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Dalit Civil Society Leaders Submitted Memorandum to the President of Council of Ministers

Dalit Civil Society Leaders Submitted Memorandum to the President of Council of Ministers The Government of Nepal has acknowledged through the national and international human rights forums that the Dalit community of Nepal has lagged behind in all social, economic, and political spheres as a result of century-long caste based discrimination and untouchability. The state has made laws and declarations in different times in order to address the cause of Dalit community. In 19 March 2002, the National Dalit Commission was established and declaration of Untouchability Free Nation in 2006 [4 June] by the reinstated parliament after people's movement II paved the path towards restoring the dignity and human rights of Dalits. The article 14 of the Interim Constitution 2007 has guaranteed the Rights against Untouchability as the fundamental rights. The Caste Based Discrimination and Untouchability (Offence and Punishment) Act 2011 endorsed by the Legislative-Parliament made any practices of discrimination and untouchability at both in private and public places a crime, and punishable according to the law. The government has also established a “Mechanism to end the caste based discrimination and untouchability and promote Dalit rights in 2011” for the practical and effective implementation of all the laws and state commitments. Despite these declarations and legal and constitutional provisions, Dalits are still facing worst form of discrimination on the ground of caste in every sphere of life. Rights have not been realized: the practices in the society have not changed significantly; Dalits are facing abuses and brutal attack while attempting to enjoy their rights and freedom enshrined by the constitution. To take some examples, a couple of inter-caste marriage of Bidur of Nuwakot district faced brutalism by the local people and they were expelled from their village on 28 April 2013. The exile of Mahendra B.K. of Bhairavsthan VDC of Achham district 17 years by the local people from the state with the involvement of Police administration is the most recent case of repulsion. The attack and killing of Sete Damai of Dailekh district and Manbire Sunar of Kalikot district are the extreme in its form. The continued abuses and brutal attack over equal rights seekers [Dalit] are due to ineffective implementation of constitutional and legal provisions and prejudice prosecutors and reluctance of the state machinery for protecting the rights Dalits and rampant impunity. The state has been unreceptive and ignorant on this issue; this has drawn our attention and we Dalit Civil Society working for the rights of Dalit are concerned about such negligence of state machinery and impunity. Therefore, on behalf of Dalit community we the Dalit Civil Society strongly appeal to the Government of Nepal to take immediate action against perpetrators and take special initiative against such crimes of human rights violation, and for this, we put forward the following demand for immediate action: Our Demands: 1. Ensure effective implementation of the Caste Based Discrimination and Untouchablity (Offence and Punishment) Act, 2011 by punishing the perpetrators according to the law ensuring justice and appropriate compensation to the victims. Additionally, promulgate Rule of the Act. 2. The Legislative Parliament of Nepal unanimously passed the Caste Based Discrimination and Untouchability (Offence and Punishment) Act on 24 May 2011 [10th Jestha 2068] by expressing the state commitment to end Caste Based Discrimination and Untoucability and ensure justice and equality to Dalits. Therefore, declare 10th Jestha as the National Day for the Elimination of Caste Based Discrimination and Untouchability and declare it as national holiday and take initiative to celebrate the day by the state itself. 3. Make functional and proactive to the “Mechanism to End the Caste Based Discrimination and Untouchability and Promote Dalit Rights” formed under the chair of Prime Minister in 2011 for the practical implementation of the declaration of Untouchability Free Nation [21 Jestha 2063] through the effective implementation of related laws and commitments made by the state in this regard. Together with this, declare the period 2070 to 2080 BS as the Decade against Discrimination and Untouchability and make required rules, programmes and adequate budgets for this. 4. Ensure effective implementation of the existing laws, rules and regulations and international human rights instruments ratified by the state. And, take initiative to submit the Principles and Guidelines for the Effective Elimination of Discrimination Based on Work and Descent, a Comprehensive Legal Framework to Eliminate Caste Discrimination Globally accepted by UN, and also submit the due periodic reports of CERD. 5. Immediately enact Dalit Rights Commission Act to establish the National Dalit Commission as an independent powerful commission.