News Digest: Human Rights, Gender & Social Inclusion (December 9 – 15, 2021)

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Human Rights 

On the occasion of the 73rd International Human Rights Day, President Bidya devi Bhandari has urged the government to give special emphasis on the effective implementation of the universal concept of human rights, which is the cornerstone of democratic governance.  

The visiting United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Olivier De Schutter has called for fulfilling the promises of social justice in Nepal. He highlighted key issues that the government must take seriously to attain social justice: unresolved land issues, rehabilitation of former bonded laborers, to ensure that skills and training programmes reach the poorest families, to enforce minimum wage legislation in the informal sector. 

18 inmates have died in the last one and a half months in Morang Prison. No post-mortem has been done in any of those cases. Human rights activist Somraj Thapa (Province 1 coordinator of INSEC) states that, it is the negligence of the state to deprive people of their right to life in prisons and not to conduct post-mortem on the cause of death. 

An attempted rape victim reached the provincial office of the National Human Rights Commission in Janakpur seeking justice after the police failed to register the FIR. Despite her attending the district police office for the past two years, the police did not lodge the complaint. 

Gender 

Asim Bania of the Nepal Army will drive an APC (armored vehicle) in the UN peacekeeping mission. For the first time in more than 60 years of the UN peacekeeping mission, women soldiers from Nepal have been given the opportunity to run the APC. Bania is also the first woman driver to run APC in the Nepal Army.

The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence was organized in Mangalsen, the district headquarters of Achham. However, the target group, mainly women, were unaware of the campaign. According to the local residents, such campaigns do not have any impact on the women in the villages even though it is organized every year. 

District Police Office, Parsa has rescued four people from Bihar, India, including two minors who were trafficked. Police have rescued two young women, aged 18 and 19, who went missing from Jhapa with their minor children almost two years ago.
Social Inclusion 

Bagmati Province Chief Minister Rajendra Prasad Pandey expanded the provincial Cabinet, with five ministers and one minister of state. Indramaya Gurung of CPN-Unified Socialist Party has been appointed as the Minister of State for Agriculture and Livestock. 

The Commission for Investigation of Abuse (CIA) of Authority found irregularities in the distribution of social security allowances provided by the state for the convenience of its citizens. According to the CIA, the social security allowance should be rightfully distributed to the senior citizens, dependent widows, disabled people and Dalits but has been misused by the senior official’s. 

The Teachers Service Commission has extended the process of appointing 17,232 permanent teachers for community schools. The commission has prepared an annual action plan and a schedule to invite advertisements within December. The commission is publishing an advertisement for 1,547 teachers at the secondary level on Wednesday.

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