Nepal’s transition to peace and a democratic system in 2006 has been hampered by political instability and a succession of governments. A new constitution was adopted in 2015, but minority communities have continued to express dissatisfaction with amendments that do not adequately address discrimination.
Impunity has continued for the grave human rights abuses that were committed during the 1996-2006 civil war, including for thousands of cases of unlawful killings, disappearances, abductions, and torture. Although two transitional justice commissions were established, these have not operated with adequate transparency or in compliance with international law, and victims and families have not obtained justice.
Nepal suffered two devastating earthquakes in April 2015, which destroyed half a million homes and damaged a quarter million more. Hundreds of thousands of people continue to be denied the right to adequate housing and must endure both monsoon rains and winter weather in temporary shelters. Although some reconstruction money has been distributed, the process has been slow.
In the absence of economic opportunities at home, hundreds of thousands of Nepalis migrate abroad for work every year especially to the Gulf countries and Malaysia. Many are subjected to extortionate recruitment fees in Nepal, and forced labor, debt bondage, and other abuses in the host countries. The recruitment industry in Nepal continues to be poorly regulated, allowing for the widespread abuse of migrants’ rights.
Torture in police custody remains a problem.
Persistent abuses of economic, social, and cultural rights mean that many in Nepal live in severe poverty, with food insecurity and poor access to health and education. There are high rates of child marriage. Despite some recent progress, women, ethnic minorities, and lower castes continue to face discrimination and violence.