Joint Statement

Date: 06 May 2019

We express our serious and deep concern over the government’s attempt of shrinking the jurisdiction, independence and autonomy of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). The government intends to curtail the authorities of the NHRC by registering a bill in the parliament to amend the NHRC Act 2068.

The government has registered the amendment bill without any consultation with the commission and concerned stakeholders. We are of the view that the provisions of the bill have limited the jurisdiction, autonomy and independence of the commission. On top of that, the bill contravenes the provisions relating to NHRC as enshrined by the Constitution of Nepal, the Supreme Court’s decision and the United Nation’s Principles relating to the Status of National Institutions, known as the Paris Principles.

The amendment bill put forth by the government has seriously offended the status of a constitutional body through the provisions such as the Attorney General’s discretionary power for the investigation and the implementation of recommendation by the NHRC (Article 17a), Government’s interfering role in financial autonomy (Article 18a) and the cancellation of provincial and contact offices of the commission, (Article 26, 2 dismissed) in particular. This will ultimately lead to the failure of human rights protection system of the country.

Therefore, we strongly demand that the provisions of the current bill must be revised in line with the NHRC’s suggestions to maintain it as an independent, autonomous, dignified and effective constitutional body.

This is the English translation of a joint statement jointly written and issued by a group of human rights activists and lawyers upon their meeting and discussion over the bill tabled by the government to amend the NHRC Act 2012. The discussion was organized by Terai Human Rights Defenders Alliance (THRD Alliance) on 06 May 2019.