[JURIST] The United Nations will work with Nepali leaders to bring human rights violators to justice, according to a statement [text] from UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour [official profile]. Arbour is on a six-day visit to the transitioning nation in conjunction with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Nepal (OHCHR-Nepal) [official website]. Arbour's visit will focus on the issues of
ending impunity for serious human rights violations, including the need to resolve all outstanding cases of disappearances; the need for a well-functioning law enforcement and criminal justice system as an essential means of strengthening human rights protection; and the need to address long-standing discrimination and social exclusion.AFP has more.
OHCHR-Nepal, created under an agreement between OHCHR and the Nepali government [PDF text] in April 2005, has a mandate to monitor, investigate and verify the situation of human rights in Nepal. The human rights office has criticized fighters [JURIST report] belonging to the Nepali Maoist party for continued kidnappings, torture, and murder of political and civilian targets. Last November a peace agreement [text, in Nepali; JURIST report] formally ended the decade-long Maoist guerilla insurgency against the government that left over 13,000 people dead. In December, Nepali government negotiators and the Maoist rebels reached an agreement [JURIST report] on the general terms of an interim constitution to replace Nepal's current constitution [text]. Last week both the House of Representatives and the cabinet [JURIST reports] approved the draft of the document [eKantipur highlights; JURIST news archive].