Correct Human Rights Commission 

May 8, 2019

Our attention has been drawn on the issue of proposing to shrink the legal and administrative rights in a draft made for the amendment of NHRC Act 2068 registered in Federal parliament.

The proposed amendment has provisioned that if case is lodged against any person or organization, it has to be recommended with evidence to the attorney general. According to the present, there is a provision that NHRC can directly correspond concerned body   for action. But the proposed draft has given the right to attorney general for decision making regarding the action. Proposed draft also restricts NHRC to open its regional, sub-regional and contact offices.

The National Human Rights Commission was established in B.S 2057 after a long struggle, agitation and demand from Human Rights activists passing out various political upheavals. The status  to NHRC is given by the constitution of Nepal and because of its contribution it is graded with  “A”  level status in an international category.  Issues like jurisdiction, autonomy, adequate resources and resources rights will determine the level of NHRC as per the Paris Principle issued in 1993. If the draft that is registered in the parliament is issues as it is, it will definitely affect the grade of the commission.

The present law has given the absolute right to the commission to direct government on filing the case. If the issue of filing case is made based on the willingness of the attorney general, this will raise the question on the autonomy and jurisdiction of the commission itself. The democracy can be strengthened only by the present of autonomous and independent human rights commission.

Nepal is practicing a good human right not only in south Asia but among many other countries and we need to work hard for the protection and promotion of human rights. But there is no alternative on amending the provision of the draft while neglecting such issue. We would like the government to think about the national and international commitment shown and remind that it is the responsibility of the government to make acts and law as per such commitment.

Dr Indira Shrestha