Advocacy Forum Organized an Interactive Session on Gender-Based Violence

9 December 2022, Kathmandu: Understanding the importance of Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) approaches that cross-cut multiple facets of human rights, good governance and rule of law, Advocacy Forum-Nepal conducted an interactive session with its staff.

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Four Column Document (suggestions for the amendment of the TJ Bill) Submitted to the Members of Parliament and Concerned Authorities

8 August 2022, Kathmandu: Victims groups and Civil Society Organizations in Nepal have identified a number of provisions in the proposed Bill to amend Commission on Enforced Disappearances, Truth and Reconciliation Commission Act, undermining international law, the Supreme Court's decision and the aspiration of victims. This document highlights the major sections that need to be amended before adopting this Bill as law. The document (4 Mahale) has been officially submitted to the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, both the houses of the Federal Parliament of Nepal (to all MPs in their names), Law, Justice and Human Rights Committee of the Parliament and to the National Human Rights Commission.

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Policy Recommendations on the Reparative Rights of Victims

On June 2022, Advocacy Forum-Nepal published policy recommendations titled ‘Policy Recommendations on the Reparative Rights of Victims.’ The report particularly includes key recommendations to assist federal and provincial governments in designing and implementing reparation policies in the context of transitional justice in a way that will not violate Nepal’s international obligations, execute judgments of the Supreme Court, and ensure victims’ rights to effective remedy without undermining victims’ efforts or creating tensions among them.

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AF Observed the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture (26 June) 2022

26 June 2022, Kathmandu: Commemorating the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, Advocacy Forum- Nepal (AF) organized a series of interaction programs in Biratnagar, Janakpur, Pokhara, Butwal, Nepalgunj, Surkhet, and Kailali. Facilitating the programs, AF lawyers and provincial coordinators elucidated AF’s interventions in regard to human rights and the rule of law at the national and international levels. While organizing the events, AF collaborated with the various concerned stakeholders of criminal justice such as the Nepal Police, National Human Rights Commission, victim groups, and human rights organizations.

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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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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.
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