inscribed in the Directive Principles and Sate Policies, which include provisions for positive discrimination, reservations and other forms of special support for vulnerable or marginalized groups or communities in connection with education, health, housing, food sovereignty and employment, for their empowerment, protection and development.
10. A range of rights are recognized as absolute and non-derogable, which cannot be suspended even in the state of emergency. These rights include: the rights to life, equality, personal liberty, justice, social justice, environment, health, education and culture, employment and social security, labor, religion, freedoms to form political parties and associations, rights of the child and women, rights against torture, exploitation, exile, untouchability, racial discrimination and closure or seizure of media or press, and right to constitutional remedies and the remedy of habeas corpus. The Supreme Court has extra-ordinary powers to issue necessary and appropriate writs to enforce such rights or settle the dispute. A person is entitled to obtain compensation for any damage inflicted on that person from any act done in contravention of law or in bad faith during emergency.
11. The Civil Liberties Act, 1954 and the Muluki Ain(Civil Code), 1963 are important general laws. The Civil Liberties Act guarantees various civil and political rights, including equality before law and equal protection of law, as well as right against discrimination on grounds of religion, race, sex or otherwise. The Muluki Ain is a general law for both civil and criminal matters. It has repealed the traditional caste system and also attempted to end caste-based discrimination by eliminating untouchability and caste hierarchy. The 11th and 12th Amendments have made reforms in the existing provisions particularly on property, marriage, divorce and abortion in compliance with major instruments on women’s rights.
12. The GON is currently drafting civil code, penal code, sentencing legislation and civil and criminal procedure codes, which will, upon promulgation, codify relevant laws, and abolish a range of laws and practices that are still perceived to be discriminatory.
13. Specific laws have been enacted to protect and promote other specific rights, for example, the rights of the child, women’s rights, right against torture and rights of persons with disabilities (PWDs).
15. Major strategies pursued by
16. Also in pursuance of the Vienna Declaration and Program of Action 1993,
4 National Jurisprudence
(a) Domestication of International Law
(b) Rulings and Principles Laid Down by Judiciary
18. The Constitution recognizes the judiciary as one of the three pillars of the state. The Constitution specifies its powers, lays down a framework for its independence, and determines its basic features. It provides for structure of courts in a three-tier hierarchy- Supreme Court (the SC), Appellate Courts and District Courts. There are over 100 judicial bodies including regular courts, special courts and tribunals.
19. The Constitutional Council is a mechanism to recommend also for the appointment of the Chief Justice of the SC, while the Judicial Council is to make recommendation and advice on the appointment of, transfer of, disciplinary action against, and dismissal of, judges and other matters of the district courts and appellate courts, and the appointment of other justices of the SC.
20. The SC has played a lead role in promoting and protecting human rights through its various judgments. The principles and rulings laid down in such judgments, made in relation to a wide array of human rights including economic, social and cultural rights and the rights of the child and women, portray the human rights jurisprudence developed by the SC. The SC declared ultra vires many legal provisions relating to facilities in prisons, equality and non-discrimination. In a range of areas such as women's rights over parental property, rights against sexual harassment and marital rape, it has issued directive orders for formulating necessary enabling laws or streamlining laws to tune them with the constitutionally guaranteed rights.
21. The SC has also developed advanced public interest litigation (PIL) regime for the protection and promotion of public interest, enabling the public to seek redress against violations of human rights. An enormous wealth of jurisprudence has evolved on issues such as prisoner’s rights, bonded labor, right to clean environment and custodial violence, among others.
