ICJ urges CA to amend statute draft to guarantee all human rights

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Sep 2, 2015-

The International Commission of Jurists has urged the Constituent Assembly to amend provisions in the draft constitution to guarantee all human rights in accordance with Nepal’s international legal obligations.

The CA has set September 5 as deadline to submit proposals for amendments. However, the ruling parties have discouraged their lawmakers to register amendments. 

The rights body has listed out 24 provisions regarding fundamental rights, conformation with international human rights standards, economic, social and cultural rights, judicial independence, women's rights and citizenship. 

“This draft includes some improvements from earlier versions, but it needs serious revisions to meet international standards regarding human rights protections,” said Nikhil Narayan, ICJ senior legal adviser for South Asia.

Rights to equality, property, information, education, employment, health, food, housing and social, for instance, are all restricted to citizens, said the rights organisation in a statement on Wednesday. "These protections must be extended to all persons under Nepal’s jurisdiction, not only citizens, in accordance with Nepal’s international obligations," read the statement. 

It has argued the constitution should include explicit guarantee of equal pay for work of equal value, and prohibit multiple, intersecting grounds of discrimination on basis of gender and sexual orientation, caste and religion

The restrictions and limitations on the rights to freedom of expression, association, assembly, movement, information and press freedom, are broad and vague and do not conform with international human rights standards. 

It has said the provisions on remedy for human rights violations (Articles 46 and 47) are inadequate

However, it has commended revised provisions that guarantee women’s rights to reproductive health, victims' rights to ensure that victims of crime are entitled to justice, including compensation and restitution in the draft. 

The ICJ also called on Nepal government to conduct prompt, impartial and thorough investigations into all protest-related deaths and injuries.

A total of 23 people, including a two-year-old boy have died during the protest in the past two weeks.  

“The deadly violence that has accompanied escalating protests across Nepal against this draft is a warning about the high stakes for the drafters of the Constitution,” said Narayan.

Published: 02-09-2015 21:34

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