COMMITTEE ON THE ELIMINATION OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION
31 July - 25 August 2000
CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS SUBMITTED BY STATES PARTIES UNDER ARTICLE 9
OF THE CONVENTION
Concluding observations of the Committee on the Elimination
of Racial Discrimination
1. The Committee
considered the fourteenth report of Nepal (CERD/C/337/Add.4), which
was due on 1 March 1998 at its 1415th meeting (CERD/C/SR.1415), held
on 9 August 2000. At its 1427th meeting (CERD/C/SR.1427), held on 18
August 2000, it adopted the following concluding observations.
2. The Committee
appreciates the submission of the report, which contained a frank and
open discussion of the State party's socio-economic profile, as well
as detailed information on the legal framework relating to the implementation
of the Convention.
B. Positive aspects
3. Welcoming the information from the delegation that the National Human
Rights Commission began its activities at the end of May 2000, the Committee
looks forward to being kept informed about its future work.
4. The Committee
welcomes the initiatives undertaken by the State party, such as the
Decision of 17 July 2000 on the emancipation of bonded labourers and
the adoption of the 1997 Compensation for Torture Act, demonstrating
its commitment to furthering the human rights of its people.
5. The Committee
welcomes the adoption of the State party's Ninth Plan, containing important
policies, strategies and programmes, which aim inter alia, to
eradicate racial discrimination against disadvantaged groups by addressing
their socio-economic development.
C. Factors and difficulties impeding the implementation of the Convention
6. In light
of the multi-ethnic and multicultural society of the State party, the
Committee notes that the existence of certain traditional customs, i.e.
the caste system, and social attitudes are obstacles to efforts to combat
discrimination. The Committee further notes that extreme poverty, which
affects a significant part of Nepal's population, and the presence of
a large number of refugees from neighbouring countries are factors which
represent serious difficulties in the fulfilment of the State party's
obligations under the Convention.
D. Concerns and recommendations
7. In view of the State party's reservation on articles 4 and 6 of the
Convention, the Committee remains concerned that the full implementation
of those provisions may not be ensured, and therefore reiterates its
previous recommendation to the State party to consider withdrawing its
8. The Committee
requests the State party to provide in its subsequent reports information,
on, inter alia, the National Human Rights Commission's responsibilities,
composition, methods and achievements particularly in combating racial
discrimination. The Committee recommends that, the State party provide
adequate resources to ensure the capacity and effectiveness of this
9. The Committee
expresses concern about the absence in the report of disaggregated data
on the population, including by age, sex, nationality, ethnic origin,
religion, including caste, and language. The Committee recommends that
the State party provide these data in subsequent reports.
10. While noting
the detailed information provided in the report of constitutional and
legislative provisions relating to the implementation of the Convention,
the Committee regrets the absence of any information on the effectiveness
of these measures. The Committee emphasizes that guarantees of non-discrimination
laid down in constitutional or legislative provisions, without mechanisms
to monitor their application, do not on their own ensure the enjoyment
of non-discrimination. The Committee reiterates its previous recommendations
that the State party provide information in subsequent reports on the
practical implementation and monitoring of articles 4, 5 and 6 of the
Convention, including on mechanisms for the receipt of complaints, conducting
investigations and prosecutions and implementing consequent decisions.
11. The Committee
remains concerned at the existence of caste-based discrimination, and
the denial which this system imposes on some segments of the population
of the enjoyment of the rights enshrined in the Convention. The Committee
reiterates its previous recommendation that the State party provide
information in its next periodic report on the implementation of practical
and substantive measures to eradicate the practice of the caste system,
including measures for the prevention of caste-motivated abuse and the
prosecution of State and private actors responsible for such abuse.
Moreover, the State party is encouraged to implement, inter alia,
affirmative measures to advance and protect persons subjected to caste-based
12. The Committee
emphasizes that the State party is responsible for ensuring that the
Convention is implemented at the local level, and recommends that the
State party ensure adequate support to local authorities, including
development of professional capacity, for implementation of the Convention
and that it continue to prioritize and target social services for persons
belonging to the most vulnerable groups.
13. The Committee
is concerned about the situation of a large number of refugees from
neighbouring countries in Nepal, and regrets the absence of any information
in the report on their situation. Furthermore, the Committee is concerned
at the absence of legislative protection for refugees and asylum-seekers.
The Committee requests the State party to include in subsequent reports
information on the situation of refugees. It reminds the State party
of the importance it attaches to international instruments relating
to the protection of refugees and to the adoption of national legislation
that ensures that refugees enjoy the rights contained in the Convention.
14. In connection
with the implementation of article 7 of the Convention, the Committee
reiterates its previous recommendation that the State party take all
necessary measures to ensure the training and education of law enforcement
officials, teachers and social workers, and include the teaching of
human rights in school curricula. The Committee encourages the State
party to carry out comprehensive public education campaigns to combat
discriminatory traditional customs and societal attitudes. The Committee
would welcome information in subsequent reports on the effectiveness
of these measures.
15. It is noted
that the State party has not made the declaration provided for in article
14 of the Convention, and some members of the Committee requested that
the possibility of such a declaration be considered.
16. The Committee
recommends that the State party ratify the amendments to article 8,
paragraph 6, of the Convention, adopted on 15 January 1992 at the Fourteenth
Meeting of States Parties to the Convention.
17. The Committee
recommends that the State party's report be made readily available to
the public from the time it is submitted and that the Committee's concluding
observations on the report be similarly disseminated.
18. The Committee
recommends that the State party ensure the submission of its fifteenth
periodic report, and that it be an updating report, addressing all the
points raised in the present observations.