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U.S. Statement on the UPR Working Group Intervention for Nepal
January 25, 2011

Remarks by the Delegation of the United States of America

UPR Working Group Intervention for Nepal, 10th Session

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The United States welcomes the Nepali delegation to the UPR Working Group and congratulates Nepal on its national report and presentation. We have carefully reviewed the content of the report and followed closely the presentation made today.

The United States appreciates the Government of Nepal’s ongoing generosity in hosting vulnerable refugee populations, as well as its cooperation in the resettlement of well over 40,000 Bhutanese refugees to third countries and the safe transit of newly arrived Tibetan refugees to India. We expect the Government of Nepal to continue to respect its commitment to protect vulnerable populations, including its long-standing commitment to ensure the safe passage through Nepal of Tibetan asylum seekers and refraining from forcibly returning Tibetan asylum seekers to China. The United States also urges the Government to continue to act on its commitment to ending violence against women.

We welcome the government’s ratification of UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) as a first step toward improving laws protecting the rights of persons with disabilities. We continue, however, to have concerns regarding Nepal’s judicial system, mechanisms of accountability for human rights violations, tolerance of intimidation against members of the media and human rights activists, and labor exploitation.

Taking into account these concerns, United States recommends that the Government of Nepal:

1. Creates mechanisms to end the case backlog at all levels of the judicial system.

2. Creates a system of accountability to investigate and prosecute human rights violators in Nepal’s military and law enforcement agencies.

3. Establishes accountability for conflict-era human rights abuses through the formation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Disappearance Commission, as agreed to in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.

4. Protects human rights defenders and journalists by promptly investigating complaints of harassment and holding perpetrators accountable.

5. Protects its citizens from labor exploitation at home and abroad by providing improved regulation and oversight of workplace practices.

6. Enacts legislation to ensure members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) community citizenship rights consistent with the equal rights enumerated in the Nepali Supreme Court’s 2008 decision.

7. Protects vulnerable refugee populations by allowing for registration of the refugee population in Nepal and by refraining from forcibly returning Tibetan asylum seekers to China.