Government Should be Fully Responsible for Human Rights Issues: Sigdel
Speaking at a program organized by the Informal Sector Service Centre (INSEC) Bagmati Provincial Office, Hetauda on December 5, Munu Sigdel, the Bagmati Provincial Assembly member said the government should be fully responsible for human rights issues.
Nepal was weakening in its human rights campaign as the government did not prioritize human rights, she added.
According to Sigdel, even with a two-thirds permanent government in the country, human rights issues have not been fully implemented. She said that the human rights situation was deteriorating due to the failure to transform the issue of human rights in a timely manner.
Sigdel was of the view that the political leadership was reluctant to take up human rights issues when it was needed but to implement them. She also stressed on the need for civil society and political parties to unite in order to implement human rights.
Secretary at the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Law of Bagmati Province Madan Kumar Bhujel said that the protection, promotion and implementation of human rights was a matter of continuous improvement. He said that due to some policy problems of the state, it could not be fully implemented.
Secretary Bhujel said that there was a problem in the distribution of citizenship as the federal government did not bring the citizenship bill. He said that the victims were still suffering due to untimely administration of justice by the courts.
Bhagwati Pudasaini, deputy chief of the District Coordination Committee, said that the district coordination committee was committed to implementing the points included in the Fifth National Human Rights Action Plan Consultation.
She also said that the District Coordinating Committee would take initiative to form a participatory committee for the implementation of human rights in all the municipalities of the district.
Similarly, Pudasaini said that civil society organizations need to play an intervening role in implementing the agreements reached by the government on national and international human rights issues.
Chief Joint Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission, Bagmati Pradesh, Yagya Prasad Adhikari presented a working paper on the issues included in the Fifth National Human Rights Action Plan.
He said, the topics like Education, Health, Right to Food, Right to Housing, Labour and Employment, Child Rights and Child Justice, Social Justice, Drinking Water and Sanitation, Protection of Targeted Groups, Empowerment and Development, Environment and Sustainable Development, Cultural Rights and law were included in the action plan. He said that the Fifth National Action Plan on Human Rights covers issues such as reform and administration of justice, detention and prison reform, transitional justice, recommendations of national and international bodies, human rights education, and institutional reform.
The five-year action plan, which started in the last fiscal year 2076/77, aims to maintain the rule of law by respecting, protecting, and promoting human rights.
Similarly, the objective of the action plan is to ensure the enjoyment of the rights guaranteed by the constitution and law, and to promote the culture of human rights by implementing national and international obligations towards human rights, said Joint Secretary Adhikari.
Speaking on the occasion, Acting Secretary at the Ministry of Social Development Khubiram Adhikari expressed his commitment to implement human rights issues in Bagmati as most of the issues of the Fifth National Action Plan on Human Rights are also included in the action plan of the provincial government.
Law Secretary at the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Law, Narayan Prasad Pokharel, said that it was difficult to make some laws in the province without federal laws. He said that if the laws to be enacted by the federal government are enacted soon, the way will be opened for the province to enact the necessary laws.
Chief of Social Development, Indira Ojha, said that women’s participation in the monitoring mechanism set up for the implementation of the action plan has been neglected.
Buddhasharan Lama, the central member of the NGO Federation and in-charge of Bagmati Province, pointed out that although Nepal has been at the forefront of expressing its commitment in the field of human rights, it is still lagging behind in implementation.
Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) Bagmati Province President Pratap Bista said that there was confusion over the amount of social security fund for the workers and they were reluctant to reap the benefits as it could not be established and explained as a workers’ right.
Prakash Khatiwada, the coordinator of the National Campaign for Education, Bagmati, stressed on the need for in-depth solutions in the fifth action plan.
Khatiwada said that the students enrolled in a class should find out where they have gone in ten years. He said that it was necessary to think about child labour and child marriage as it would increase due to student drop out.
Similarly, District Coordinator of CWIN Child Helpline, Javindra Gyawali, said that the education policy should be revised in a timely manner. He said that it was necessary to formulate two education policies by making the education policy emergency and general.
Ramila Sapkota, the acting chairperson of the NGO Federation Makwanpur, said that human rights could be implemented and violence could be reduced only through the coordination of the government, civil society and organizations.
Representing the gender and minority community, Blue Diamond Society Makwanpur Coordinator Suraj Kiran Thapa demanded to ensure the right to housing for the sexual and gender minorities.
Similarly, reservation should be made for sexual and gender minorities like women, Dalits and Janajatis in the field of labour and employment, Thapa said.
He urged for the creation of a system for easy acquisition of citizenship including sexual and gender identity.
INSEC Bagmati Province Program Coordinator Ganesh Bhandari said that the role of civil society was important for the protection of human rights in Nepal and added that it was necessary to make the state accountable for the implementation of the fundamental rights provided by the constitution.
He said that the monitoring mechanism set up for the implementation of the action plan did not focus on including the representation of civil society at the local level.
Chandrawati Paneru, the coordinator of Hetauda Sub-metropolitan level human rights group, said that women’s representation working in the social sector is needed in the monitoring committee to be held at the municipality level. He had complained that the body responsible for making women participate in the formal mechanism was still withdrawing.
Pushpa Raj Adhikari
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