22. The judiciary has adopted and enforced a strategic plan since 2004 in order to execute judicial reforms. The vision of the Judiciary is to maintain independent and efficient system of justice so as to ensure justice for all and through promotion of human rights, and independent and efficient system of justice. Its mission is to discharge fair and impartial justice in accordance with law and recognized principles of justice. Judicial reforms also focus on alternative dispute resolution mechanism as a vehicle for decentralization of justice and involvement of people in dispute resolution. Besides,
B National Institutional Framework
1 National Human Rights Institutions
23. The NHRC was established in 2000 as an independent statutory body. The Constitution has upgraded it into a constitutional body consisting of one chairperson and four other members appointed for a six-year term, and the formation and mandate of which is in full conformity with the Paris Principles. In the appointments of the members of the NHRC, diversity and inclusion of women have been maintained. The NHRC Act defines "human rights" as the rights relating to life, liberty, equality and dignity of the individual guaranteed by the Constitution or embodied in the treaties joined by
24. The NFDIN was established as an autonomous statutory body, by the National Foundation for Development of Indigenous Nationalities Act, 2002, with the main objective of ensuring the overall welfare of the indigenous nationalities. Various provisions in the Constitution have boosted up the NFDIN in empowering the indigenous/ethnic nationalities for protection and promotion of their religious, linguistic, cultural and political rights.
25. The NWC was established as an autonomous statutory body, by the National Women Commission Act, 2007, for the protection and promotion of the rights and interests of women, including their effective inclusion in the development mainstream. It has recommendatory and investigatory powers. It consists of one chairperson and four members appointed by the GON, having due regard to inclusion from the minority communities.
26. The NDC was formed by an executive order of 2002, with primary objective to protect and promote the rights of the Dalit community and assist the GON in Dalit upliftment programs. It has carried out various important activities, including preparation of required legal measures, working plans, publication and dissemination of various literatures on Dalits. It has been implementing a Five-year Strategic Plan focusing on overall empowerment and political participation of Dalits, cultural vigilance and legal reforms.
2 Office of the Attorney General
27. The Attorney General represents the GON in all courts. On a petition or receipt of information that any person in custody is treated inhumanely or disallowed to meet his or her relative or legal practitioner, the Attorney General can inquire into the matter and give necessary directive to the concerned authority to prevent such act.
3. Human Rights Committee in Legislature-Parliament
28. The International Relations and Human Rights Committee of the Legislature-Parliament gives necessary direction and suggestion to the GON, and evaluates and monitors governmental activities on human rights. It considers and deliberates on annual reports of the NHRC and the Attorney General, and reports to the House of Legislature-Parliament indicating whether desirable progress has been made, whether violators of human rights have been brought to justice, whether status of implementation of human rights treaties joined by Nepal is satisfactory and what sorts of policies need to be implemented in this field.
4 National Information Commission (NIC)
29. The NIC is a statutory body established under the Right to Information Act, 2007. It hears appeals against decisions by public bodies in relation to citizens' demand to have access to information in such bodies. It is empowered to provide effective remedies on the enforcement of the right to information, by also ordering for making reasonable compensation to the aggrieved party and taking departmental action against the defaulter.
5 Government Institutions
30. The OPMCM is the lead government agency responsible for the promotion and coordination of human rights related activities, including governance reform and effective implementation of relevant human rights treaties. It is also a liaison institution for NHRC and Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), among others. It coordinates and harmonizes human rights related matters with various line agencies.
31. The Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction (MOPR) has supported initiatives for constructive conflict management, promotion of participation of all sphere of society in the peace process, forging international support to sustain the peace process and ensure transitional justice to conflict victims. The MOPR has reconstructed 1,411 out of the 5560 infrastructures damaged due to conflict, provided financial assistance to the families of 14,064 out of 16,729 deceased, distributed reliefs to 25,000 out of 78,689 internally displaced persons, reliefs to 1179 out of 1327 disappeared persons forced to disappear, and subsistence allowance to 23 persons injured in the People’s Movement. Bills on the constitution of two high level commissions on truth and reconciliation and disappearance are being considered by the Legislature-Parliament.
32. The Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare (WCSW) is responsible for the formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies, plans and programs on women, children and social welfare, and also for the protection and security of orphans, helpless children, women, senior citizens, persons with disabilities. It mobilizes and coordinates with national and international NGOs in their activities within its purview. A national CEDAW committee is putting in place necessary measures to effectively implement the CEDAW. The MWCSW prepared a strategic document on gender and social inclusion in 2006, which has been instrumental in mainstreaming gender and promoting equality at the national level organizations.
33. The Ministry of Law and Justice (MOLJ) is the sole governmental agency responsible for drafting legislation, and reviewing and reforming legal system, administration of justice and judicial system. It also provides legal opinions to other line ministries on joining international treaties, acquisition of membership of international organizations and international legal obligations.
34. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MOHA) is basically responsible for the maintenance and enforcement of law and order. It is executing a Special Program for Effectiveness of Peace and Security, End to Impunity and Defending Human Rights, 2009 accompanied by a code of conduct founded on the norms of human rights, for security personnel and employees involved in the enforcement of this Program. It operates the institutions of Nepal Police, Armed Police Force and National Intelligence Department. Both Nepal Police and Armed Police Force have central human rights units, and human rights cells at their regional and local level offices. The contents of human rights are included in training manuals for police employees at all levels. These institutions have mechanisms to examine petitions against police employees for human rights violations and publish the results of such examination.
35. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) seeks to ensure that the overall commitments and obligations of
36. The Ministry of Defense (MOD) has a lead role in framing necessary defense policies, legislations, and managing the institution of Nepal Army. It has adopted a range of measures to ensure civilian authority over, and inclusiveness of, army, and training of armed forces in accordance with the norms and values of human rights.
6. Anti corruption bodies
38. Cognizant of the fact that corruption is a great threat to good governance and development efforts, a number of anti corruption bodies have been established with varying, yet complementing, scope and nature of mandate. The Commission for the Investigation of the Abuse of Authority is a constitutional body mandated to investigate and prosecute the cases of corruption and improper conduct. Likewise, the National Vigilance Centre, the
7. The Media
39. Media exercise full freedom of expression. The GON firmly believes that a fully responsible media is the nerve of any democratic polity. A good number of daily newspapers, weeklies, fortnightlies and monthlies in English and vernacular languages are being published. There is also a remarkable growth of private satellite TV channels, radios and print media. The media is active in disseminating information on various issues of national importance such as human rights, development and good governance, with the fundamental aim of generating dialogue and consensus on such issues.
8. Civil Society
40. The civil society has also evolved as a vibrant institution significantly contributing to the establishment of a sound democratic system. Voluntary action by citizens, in particular the PIL, has played a supportive role in safeguarding human rights. Such action is reinforced by the NGOs and CBOs through their diverse programs including awareness raising, income generation, access to justice, environment conservation and participation in development process.
C Scope of International Obligations
43. At the invitation of the GON, various special procedures, mandate holders visited Nepal, namely, the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention in 1996, the Special Rapporteur on extra-judicial, summary or arbitrary executions in 2000, the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances in 2004, the Representative of the Secretary General on the human rights of internally displaced persons in 2005, Special Rapporteur on the question of torture in 2005, Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of Indigenous Peoples in 2008, and Special Representative of the Secretary General for Children and Armed Conflict in 2008.
V PROMOTION AND PROTECTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS ON THE GROUND
A Civil and Political Rights
44. The Constitution serves as a shield against any infringement of civil and political rights. Most of the rights guaranteed by the ICCPR have been recognized as fundamental rights. The Constitution confers on every person the right to life with dignity and liberty, and the right against death penalty. This right is essentially the foundation of human rights jurisprudence in
45. A specific legislation, the Press and Publication Act, 1992 is designed to safeguard the freedom of opinion and expression. The Right to Information Act, 2007 has further reinforced
B Right against Torture
47. The GON views any alleged acts relating to torture in any part of the country with serious concern. It has carried out investigations of allegations of such acts. Necessary punitive measures have been taken subject to law against those found indulged in such act. The GON is seriously considering the recommendations made by the Special Rapporteur on Torture for making necessary legal reforms.
C Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
1 Economic Development and Poverty Alleviation
49. Poverty alleviation has been a major priority of successive governments in
2 Right to Health
51. The Constitution has safeguarded the right to environment and health as a fundamental right, entitling each person to live in a healthy environment. Each citizen has the right to free basic health services from the state, as provided in law. The GON recognizes that the enjoyment of right to health is intrinsic to the dignity of human being. The national health policy adopted by
52. The GON has implemented the free health service in primary health care institutions and district hospitals. People have free access to 40, 33 and 23 kinds of medicines at district hospitals, primary health centres and health posts, and sub-health posts, respectively. Pregnant women are entitled to free maternity service at all governmental hospitals and private hospitals making agreement with the Ministry of Health and Population (MOHP). A transportation allowance is provided to those women who give birth at a health institution. Moreover, the poor, indigent, disabled and women volunteers are entitled to free medical service in entirety.
