UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, Kyung-wha Kang, strongly urges Nepal to act to adopt new legislation to fight rampant caste discrimination in the country. The statements came in connection with Ms. Kang’s April visit to Nepal.

UN News released a press release stating that Ms. Kang has said the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) is pleased that the Nepalese legislature is considering two important bills aimed at advancing the protection and promotion of the human rights of one of the most marginalized groups in Nepali society – the Dalit community.

“I am speaking of the bill to properly criminalize untouchability practices and the bill to create a strong, independent, and adequately resourced National Dalit Commission to focus on the defence of the rights of the community,” Ms. Kang stated.

“Passing these three laws – following the necessary amendments to ensure their consistency with international human rights standards and best practices – is of significant importance,” she added.

The UN Office of the High Commissioner is actively involved in monitoring the human rights situation of Nepal’s Dalits and ahead of Ms. Kang’s visit the OHCHR-Nepal have made several statements on the issue.

In late March the OHCHR-Nepal and the National Dalit Commission in Nepal urged the Government to fulfil its stated commitment to end all forms of discrimination, saying the problem was widespread and a cause of conflict in the Asian country.

“Deep-rooted discrimination is recognised as one of the root causes of the conflict in Nepal,” said Jyoti Sanghera, the head of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Nepal, in a joint statement with Nepal’s National Dalit Commission (NDC), to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on March 21.

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More information:

Read the Press Release from the OHCHR on the Deputy High Commissioner’s visit here

Read the UN Press Release on the OHCHR-Nepal – NDC statement here

Watch videos about caste discrimination in Nepal

Learn more about caste discrimination in Nepal

Read about the outcome of the Nepal UN UPR session in February here

Read about the OHCHR report to the Human Rights Council 16th Session – with a strong focus on caste discrimination here