Nepal submits report to CERD after 12 yearsAfter a 12-year hiatus, Nepal has sent a report on the status of implementation of the rights to the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD).
After a 12-year hiatus, Nepal has sent a report on the status of implementation of the rights to the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD).
All states, signatory to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, are obliged to submit regular reports to the Geneva-based committee on how the rights are being implemented every two years. States must report initially one year after acceding to the convention and then every two years. The CERD examines each report and addresses its concerns and recommendations to the state party in the form of ‘concluding observations’.
Nepal sent the CERD report for the first this week since submitting the initial report in 2004. Nepal is party to 24 human rights related instruments.
Dalit rights campaigners accuse the government of being negligent in regards to racial discrimination by choosing not to send the report since 2004.
“Government’s failure to send the report for more than a decade smacks of its indifferent attitude towards racial discrimination,” said Sitaram Ghale Pariyar, member secretary of the National Dalit Commission.
The government has owned that had not been able to send the report on time. “We failed to send reports for a long time. But we have recently sent a report defining the status of racial discrimination after the promulgation of the new constitution,” said Purnachandra Bhattarai, joint secretary at Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development.
Interestingly, the government has done little to implement the recommendations it had received in 2004. Also last year, the Universal Periodic Review by Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights had made nine recommendations to the Nepal government regarding Dalit rights which can be broadly categorised as providing the National Dalit Commission with sufficient resources, working to eliminate all forms of discrimination and passing a bill against caste-based discrimination and untouchability.
The other suggestions were ensuring quality health and education for marginalised groups, creating more employment opportunities and preparing a specific plan to ensure that the Nepal Lands Act promotes equality.
The government has accepted all the recommendations except the one concerning the Lands Act.
Similarly in 2004, the committee had expressed it concerns over the allegations of ill-treatment and ineffective protection of and discrimination against Dalits and other vulnerable groups in the society by law enforcement officials, especially police and stressed on prompt and impartial investigations are paramount in counteracting discriminatory attitudes and practices.
The committee had recommended Nepal to include in its next periodic report statistical information on complaints lodged, prosecutions launched and penalties imposed in cases of offences which relate to racial or ethnic discrimination. It had also enquired about the situation of women belonging to disadvantaged groups who also happen to be victims of multiple discrimination, and expressed concern over the situation of forced prostitution of girls and women of the Badi community in its next periodic report.