News

AF Organized Medico-Legal Documentation Training

AF Organized Medico-Legal Documentation Training

On 19 September 2019, Advocacy Forum-Nepal (AF) organized a medico-legal training program in Kathmandu. The training was aimed to capacitate doctors to document the cases of torture and sexual violence more effectively and accurately so that the medico-legal documents can be used in the court of law as a strong evidence. The major focus of the program was to train medical professionals on the documentation of psychological torture and the cases where no physical signs of torture are observed/found. Altogether, 27 participants including doctors and lawyers attended the training whereby Professor Dr. Harihar Wasti and Assistant Professor Dr. Sagun Bhallav Pant facilitated the training sessions. 

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Annual Torture Report 2018 Launched

Annual Torture Report 2018 Launched

Kathmandu 25 June: Advocacy Forum (AF) launched an annual torture report entitled "Rise of Torture in 2018: Challenges Old & New Facing Nepal" on 25 June 2019 in Kathmandu amidst a program. The report was jointly unveiled by Honorable Anup Raj Sharma, Chairperson of National Human Rights Commission, Senior Advocate Tanka Prasad Dulal, General Secretary of AF and torture survivors duo Kalpana Bhandari and Tika Dhakal. The report launch program was attended by the victims, Attorney General Office, District Attorney, Supreme Court Bar, representatives from NGOs and INGOs, Human Rights Section of Nepal Police, journalists and law students. Altogether more than 50 persons participated in the program.

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Workshop on Enforced Disappearance Convened in Nepal

Workshop on Enforced Disappearance Convened in Nepal

Advocacy Forum-Nepal (AF) and Informal Sector Service Centre (INSEC) jointly organized a workshop on Enforced Disappearance in Asia on 27 and 28 May 2019 at Hotel Himalaya, Lalitpur Nepal. The main objectives of the program were to shed light on the best practices, challenges and existing remedies of various countries, the effort of the government in addressing the cases of enforced disappearance and strategies to combat enforced disappearances.

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International Week of the Disappeared, 2019 Commemorated in Nepal

International Week of the Disappeared, 2019 Commemorated in Nepal

On the occasion of the International Week of the Disappeared 2019, Advocacy Forum-Nepal together with Conflict Victims' Society for Justice (CVSJ-Nepal) organized and hosted events in Illam, Pokhara, Nepalgunj and Kathmandu during the last week of May 2019.  The program was primarily attended by conflict victims, victims’ families of those disappeared, representatives from human rights organizations, civil society members and local government representatives.  The activities included a discussion program on the situation of the family and the ongoing debate of TJ process, the pain and suffering of victims and how their issues can be addressed at the local and national level. Now, victim families in Nepal have joined hands with the victims’ families of the disappeared from around the world and fight together in search of their disappeared loved ones. 

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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.