Human Rights Activists appeal for Respect and Protection of Rights of Street Vendors

  February 29, 2024 By: Shreya Parajuli

Human rights activists have appealed to respect and protect the human rights of working class, self employed street vendors. In the appeal, instead of trying to resolve the problem, the metropolitan police were mobilized and excessive force was used during which some of the street vendors were seriously injured and their goods were taken away from them.

In an appeal issued on February 29, the Chairperson of INSEC, Dr. Kundan Aryal, and human rights activists requested that Nepal Police and all related agencies, including the metropolitan administration, be accountable under the law for any involvement in the criminal act of beating citizens on roads and public places.

The appeal states that, the serialized force used against street vendors to remove them not only violates the Local Administration Act and Local Government Operation Act but also the Police Act. The street vendors have no other option for earning a living.

‘We emphasize the need to stop the misuse of authority granted to local governments for forming city police forces, as per sub-section (1) of section 102 of the Local Government Operation Act 2017. Additionally, the appeal emphasizes the importance of remembering that the Local Government Operation Act envisions such a police structure to achieve the expected implementation of policies, laws, and decisions at the local level.’

Human rights activists have expressed concern that the trend of deploying excessive force, which did not even have the authority to use weapons against the provisions of Section 102 of the Local Government Operation Act, 2074, is alarming. Furthermore, Kathmandu Metropolitan City has the responsibility to respect and fulfill fundamental rights, including the right to employment, guaranteed by Article 33 of the Constitution. The act of trampling on it and evicting the street vendors who do not have any alternative option rather than being dependent on small businesses do not allow the citizens to earn a living and finally escape from the vicious cycle of poverty.

Online Desk