News Digest: Human Rights, Gender & Social Inclusion (February 3 – 9, 2022)

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Human Rights

The Chief Justice, as presiding officer of the Court is responsible for administration of justice and hearing cases. Chief Justice Cholendra Shamsher has not been able to perform either of his constitutional responsibilities for about three months but still holds office.

Fourteen civil society members including human rights activists, journalists, medical professionals and leaders of the conflict victims have demanded action against Speaker Agni Sapkota for his failure to facilitate the tabling of all bills presented by the government.

The Supreme Court has directed the Parliament Secretariat and the government to implement the rights of the Dalit community as provided by the constitution. The court has ordered to form a suitable mechanism within three months in collaboration and coordination with the National Dalit Commission. 

Despite Supreme Court’s order, Nepali authorities have failed to ensure equal access to COVID health services. The International Commission of Jurists has called upon the government to comply with the Supreme Court’s directives. 

The Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons will provide economic relief of Rs 1 million per person to the 93 nearest of kin of those people identified as disappeared during the decade-long armed conflict. On January 19, Renu Kumari Yadav, the Minister of Physical Infrastructure and Transport, made a controversial remark regarding  CK Raut that he could meet the same fate as those who were killed at the rice mill of Gaur in 2007. Following her comment, The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) summoned Minister Yadav to the office and directed not to make any statement that could increase violence and disrupt social harmony.

Most public agencies in Province 1 and Madhes Province were found not designating Public Information Officers and not adhering to their responsibility to disclose information to citizens. The National Information Commission (NIC) has urged the public agencies to to fully and effectively implement constitutionally-guaranteed citizen’s right to information.

Gender and Social Inclusion 

President Bidyadevi Bhandari came to pay homage to Baba Jaleshwar Nath Mahadev at Jaleshwor, the headquarter Mahottari. Photo: RSS

Data collected by the Nepal Police in the last two and a half years up to the fiscal year 2020/2021 shows 244 children were sexually abused. This number increased to 304 as of mid December of FY 2021/2022 and during the same period 121 children have been sexually abused. 

A 27 year old woman  from Saptari was burned to death  by her brother-in-law on 5 February. Prameshwar Sah allegedly doused petrol on his sister-in-law Raj Kumari Sah and set her ablaze while the latter was preparing a meal in their residence.

Several women in Gulmi have either gone missing or  absconded  after failing to pay back loans  from various micro-finance companies operating in the said district. High rate of interest , easy access to micro finance companies coupled with financial illiteracy and indiscipline amongst the women from economically weak backgrounds has led to such events. 

After being forcedinto felsh trade by her own husband in Delhi, a woman from Butwal is fighting an arduous legal battle in the courts of Nepal and India. A case of human trafficking is ongoing in the Rupandehi District Court.
The Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) received negative reaction from the LGBTQI community for leaving  out the count of queer population without releasing any data collected under the ‘others’ category. CBS’ preliminary report has only disclosed the population as males and females.

Failure to comply with basic health and safety measures stipulated in the Labour Law 2017 (2074) at mining industry and construction sectors is causing accidents and taking the lives of employees.

The Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Security has formed a feasibility study team for the construction of a workers’ hospital. The hospital aims to provide diagnosis and treatment of work-related accidents, maternity protection, medical treatment in case of illness, and prevention of occupational diseases for internally employed workers and their family members. The service is also extended to the workers returning from foreign employment and their family members.

Minister for Labor, Employment and Social Security Krishna Kumar Shrestha, representing the government for the management of Nepalis stranded in the UAE will visit the said country with an aim to facilitate implementation of bilateral labour agreement reached between the two countries.

The Ichchakamana rural municipality, Chitwan has decided to provide allowance to single women and single men from the current fiscal year. The municipality has started collecting data on unmarried women under the age of 45 and single men between the ages of 60 and 70.

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