I set out to learn why the human rights scenario in Canada and Nepal seem so different. I was shocked to hear how Canada discriminated against Indigenous children.
In the latest episode of Strive podcast, by IPS News, I discuss a hugely important human rights case in Canada. My goal initially was not to describe all the details of the complaint, made in 2007 by two groups representing First Nations Children. (First Nations are one of three groups of Indigenous people in Canada).
Late last year I returned to Chimling Village in Sindhupalchowk district, in Nepal, to follow up on maternal health issues. I was impressed and disappointed at the same time.
Late last year I returned to Chimling Village in Nepal’s Sindhupalchowk district to follow up on maternal health issues. I was impressed and disappointed at the same time.
I first visited the cluster of tiny cement houses at the top of a steep, rocky and rutted dirt road in March 2021. My goal was to trace an essential drug called misoprostol, which is used to stop bleeding after birth (also known as post-partum haemorrhage). There was a major shortage of the drug in 2020, so Nepal’s Ministry of Health had requested help from the international community.
Nepal and India are just two of many countries fighting successfully to recover sacred objects stolen from temples and displayed in museums and galleries worldwide.
I have lived in Nepal for more than a decade but it’s only in the last couple of years that I noticed the movement to have cultural objects that were looted over the years returned from museums, galleries and other collections around the world.
It reminded me of the North American campaign by Indigenous peoples to have their ancestors’ remains repatriated from the world’s museums. The Haida people living on the Pacific coast of Canada have been particularly active, and successful.
Revising Nepal’s rape law is a priority but reducing cases of this violent act requires a societal shift
Almost one year ago, in January 2021, the Government of Nepal updated the country’s rape law. The changes were incomplete, partly because agreed revisions like widening the definition to include men and boys as victims were deleted at the last minute, but it was an improvement.
Changes that were agreed included increasing jail time for those found guilty and criminalizing any attempts to ‘settle’ a rape case outside of the courts, which is a regular occurrence.
“The health system remains unprepared and unlawfully in defiance of a range of orders of the Supreme Court”
The right to health in Nepal during Covid-19 remains largely a paper promise. In June I wrote about how the government had largely ignored orders from the Supreme Court to act immediately to meet its health commitments in both international and domestic law.
A couple of decades ago Nepal was a world leader in fighting nutrition, especially stunting (low height for age). Can it regain that position in time to reach targets in 2025 and 2030?
A white-coated nurse holding a blue and white, half-litre bag of milk stands in front of a small group of mothers seated near the entrance of the Nutrition Rehabilitation Home in Kathmandu.
She is explaining the importance of feeding milk to their children, who are lolling on their mothers’ laps. On a table behind the nurse are containers of pulses and legumes and leaning against the wall, charts displaying leafy vegetables.
But later, listening to the women’s stories, it is apparent that solving their children’s problems will require more than a healthy diet. Through tears, Chandra, 24, says she brought her son Raju, 21 months, to the Home after a routine hospital check-up found that he was malnourished.
It’s not simply that the snow and glaciers on the Hindu Kush Himalaya mountains are melting: they supply water to 3 billion people in Asia. What will they drink when the mountains, also known as the Third Pole, are dry?
And what will happen to the 240 million people who live in the HKH, which stretch from Afghanistan to Myanmar and tower over eight countries in total, including Nepal?