News

A Community-Level TJ Meeting held in Pathari, Morang: Victims Plan to Submit A Memorandum to the Local Government

A Community-Level TJ Meeting held in Pathari, Morang: Victims Plan to Submit A Memorandum to the Local Government

7 October 2020, Morang/Biratnagar: Amid the adverse situation of COVID-19 pandemic, on 7 October 2020, Advocacy Forum- Nepal organized a community level Transitional Justice (TJ) meeting in Pathari-Sanischare Municipality. A total of 25 conflict victims from Morang District participated in the program. The program discussed on present development of TJ or lack thereof, situation and concerns of conflict victims, roles and responsibility of the Local Government and existing hardship being faced by the conflict victims, because of the pandemic. Advocate Rukmina Dahal from AF- Nepal had facilitated the program together with the victims’ local leadership.

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Advocacy Forum- Nepal organized Meeting on the Transitional Justice in Baglung

Advocacy Forum- Nepal organized Meeting on the Transitional Justice in Baglung

On 6 October 2020, Advocacy Forum- Nepal organized a community level meeting on the Transitional Justice (TJ) with conflict victims in Baglung District. In the program, the latest development on the situation of TJ was discussed along with the hardships that the conflict victims have undergone at present due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The victims shared their plight of being sidelined and completely ignored by the Government, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Speaking in the program, Hari Subedi, one of the participants from the victims’ group informed that they have approached the local Government for assistance but they have not received any assistance so far. Saraswati BK stated, “Who will search for our loved ones, if we die”.

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Transitional Justice Meeting held in Bhurigau, Bardiya; Victims urge the Local Government to address their concerns

Transitional Justice Meeting held in Bhurigau, Bardiya; Victims urge the Local Government to address their concerns

Advocacy Forum- Nepal organized a community level meeting on Transitional Justice (TJ) in Bhurigau, Bardiya District on 3 October 2020. The program held a discussion on the existing situation of TJ in Nepal and the roles and responsibilities of the Local Government. Speaking in the program, Devisara Oli, one of the participants from the victims’ group stressed that the Local Government should firstly collect the exact number of conflict victims and then should introduce income-generating trainings and reparations programs as per the need and demands of the victims. She further stressed that the Government should provide social security fund to the wives of those whose husbands were subjected to enforced disappearance or killed. A torture survivor, Maya Ram Khadka stated that the Federal, Provincial and Local Governments have not paid much attention to the demands and concerns of the victims.

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Advocacy Forum- Nepal Assisted Child Correction Home in Banke with Medical and Daily Supplies

Advocacy Forum- Nepal Assisted Child Correction Home in Banke with Medical and Daily Supplies

As the COVID-19 cases, along with skin related problems increased among the children at Jayandu Child Correction Home in Asamanpur, Duduwa-6, Banke, on 23 September 2020, Advocacy Forum- Nepal, Nepalgunj handed over medical and daily use goods worth NPR 115,000 to the Correction Home. The goods included medical masks, sanitizers, Dettol soaps along with other important medical goods such as hot and cold water dispensers, bed sheets, towels, pillow covers, water bottles, water pipes, water jar and carom board for entertainment. Representatives of District Administrative Office, Banke, Deputy Chief District Officer Dirgha Raj Upadhyaya, In-charge of the Child Correction Home Bimala Kaucha Magar, Jay Kesh Singh who donated the land to the Correction Home, Medical Supplier Association’s Chief Secretary Jivan Sharma, Warden Malakhey Singh, Police Head Constable Suresh Bahadur Shahi were present in the program.

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Case Updates

Emblematic Cases

Among the hundreds of cases documented, Advocacy Forum has selected altogether 15 representative cases that show an endemic pattern of obstruction of justice, brazen abuse or total disregard of the law and deliberate attempts to escape accountability. The cases are also selected on the basis of their availability of evidence and wider public appeal. AF launches campaigns with other national and international organizations to establish accountability in those cases with a view to opening the door of justice to thousands of other similar cases.
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First Information Reports

First Information Report (FIR) is a formal complaint lodged with the police or District Administration Office by the victim of a cognizable offence or by someone on his/her behalf.  As per the existing legal system in Nepal, victims or their representatives do not have direct access to the courts. In criminal cases, police have exclusive jurisdiction to investigate and process evidence to the public prosecutors who then register the cases in court. However, the police authorities not only dillydally to register FIRs but also fail to carry out effective investigations. AF has been helping victims and their families to file FIRs and seeking mandamus orders for the effective investigations on the cases.
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Human Rights Committee Submissions

Advocacy Forum is the first organization in Nepal to use individual complaint mechanism under the First Optional Protocol of International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). According to the said protocol, individuals, whose countries are party to the ICCPR and the protocol, who claim their rights guaranteed by the ICCPR have been breached, and who have exhausted existing domestic legal remedies in the pursuit of justice, can submit written communications to the UN Human Rights Committee (HRC). This particular effort of AF has opened the space of Nepali lawyers to international litigation.
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Torture Compensation Cases

Advocacy Forum legally intervenes on behalf of detainees who claimed to have been tortured by police and forest officers in government detention facilities. Upon consent by victims, AF attorneys register suits, and represent victims in court seeking for torture compensation under the Torture Compensation Act -1996 and necessary action against the perpetrators.
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Initiatives

Case Communication

Advocacy Forum reports urgent cases of human rights violations to UN-OHCHR, AHRC and to some specific organizations such as Amnesty International, Asian Human Rights Commission, OMCT, Human Rights Watch, International Commission of Jurists, diplomatic communities, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, the UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Execution and the UN Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances. These international organizations/bodies give due importance to our communications and have been regularly issuing urgent appeals to pressure the concerned authorities and the government. AF also regularly reports cases to Human Rights Cell of Nepal Police, Office of Attorney General and National Human Rights Commission requesting investigation and necessary action against the perpetrators and timely redress to victims.

Setting the Precedents

Important judicial rulings by courts in the cases represented by AF on behalf of victims have been instrumental in establishing case law in Nepal. The efforts of AF have been immensely important in setting standards vis-à-vis the cases of human rights violations and ensuring fair trial standards in Nepal and thereby creating a solid body of jurisprudence.  AF also files Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking various directive orders for the implementation of existing legal provisions and challenging those provisions that expressly contradict with the accepted international standards.






Capacity Building Measures

AF has developed a comprehensive framework to strengthen capacities of its staffers, stakeholders, institutions, communities and target groups for the effective realization of its vision, mission and goals. The framework is set at the systemic, institutional and individual levels.  Key areas that require capacity building are identified as per the needs of relevant stakeholders or when AF feels necessary during the implementation of its various activities. AF is also committed to increasing its functionality by supplementing the expertise of staff wherever possible, both by educational workshops and by exposure to the international human rights community.

Advocacy and Lobbying

Advocacy Forum works to influence the Nepali government's policies and laws by holding regular lobby meetings with lawmakers, officials from ministries concerned, members of the civil society and other relevant stakeholders. Via various activities, campaigns and submissions, it also tries to lobby both national and international bodies to ensure human rights are upheld. It has also been continuously seeking to establish strong lines of communication and effective working partnerships with the international and domestic human rights community. AF recognizes the necessity of international co-operation in overturning the culture of impunity that sustains a climate conducive to human rights abuse in Nepal.