Nepal urged to end caste-based discrimination
Nov 7, 2015-
Seventeen UN member states have expressed their concerns over the implementation of eliminating caste-based discrimination at the Periodic Review session in Geneva.
They recommended Nepal government to ensure effective implementation of the Caste-Based Discrimination and Untouchability Act of 2011. Despite having passed the Act, there has been no decline in incidents of discriminatory practices in the society, and perpetrators are still found to get away with their offense.
According to National Dalit Commission, at least four Dalits have been killed due to caste-based atrocities after the enactment of the Act in 2011. Sete Damai of Dailekh, Man Bire Sunar of Kalikot, Shiva Shankar Das of Saptari and Ram Bahadur Sharki of Bardia were killed by so called upper class people.
Speakers at the session highlighted the weak implementation of the law, poor case investigation and continued widespread caste discrimination. “As expected the UN member states highlighted the need to effectively enforce laws to end impunity on gender-based crimes,” said Rem Bahadur BK, chairperson of Jagaran Media Center.
According to BK, who attended the UPR session, the UN member states called on Nepal to strengthen and implement existing laws and policies aimed at ending and preventing all forms of discrimination, particularly against women and Dalits.
Foreign Minister Kamal Thapa, in his address to the session, said Nepal has adopted “zero tolerance against discrimination”, which is guaranteed by the new constitution. Thapa underlined that all forms of discrimination based on caste, religion and gender are punishable by law. He expressed confidence that the existing wrong social practices would end with strong legislation and infrastructure in place.
The member states also raised the issue of violence against women, including trafficking in especially Dalit women and girls and called for specific action to end the caste-based violence and discrimination. They urged the government to adopt public policies to eliminate all forms of discrimination against Dalits, women, indigenous peoples and minorities.
Nepali delegates told the session that Dalit access to justice was a priority and promised an integrated action plan to address discriminatory practices.
Published: 07-11-2015 08:33