We are committed to formulating human rights-friendly policies, plans, programs, and budgets.


The government of Lumbini Province is in the process of formulating policies and programs. What role do provincial parliamentarians play in creating human rights-friendly policies in the province? How is the preparation being undertaken? How have you established the criteria for formulating policies, programs, and budgets that foster the development of a human rights-friendly culture? Presented here is an edited excerpt from a discussion on human rights issues with Bishnu Panthi, a member of the Lumbini Provincial Assembly, conducted by Reema B.C., the INSEC representative in Rupandehi.

What is the current situation of human rights in Lumbini Province? How has the provincial government prepared to ensure that the policies and programs it formulates are human rights-friendly?

The situation of human rights in Lumbini Province is satisfactory compared to the past. However, incidents of domestic violence and sexual violence against women and children are somewhat higher. The provincial government is working sensitively to formulate policies and programs that address these issues. As a member of the Provincial Assembly, we are working towards raising topics that uphold human rights values and principles, ensuring their inclusion in future policies and programs. We are also actively urging the provincial government to enact human rights-friendly laws.

How is the provincial government formulating policies and programs to address the issues of women, children, senior citizens, Dalits, Madhesis, Muslims, indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, gender and sexual minorities, and marginalized communities?

The provincial government plans to advance programs through the provincial mechanism to address the rights of all castes, religions, classes, and genders in terms of gender equality and social inclusion. Last year, the budget was over 40 billion. However, the size of the programs will slightly decrease this year due to the federal government reducing the budget ceiling by 30%. Despite this, we are committed to implementing programs that all citizens of the province can benefit from. Please rest assured.

In preceding years, the provincial government’s emphasis was largely on roads and infrastructure, viewing development mainly through the lens of physical infrastructure. Human development concerns received inadequate attention. What will the forthcoming policies and programs entail?

Yes, as mentioned, there have been such practices in the past. Economic development alone cannot bring prosperity. Therefore, we are cautious about advancing policies, programs, and budgets by integrating physical and human development. Priority will be given to programs that emphasize human development in conjunction with economic growth, ensuring benefits for all the target groups mentioned. However, I shall conduct various social programs alongside physical and human development programs for my electoral constituency.

What role do you play in safeguarding and advancing human rights in the province?

We are vigilant and sensitive to protecting and promoting human rights. By offering recommendations to the government for the formulation of human rights-friendly policies, programs, and budgets, and by developing programs aimed at the cultural development of human rights in the province, we shall progress by ensuring that the citizens feel the presence of the provincial government.

How familiar are you with the fifth national action plan on human rights? So far, the provincial government has yet to establish a Provincial Coordination Committee. In this context, what role will you take in the establishment and execution of this committee?

I am aware of the fifth national action plan on human rights. However, due to governmental instability, the provincial government has yet to establish a Provincial Coordination Committee. Your question has also prompted us to approach this matter with caution. I am committed to providing suggestions to the provincial government on how to move forward on this issue. We are not only aware of human rights issues but also sensitive to them. In the days ahead, we will diligently work to bring about tangible progress. Our commitment is not just words; it will be evident in our actions. You will witness this firsthand.