News : Good practice

Human rights mobile camps deployed to earthquake-hit districts

Graphic: Commission staff member and resident inspect earthquake damage

The National Human Rights Commission of Nepal continues to advocate for the rights of people living in those districts hit hardest by the earthquake.

Justice Anup Raj Sharma, the Commission's Chairperson, describes the moment the 2015 earthquake struck Kathmandu and the immediate response of the Commission to monitor the human rights situation of those communities most severely affected


Human rights "mobile camps" are operating in the 14 worst-hit districts of Nepal to monitor the post-earthquake situation and investigate the complaints and concerns of local residents.

The National Human Rights Commission of Nepal is also using the mobile camps to reach out to the public, and especially vulnerable groups, and to build partnerships with government and NGOs as the country rebuilds following the devastating earthquake on 25 April 2015.

Almost 9,000 lives were lost in the earthquake, with 22,000 people injured. More than 500,000 homes and buildings were destroyed.

The day after the earthquake hit, the Commission began a comprehensive program of activities to monitor the national rescue, relief and reconstruction efforts.

It has adopted a human rights-based approach to guide its work and inform its advocacy to government, especially in relation to the delivery of prompt and appropriate responses that address the needs of victims and their families.

The human rights mobile camps ensure that the Commission has an ongoing presence in those communities who have been most severely affected by the earthquake.


We found that many children and young women were lured to the border areas to be trafficked to India.

National Human Rights Commission of Nepal Logo Justice Anup Raj Sharma, Chairperson, National Human Rights Commission of Nepal

The Commission is operating the mobile camps in cooperation with the Nepal Bar Association, the Federation of Nepali Journalists and the NGO Federation of Nepal.

A team of volunteers, including journalists, lawyers and human rights defenders, represent the Commission. Their role includes:

  • Monitoring whether relief and reconstruction efforts works respect the human rights of those affected
  • Receiving complaints of human rights violations and reporting these to the Commission's central office
  • Extending the Commission's focus to other pressing human rights issues, such as human trafficking, domestic violence and economic, social and cultural rights.

Each volunteer team uses a comprehensive human rights monitoring checklist to ensure that they pay close attention to the rights of women, children, the elderly and people with disabilities, among others.

Graphic: Members of the coordinating committee for human rights monitoring teams

The Commission receives regular reports from each mobile human rights camp, providing it with independent, credible and up-to-date information to guide its recommendations to government.

The volunteer teams have been intervening in a range of issues that have come to their attention, including assisting in the return of six persons trafficked from Dhading district. They have also advocated successfully on behalf of people who failed to receive relief funds from government agencies.

The volunteer teams also work as mediators between government agencies and the victims.

Prior to commencing their work, each volunteer team received training on monitoring human rights in a time of crisis, as well as on the mandate of the National Human Rights Commission of Nepal and its duty to promote and protect the human rights of all people.

Date: 7 October 2015


Graphic: Commission staff member talks with women and children in village

Post-earthquake Human Rights Monitoring Checklist

Nepal

Human rights monitoring checklist for the post-earthquake situation and disaster management, prepared by the National Human Rights Commission of Nepal


Image credits

  1. Commission staff member and resident inspect earthquake damage - National Human Rights Commission of Nepal
  2. Members of the coordinating committee for human rights monitoring teams - National Human Rights Commission of Nepal