53. The GON is making efforts to increase the rate of child immunization from the existing 83 percent to 100 percent. The achievement in the immunization service has been appreciated by the international community and development partners.
3 Right to food
54. The Constitution recognizes food sovereignty as a fundamental right. The GON recognizes that food security implies physical and economic access of each person each day to adequate, hygienic and nutritional food, according to his or her requirement and desire. Government policies in this sector focus on four basic aspects of food sovereignty: availability of food, access to food, proper use of food, and food stability.
55. In remote districts, the GON is making food available through the Nepal Food Corporation, a government undertaking, and other means which include ‘Food for Work’ and ‘School Feeding’ programs.
4 Right to Education
56. The Constitution safeguards the right to education and culture as a fundamental right. Accordingly, every community has the right to basic education in its mother tongue, and preserve and promote its language, script, culture, cultural civilization and heritage, and every citizen to free education up to secondary level, as provided in law. The education policy has been structured to achieve this fundamental right and directive of state policy, and MDG 2 by 2015. The prevalent education policy aims at democratic, inclusive and egalitarian quality education for all. The GON has made education free up to secondary level. A bill to provide free and compulsory basic education is under consideration. Communities are encouraged to get permission to run primary schools in their mother tongue; and course-books have already been prepared in 16 mother tongues.
57. The GON has implemented the School Sector Reform Plan (2009-2016). It restructures the school education covering education from grade one to twelve, while specifying education from grade one to eight as basic education, which is the basic right of the child. The National Action Plan on Education for All (2001-2015) has identified goals of elementary child education and development programs, based on four pillars, namely, survival, development, protection and participation. The literacy rate of 6 plus year population is 63.7 percent. There are altogether 32,130 schools where 7,575,880 students are studying. The net enrolment rate of primary level (grade 1-5) is 93.7 percent. Currently, a total of 29,089 early child development centres are engaged in imparting child education, of which 24,773 are community based and the rest are institutional school-based. The GON has incorporated civic education and concepts of human rights into school curricula with a view to promoting human dignity.
58. To ensure inclusiveness and gender mainstreaming in education, various programs have been launched. These include reservation of 45 percent of scholarship for higher education in medical sciences that are available to the GON for indigent students from community schools and belonging to vulnerable groups, provision of scholarship to indigent girls in Terai who wish to pursue technical education on auxiliary nurse midwifery; extension of day nutrition program to 35 districts to mitigate drop-outs; provision of scholarship to 50 percent girls at the primary level and to all school girl students in Karnali Zone; allocation of quota for 40,000 girl students under annual 60,000 secondary education scholarships; mandatory recruitment of women teachers in a specific ratio; and income and skill generating trainings to women. A literacy campaign with the slogan of "let us be literate and enhance capacity" is being launched with local level participation. Now, women teachers account for more than 27 percent (42000) in community schools.
5 Right to housing
59. The Constitution has adopted a policy of establishing the right of all citizens to housing, and uplifting and providing shelter to marginalized communities through reservation, and a policy of implementing a scientific land reforms program. The GON is implementing the national housing policy, founded on the concept of "housing for all", and with the objective of providing government support to low-income groups and ensuring planned human settlement. The TYIP has committed to provide safe and affordable housing facilities while promoting planned settlement.
60. A series of programs have been adopted to ensure right to housing, which include housing program targeted to low-income families, physical improvement of habitation of landless squatters, rural housing development program, land and housing development program and rehabilitation of displaced families.
61. Soft interest housing loans are being provided through finance companies, revolving funds and income-generating funds to the backward families including women, Dalit, bonded labourers and indigenous nationalities. Certain lands are being provided to freed bonded labourers for housing purpose. A total of 4403-05-010 Bigaha of land has already been provided to 21639 families and a sum of 112 million 278 thousand rupees provided to 12,034 families for housing. Out of 27,570 emancipated bonded labours, 21,639 families have already been rehabilitated, and the rest are in the process.
