Civil Society Deems Recommendation For Downgrading National Human Rights Commission Inappropriate

  September 25, 2023 By: INSEC

Multiple civil organizations, including INSEC, have voiced their concerns regarding the National Human Rights Commission’s recommendation to lower Nepal’s human rights ranking.

The meeting in Kathmandu on September 21, 2023, involving 25 civil organizations, including INSEC, concluded that the decision by the sub-committee of the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANARI) to downgrade Nepal’s National Human Rights Commission to the ‘B’ category solely based on the appointment process of its officials is inappropriate.

During that period, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) of Nepal had multiple vacant positions for four months. These vacancies prevented the NHRC from offering timely recommendations to the government, ultimately impacting its functionality and performance. The meeting served as a reminder to GANARI that this issue continues to adversely affect the Human Rights Commission’s operations and performance.

The meeting emphasized that, in accordance with Article 284 of the Constitution, the Constitutional Council should recommend the appointment of National Human Rights Council officials one month before any vacancy arises and the recommended candidates should have a 45-day deadline to undergo parliamentary hearings. However, due to the simultaneous dissolution of parliament, the parliamentary hearings could not be conducted. Consequently, officials were appointed by the president in accordance with the constitutional provision. The issue of the appointment of officials is currently under judicial consideration.

The meeting also expressed the opinion that GANARI should respect the court’s decision, as the case regarding the appointment process of the officials of the National Human Rights Commission is pending in court.

The National Human Rights Commission has been working independently in accordance with its constitutional and legal mandate since the appointment of officers. However, the National Commission has emphasized the need to be more proactive in addressing all human rights issues and holding the government accountable.

The meeting mentioned that civil society organizations have been experiencing easy access to information and interaction with the National Human Rights Commission regarding incidents of human rights violations.

Similarly, the meeting emphasized that the National Human Rights Commission has been advocating for greater attention to human rights issues concerning marginalized groups, such as the rights of Dalits and addressing violence against women.

The meeting also highlighted that the civil society and organizations of the Nepali society have been continuously reviewing and monitoring the work of the National Human Rights Commission. They have expressed concerns that the appointment process of the officials in the National Human Rights Commission of Nepal has not maintained its independence, autonomy, and effectiveness. Therefore, they have requested the sub-committee to place Nepal’s National Human Rights Commission in Category “A” to ensure its autonomy.


Bimal Poudel