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UPR of Nepal and Human Rights of Dalits (HRC31, 2016, OS)

Date : 2016.03.16

With International Dalit Solidarity Network (IDSN) default_external link, Feminist Dalit Organization (FEDO) default_external link and Nepal National Dalit Social Welfare Organization (NNDSWO) default_external link, IMADR delivered its oral statement on “UPR of Nepal and Human Rights of Dalits” at the 31st session of the Human Rights Council. Whole text can be read below or downloaded here

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IMADR Oral Statement: 31st session of the Human Rights Council

Item 6: UPR Outcome Adoption for Nepal

16 March 2016

Thank you Mr. President,

We voice concern on the human rights of Dalits in Nepal, raised from International Dalit Solidarity Network (IDSN), Feminist Dalit Organization (FEDO) and Nepal National Dalit Social Welfare Organization (NNDSWO).

Though the Government of Nepal accepted the recommendations related to caste, all nine recommendations were categorized as “already implemented or in the process of implementation”. Seven of those recommendations urge Nepal to ensure the effective implementation of laws to end and prevent caste discrimination, in particular the 2011 Caste-based Discrimination and Untouchability (Offence and Punishment) Act. However, Dalits are yet to enjoy their basic human rights due to the failure of the Government to provide legal protection and effective mechanisms, especially Dalit women are underprivileged, exploited and facing multiple discrimination. This raises a critical question on future accountability and progress monitoring on State obligations to eliminate caste discrimination, and underlines the need for a national action plan to eliminate caste-based discrimination and untouchability.

During their second review Nepal was recommended to ensure that earthquake relief engages and addresses the needs of members of vulnerable communities, including Dalits. Following the Earthquake in 2015, Dalits were systematically excluded from emergency aid and recovery efforts. The recent Joint Assessment of Food Security, Livelihoods and Early Recovery, which was conducted by UN agencies, the Government and other organisations, also identified the systematic discrimination against Dalits in the post-disaster phase.[1] We are concerned that if the Government does not employ the necessary measures for inclusion of Dalits at all levels of planning, implementation and monitoring of efforts, discrimination and unequal access to relief remain throughout the recovery and reconstruction phase.

Against this backdrop, we urge the Government of Nepal to ensure the full implementation of all nine recommendations through effective enforcement of the law and inclusion of Dalits in the earthquake recovery efforts. The Government is encouraged to report steps taken to fulfil its commitment. Furthermore, we call upon the Government to design and implement a national action plan to combat caste-based discrimination and untouchability while consulting with affected communities in a transparent manner.

Thank you Mr. President.

[1] World Food Programme and others (2015), Joint Assessment of Food Security, Livelihoods and Early Recovery, last accessed on 23 February 2016 at: http://www.np.undp.org/content/nepal/en/home/presscenter/articles/2016/02/18/nepal-earthquake-response-joint-assessment-of-food-security-livelihoods-and-early-recovery.html

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