6 Right to Work and Just and Favorable Conditions of Work
62. The Constitution recognizes the right to employment and labor related rights as fundamental rights. Each citizen is entitled to employment as provided in law, and each worker and employee to appropriate labor exercise, form and join trade unions and engage in collective bargaining, as provided in law. The State is obliged to pursue policies designed to establish this right and provide employment to the labor force. Each person has the right against exploitation, and against work contrary to his or her will and desire, except in relation to compulsory service for public purposes.
63. The Labor and Employment Policy, 2006 is designed to provide productive, non-discriminatory and decent work opportunities for citizens, through building and managing a labor market that is contributive to national economy and competitive globally. The Labour Act, 1991 and Regulation, 1993, Foreign Employment Act, 2007 and its Regulation, 2007, Trade Union Act, 1992 and Regulation, 1993 are core legal measures to institutionalize these rights as well as relevant ILO Conventions ratified by
64. The GON has entered into bilateral labor agreements with some countries, which will promote dignified and decent working environment in relation to foreign employment. The GON has also implemented provisions of labor desks, insurance, orientation training, inquiry desk in the foreign employment department, examination and inquiry into complains in relation to foreign employment so as to promote the right to safe migration.
D Women's Rights
Program, women have been united against domestic violence and human trafficking, and involved in entrepreneurship and skill development income generation related activities by means of revolving fund operation. Women’s cooperatives have become an effective vehicle for uniting women engaged in unorganized sectors, and conducting campaigns against various malpractices. Since 2002, the Gender Responsive Budget Initiative has been implemented. The allocation of gender budget in the current fiscal year is 17.3 percent.
67. The National Plans of Action on CEDAW and Beijing Platform of Action framed in 2004 are being practically implemented. The GON has adopted temporary and special measures for full development and advancement of women. More than 150 laws provide for affirmative provisions for women in education, health and employment, and strive to secure gender justice.
68. The Human Trafficking and Transportation (Control) Act, 2007 and its Regulation, 2008, which cover both cross border and internal trafficking for any purpose, are a strong law to address the issue of trafficking in person. It also incorporates important provisions to provide justice to the victims, including compensation, in-camera hearing and establishment of a rehabilitation fund. The Domestic Violence (Crime and Punishment) Act, 2009 aims to end domestic violence which is in its implementation.
69. In pursuance of the recommendations of the CEDAW Committee, 65 discriminatory legal provisions have already been eliminated. A law review committee under the MWCSW is working out toward further elimination of laws perceived to be still discriminatory.
E Rights of the Child
71. The TYIP aims to abolish all forms of exploitation, abuse, violence and discrimination against children through promotion of child-friendly environment for the physical, emotional, mental and intellectual development of, and protection of the rights of, the child. The GON has implemented a 10-year National Plan of Action (2004/05-2014/15), covering areas of health, protecting children against abuse, exploitation and violence, and combating HIV/AIDS.
73. The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1999 outlaws the engagement of a child below 14 in work as a labourer and provides for a stringent punishment. A committee of child labor prevention and a child labor prevention fund have also been established under this Act. These measures are also in tune with the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999. Exploitation of children for pornography, sexual exploitation and trafficking is strictly outlawed, in keeping with
74. The GON has adopted a zero-tolerance strategy in relation to child recruitment. Efforts are directed to protect children and ensure that children recruited in armed conflict have access to rehabilitation and reintegration measures. An exodus of 4008 non-qualified combatants, including 2973 minors, has already been made from various cantonments, and they have been integrated into society. The GON is preparing a national policy on children associated with armed forces and armed groups.
F Rights of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs)
76. The Protection and Welfare of Persons with Disability Act, 1983 and Regulation, 1994 are major legal measures to give effect to the Convention. The GON is working out for timely improvements in the policy and legal regimes in the field of rights of PWDs. It has also framed building codes requiring public buildings to be PWD friendly.
G Rights of Dalits
H Social Security of Senior Citizens and Other Vulnerable Groups
78. The Constitution has guaranteed the right of vulnerable groups to social security as a fundamental right. The Act Relating to Senior Citizens, 2006 provides legal base to various social security schemes for senior citizens. The GON has been providing a monthly allowance to senior citizens above 70 years of age, with 65 years of age for those in the Karnali Zone. Senior citizens above 75 years of age are entitled to free medical treatment of severe diseases like heart, kidney and cancer.
