Universal Periodic Review – MEDIA BRIEF

Wednesday, 4 November 2015 (Afternoon)

(Disclaimer: The following brief is not an official record, provides a brief factual summary of the UPR Working Group meeting with the State under review, and does not cover all points addressed)

State under review

Nepal
Represented by 15-member delegation headed by Kamal Thapa, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Nepal.

Documents

To access national report, compilation of UN information, and summary of stakeholders’ information, visit
the Nepal page on UPR website.

Troika *

Latvia, Qatar, Morocco.

Opening statement by State under review

Few points raised in the  opening statement of State under review:
(See full statement on Nepal page on UPR Extranet **)

  • A new Constitution was promulgated in Nepal on 20 September 2015 which marked the conclusion of the peace process as well as the historic political transition in the country;
  • The new Constitution has institutionalised the federal democratic system of governance in the country, paving the way for political stability, sustainable peace and economic prosperity;
  • Moreover, the Constitution has broadened the scope of fundamental rights by ensuring a wide range of economic, social and cultural rights and has been progressive in eliminating gender-based discrimination as well as empowering women through enhanced representation;
  • The formation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission as well as the Commission on Enforced Disappearances reflected the Government’s commitment to addressing serious human rights violations committed during the conflict, ending impunity and providing justice to victims;
  • In the last four years after the first UPR, the country has been able to accomplish many significant progresses in the overall human rights situation in the country and the basic elements of the rule of law and human rights were being incorporated into the periodic development plans;
  • The new Government was engaged in dialogue with the Madhesh-based political parties to win their confidence and resolve the differences within the constitutional framework;
  • The country was currently at a very delicate situation resulting from obstruction of essential supplies at border points resulting in lives and livelihoods being adversely affected;
  • If the current trend was not checked, the country was likely to experience an unjust and severe humanitarian crisis;
  • As a least developed country that has emerged from a decade-long armed conflict, followed by political transition and a devastating earthquake, the challenges and pressures facing Nepal were immensely painful;
  • Despite the huge devastation and setback by recent earthquakes, Nepal will continue to its efforts to elevate from Least Developed Country status by 2022 and becoming a middle income country by 2030;
  • Scarce resources, its landlocked situation, low economic development, rampant poverty, deprivation of basic needs and amenities, low level education, among others, has adversely affected Nepal to implement its human rights action plans;
  • As the political transition has come to an end with the new constitution, Nepal was in a position to undertake further steps to effectively realise all human rights by all with adequate support from the international community.

Participants

In total 73 States participated in the dialogue:  36 HRC members and 37 observers  (Statements available on Nepal page on UPR Extranet).

Positive achievements

Positive achievements noted by delegations included, among others:

  • The promulgation of the new Constitution;
  • National Strategy and Action Plan on Gender Empowerment and elimination of Gender Based Violence (2013-2018);
  • The establishment of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission;
  • The relief efforts of the Government of Nepal in the wake of the earthquake of April 2015; 
  • Progress achieved in poverty alleviation;
  • The National Human Rights Action Plan (2014-2019). 

Issues and Questions

Issues and questions raised by the Working Group included, among others:

  • Efforts to prohibit discrimination and violence against women;
  • Efforts to address the needs of members of vulnerable communities in wake on 2015 earthquake;
  • Activities of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission;
  • Eliminating caste-based discrimination;
  • Steps to facilitate access to education for all children;
  • Measures to enforce legislation prohibiting child labour.

Recommendations

States participating in the dialogue posed a series of recommendations to Nepal.  These pertained to the following issues, among others

  • To advance efforts to prohibit discrimination and violence against women and provide assistance to victims;  To increase efforts to protect women from violence and discrimination;
  • To ensure that police provided a safe and confidential environment for women and girls to reports incident of violence; To bring rape laws in line with international standards and remove the 35-day limitation on lodging a complaint with the police;
  • To take measures to enforce legislation prohibiting child labour;
  • To ensure full and effective implementation of the 2011 Caste-based Discrimination and Untouchability Act;
  • To facilitate access to education for all children and continue efforts to increase school enrolment; 
  • To continue to implement measures to ensure that quality healthcare was accessible to all;
  • To ensure that earthquake relief engages and addressed the needs of members of vulnerable communities, including Dalits, and promoted decent work; To develop and redress mechanism to address all forms of discrimination and human rights violations in post-earthquake reconstruction efforts;
  • To explicitly prohibit torture as a criminal offence under Nepali law and to investigate such acts; To ensure the independence and impartiality of the judicial system;
  • To investigate and prosecute those who committed human rights violations on both sides of the country’s civil war and provide repatriations to victims in line with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission;
  • To ensure protection to Tibetan refugees;
  • To ensure the effective functioning of the National Human Rights Commission; To issue a standing invitation to UN Special Procedures;
  • Ratification of human rights instruments: the Third OP to the CRC (communications), the OP-CAT, the Convention on enforced disappearances, the Convention on the rights of migrant workers, the OP to the ICESCR, the Rome Statute of the ICC,  ILO Convention 87 (freedom of association and protection of the right to organise), ILO Convention 189 (domestic workers), and the Conventions on refugees and stateless persons. 

Adoption of report of Working Group

The adoption of the report - recommendations section - of the UPR Working Group on Nepal is scheduled to take place on Friday, 6 November 2015.

*The troikas are a group of three States selected through a drawing of lots who serve as rapporteurs and who are charged with preparing the report of the Working Group on the country review with the involvement of the State under review and assistance from the OHCHR.

** For access to the UPR Extranet, please fill out the following form to receive a username and password

Media contacts:
Rolando Gómez, Public Information Officer, OHCHR, + 41(0)22 917 9711,
rgomez@ohchr.org
Cédric Sapey, Public Information Officer, OHCHR, + 41(0)22 917 9695, csapey@ohchr.org 

See also

UPR Home

UPR Cycles

UPR Sessions

Documentation
(search by country)

UPR Mid-term reports

UPR Trust Funds

Background documents

Basic Facts about the UPR

NGOs and NHRIs

Parliaments

Accreditation

Contact information

Media & Outreach

Webcast

Related links

UPR Extranet

Human rights in the world

External links

UPR-info

Feature stories

Feature stories

Follow us

UN Human Rights Council on Facebook UN Human Rights Council on Twitter UN Human Rights Council on YouTube UN Human Rights Council on Flickr