Will Nepal’s election to United Nations body benefit global human rights?


MartyBlogNepalHRC_211017

A cartoon from issue 702 of Nepali Times (11-17 April 2014). It depicts former Prime Minister Girija P Koirala (left) and former Maoist leader Pushpa K Dahal.

Nepal has successfully won a seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council, the senior-most human rights body among the world’s governments.

The Himalayan nation was elected for a two-year term during the recent UN General Assembly, despite a rocky human rights record at home. This includes setting up commissions to probe alleged human rights abuses during the 1996-2006 Maoist uprising that fail to meet global standards, and ignoring orders from Nepal’s Supreme Court to fix them.

“A government that does not care about protecting human rights and ensuring justice for its own citizens cannot pretend to care about protecting the human rights of others.”

“A government that does not care about protecting human rights and ensuring justice for its own citizens cannot pretend to care about protecting the human rights of others,” Tejshree Thapa, a researcher for Human Rights Watch, wrote in Nepali Times in response to the country’s election.

We can only hope that other human rights experts, like Nepal’s National Human Rights Commission, are correct in asserting that the new role will mean greater scrutiny of Nepal’s government in meeting all of its human rights obligations.

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