79. A range of public service employment and labor related laws and policies provide for social security measures including provisions of gratuity, pension and compulsory provident fund for employees and workers, with special focus on those from vulnerable or marginalized groups or communities.
I ILO Convention 169 on Rights of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples
VI ACHIEVEMENTS, BEST PRACTICES, CHALLENGES AND CONSTRAINTS
1 Holistic Approach to Human Rights
81. Nepal has been able to adopt a holistic and multi-faceted approach for the protection and promotion of human rights against the backdrop of its diverse social and cultural ethos, development imperatives and over a decade long armed conflict, which has resulted in the death of about 16,729 persons, displacement of about 78,689 persons, disappearance of about 1327 people, and devastation of public infrastructures valued at about 5 billion rupees.
82. Peace, justice and democracy are indivisible and they never thrive in isolation from each other. The signing of the CPA was demonstration of the commitment of all political parties to establish a lasting peace premised on the value of democratic pluralism in the country, and with pledge to protect and promote human rights under all circumstances. The Constitution, incorporating the CPA as an integral part, has directed the State to provide for economic, social and cultural justice through democratic, progressive and inclusive restructuring of State.
2 Human Rights as an Overriding Issue
83. The issue of the protection and promotion of human rights has become an overriding priority agenda of the GON in its governance system. The right-based approach has gradually gained momentum in national policies, plans and laws; and all the relevant stakeholders have been increasingly positive towards inclusion of human rights in national plans and development process. Various national institutions importantly NHRC, NWC, NFDIN and NDC are actively involved in the protection and promotion of human rights for all, particularly those of marginalized groups. The GON values the feedback from the non-governmental sector institutions on human rights situation.
3 Increased Level of Awareness about Human Rights
84. A great level of awareness about human rights has been attained. Now, a great majority of people have broad awareness about the right-based approach and are able to argue and advocate for their rights. Various sensitization programs have been instrumental in bringing about behavioral change in governmental officials and security personnel.
4 Human Rights Policy Incorporated into Development Plans
85. In pursuance of the state obligations in the field of human rights, the TYIP has committed to ensure human rights guaranteed by the Constitution and international treaties subscribed to by
5 Engagement with International Mechanisms
86. In keeping with commitments made by it at times,
6 Legislative Framework of Good Governance
87. In recognition of the fact that good governance is fundamental for the protection and promotion of human rights, the Good Governance (Management and Operation) Act and Regulation have been promulgated. A code of conduct for civil service employees has also been implemented under this legislation. Enactment of Money Laundering Act, Public Procurement Act and Amendment to the Civil Service Act, issuance of Guidelines for Making Effective Government Service and Facilities, and provisions of citizen's charter are some other important measures. Policy and institutional reforms have been made in the civil service to establish transparency, accountability and participation. The Public Service Commission Act has given impetus to these reform initiatives. In the nutshell, the issue of human rights has been crystallized by law and practice as an integral part of the governance system in the country.
B Best Practices
1 Inclusive and Balanced Development Approach
88. Government has introduced a policy of inclusion in pursuit of making the society equitable through elimination of existing regional, class and caste-based, ethnic and other disparities and discriminations. The Tenth Plan enunciated inclusion as a strategic pillar for poverty alleviation. The Constitution has included various important provisions on inclusive development in all sectors including economic, social, political and ecological ones so as to ensure human rights and fundamental freedoms for all castes, ethnic groups, gender, religions, regions, ages, and classes by restructuring the State. As envisaged in the TYIP, a series of policies and other measures are being implemented to make
2 Human Rights and Social Justice as Interlinked Issues
90. The GON believes that social justice is of critical significance to marginalized or vulnerable communities or groups. Policy, legal and institutional measures adopted in the field of human rights are premised on the reality that there are many communities for whom the fundamental issues of reforms process relate to issues of basic livelihood, health and quality of life. Improvement of social, human and cultural status of these communities or groups by mainstreaming them into development has been a central focus of development plans.
