Civil Societies put pressure to make human rights friendly laws
On 6 September, IM’s partner JuRI Nepal led a delegation including Dalit Welfare Organization and Justice for All that submitted a memorandum and recommendations of 17 civil societies on seven bills on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights guaranteed by the constitution to Honorable Krishna Bahadur Mahara, Speaker of the Parliament. In order to prepare those recommendations, JuRI Nepal held multiple dialogues, meetings, and workshops with members of civil society, intellectuals, journalists, members of the house of representatives and members of national assembly, thematic parliamentary committee members etc. to review the bills and gather recommendations. The amendment recommendations were prepared based on the constitutional guarantee and Nepal’s international human rights commitments. The suggestions were regards to seven bills related to Right to Food and Food Sovereignty, Right to Compulsory and Free Education, Right to Work, Child Right, Right to Privacy, Right to Land, and Right against Caste-based Discrimination and Untouchability. The speaker had expressed his commitment to pass all 17 laws related to fundamental rights within September 19, which is also the constitution day. Through this work, JuRI Nepal aimed to advocate to make new laws or amend existing laws in line with Nepal’s constitution which was promulgated in 2015 as well as the International Human Rights commitments and practices that Nepal has committed to. This work was also been helpful to inform civil societies and the public regarding whether these bills protect human rights or not. Important recommendations were made such as ensuring free and compulsory special education to children with disabilities which is guaranteed by the constitution, prohibition of physical punishment from schools that can lead to negative effect on children’s physical as well as mental health. Various other recommendations were made in the similar line.
On 17 September 2018, all bills were passed by the Federal Parliament. It is the hope of all civil societies that the bills will protect the fundamental rights of all its citizens without any discrimination. JuRI Nepal had been pushing to incorporate voices of civil society members, experts, and intellectuals into the bills to make it more inclusive and fair for the most vulnerable and marginalized people in conformity with the constitutional provision, and international human rights laws and practices.