91. An independent judiciary is a core element of
4 Collaboration with civil society
92. Departing from the traditional centralized governance approach, governmental policies have increasingly been focusing on collaboration with civil society including NGOs and private sector in development process. A range of policies are being adopted to activate NGOs in economic and social development processes and bring about transparency and efficiency in the mobilization of their resources.
5 Gender Mainstreaming
93. The GON's policies have accorded high importance to gender mainstreaming through empowerment and development of women. Various institutions including the NWC are in place to contribute to the mainstreaming of women in governance and development process. Empowerment of rural women is an issue running across all relevant government measures. Gender responsive budgeting and gender auditing systems are also in place.
6 Legislative Reforms
94. The GON has always focused on legislative measures as an important vehicle to carry out
7 Zero Tolerance against Gender Based Violence
95. A special program has been launched to observe the year 2010 as a year against gender based violence (GBV). The GON has adopted a National Plan of Action for Year against Gender Based Violence, 2010, which is a single policy document, and a longer-term plan will be developed based on learning from this. It details a health sector response to GBV, and recognizes that a concerted effort on different dimensions like health, education, legal rights, protection and security is necessary to address GBV. A Central Level Complaint Management Unit has been established in the OPMCM so that immediate action can be taken in cases where concerned agencies refuse to register complaints or when they are unresponsive.
8 Community Forestry
96. The community forestry (CF) concept was incepted in 1978. The Master Plan for Forestry Sector 1989, a 25-year policy and planning framework, has aimed to conserve eco-system, and contribute to economic growth at local level. It envisioned transfer of government forests to community forest users groups, an independent and self-governing entity. The Forests Act, 1993 and its Regulation 1995, together with the Forest Sector Policy, 2000, give substantial rights to local people in managing community forests. As a result of this innovative process, forest areas have now been expanded to 39 percent of total land area of the country.
C Challenges and Constraints
97. Despite a range of policies, and legal and institutional measures that have been taken, people's ability to enjoy human rights is constrained by a number of factors, which also relate to governance and structural and functional capabilities of the state organs.
99. Various economic and social issues such as poverty and environmental degradation remain growing threats to the enjoyment of human rights.
100. The trade base of
101. Climate change remains a growing threat to development. Deforestation, melting of Himalayan glaciers, looming glacial lake outbursts, soil erosion, decrease in productivity and desertification, flood, landslide and decrease in biodiversity are causing unexpected and severe environmental crises endangering the lives and livelihoods of people, and are detrimental to the enjoyment of human rights. Given that
102. Transitional phase is a delicate and difficult period. Challenges like corruption and impunity also stare any state in this phase. Establishing the rule of law remains a supreme task as an essential foundation of any democratic society.
103. The GON considers the Local Bodies as the first point of contact with the people. Local Bodies, which are the vehicle of devolution, decentralization and good governance at the local level, have remained out of political leadership for long. This has adversely affected the delivery of basic services to the people effectively and efficiently. Though the GON has made alternative arrangements for the purpose of delivering services to the people through a team of dedicated officials, it still feels that there can be no substitute to elected bodies.
VII KEY NATIONAL PRIORITIES, INITIATIVES AND COMMITMENTS
104. In order to address the problems and constraints, the GON has identified various activities as key national priorities and commitments, particularly: institutionalizing the rule of law, bringing the on-going peace process to a meaningful conclusion; framing a new constitution, carrying out a democratic, federal, inclusive and progressive state restructuring; rehabilitation and integration of Maoist combatants; achieving wider economic growth to expedite the process of socio-economic transformation, and balanced and inclusive development; making necessary legal reforms and effective implementation of relevant laws; effective implementation of human rights action plan, and other national action plans, including on CEDAW and on the rights of PWDs; formulation and implementation of action plan on the ILO Convention 169; institutional strengthening of national human rights institutions; support for judicial reforms and law enforcement agencies.
105. Similarly, capacity building on treaty body reporting; carrying out further measures to end impunity in any form; providing transitional justice; ending caste-based discrimination in all forms; effective implementation of ICERD; ending GBV; national monitoring of status of implementation of human rights treaty obligations; improvement in prisons and detention facilities; and enhanced human rights education to law enforcement agencies, armed and police forces are also the key priorities and commitments. Commitments also include continued constructive engagement with UN, human rights mechanisms and international community and close collaboration with the civil society.
106. In view of the nature of problems and constraints, domestic efforts alone would not be sufficient to achieve a desired level of protection and promotion of human rights on the ground and fulfill international treaty obligations, despite a range of achievements made in this regard. The GON believes that a proper implementation of policies, plans and strategies is crucial to achieve sustainable results.
107. The GON feels a need for capacity building and technical assistance in order to, inter alia, forge further effective collaboration with the civil society, to engage further with the UN human rights treaty mechanisms, to make legislative and institutional reforms, to provide further training to the judiciary, law enforcement personnel, local authorities on the importance of applying the principles of human rights, to enable the civil society to be further effective in contributing to the promotion and protection of human rights.
 It consists of 601 members, out of whom 240 were elected through first-past-the-post electoral system, 325 through proportional electoral system, and 26 were nominated by the Cabinet.
 The Interim Constitution of Nepal, 2007, part 3, arts 12 through 32. The fundamental rights are: right to freedom, right to equality, right against untouchability and racial discrimination, right relating to publication, broadcasting and press, right to environment and health, right to education and culture, right to employment and social security, right to property, rights of women, right to social justice, rights of the child, right to religion, right to justice, right against preventive detention, right against torture, right to information, right to privacy, right against exploitation, right relating to labor, right against exile, and right to constitutional remedies.
 These laws include: Libel and Slander Act, 1959; Prisons Act, 1964; Some (Public Offenses and Punishment) Act, 1969; Marriage Registration Act, 1972; Disabled (Protection and Welfare) Act, 1982, Protection and Welfare of Persons with Disability Act, 1983; Nepal Treaties Act, 1990; Labor Act, 1991; Press and Publication Act, 1991; Social Welfare Act, 1992; Act Relating to Children, 1992, Trade Union Act, 1992; State Cases Act, 1992; Civil Service Act, 1993; Torture Related Compensation Act, 1996, Human Rights Commission Act, 1997; Legal Aid Act, 1997; Consumer Protection Act, 1998; Local Self-governance Act, 1999; Child Labor (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1999, Bonded Labor (Prohibition) Act, 200, Nepal Citizenship Act, 2006; Human Trafficking and Transportation (Control) Act, 2007.
 It was established by the Human Rights Commission Act, 1997.
 International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD); International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR); International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR); First Optional Protocol the ICCPR; Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR aiming at the abolition of the death penalty; Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW); Optional Protocol to the CEDAW; Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT); Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC); Optional Protocol to the CRC on the involvement of children in armed conflict; Optional Protocol to the CRC on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography; Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD); and Optional Protocol to the CRPD.
 They are: Weekly Rest (Industry) Convention, 1921 (No. 14), Forced Labor Convention, 1930 (No. 29), Right to Organize and Collective Bargaining Convention, 1949 (No. 98), Equal Remuneration Convention, 1951 (No. 100), Force Labor Abolition Convention (No. 105), Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention, 1958 (No. 111), Minimum Wage Fixing Convention, 1970 (No. 131), Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138), Tripartite Consultation (International Labor Standards) Convention, 1976 (No. 144), Worst Forms of Child Labor Convention, 1999 (No. 182), and Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, 1989 (No. 169).
 They include: Slavery Convention; Protocol Amending the Slavery Convention; Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, the Slave Trade and Institutions and Practices Similar to Slavery; Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide; Convention for the Suppression of Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others; Convention on the Political Rights of Women; International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid; International Convention against Apartheid in Sports.
 These rights include: right to freedom of speech, peaceful assembly, association, movement and occupation, business or trade, right to equality and equal protection of law, with provision for affirmative action in favor of women, children or other backward classes, right not to be discriminated on grounds of religion, color, race, sex etc., right against untouchability and racial discrimination on grounds of race, community or occupation, right to publication, broadcasting and press, right to religion, freedom from arbitrary arrest, detention and punishment, right in relation to criminal justice including the right to fair trial by a competent court or judicial body, right against torture, right to information, right to privacy, right to property and right against exile.