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Nepal: Indigenous people victims of conservation 'success story' - new report

Indigenous people being forcibly evicted from their ancestral lands Policies have led to arbitrary arrest, torture, death and forced evictions Nepal’s Indigenous peoples have suffered five decades of human rights violations as a result of abusive conservation policies, Amnesty International and the Community Self-Reliance Centre (CSRC) said in a new report published today (9 August). The report, Violations in the name of conservation, documents how the establishment of National Parks and other ‘protected areas’ has resulted in tens of thousands of Indigenous people being forcibly evicted from

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Nepal: Lack of a second dose endangers over 1.4 million

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Over 1.4 million people in Nepal, most of them over 65 years of age and considered to be in high-risk groups took their 1st dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine between 7 and 15 March. They were initially due have their 2nd dose 8-12 weeks later. However, with no supply to administer the doses by 6 June, Nepal extended the timeline from 12 to 16 weeks therefore, the 1.4 million people must have their second dose between 27 June and 5 July. 

Still facing acute shortages of supply, Nepal will not meet this commitment without international support. Not only is the right to health and life of these people at risk, due to a deadly wave of Covid-19 sweeping the country, but these first doses administered could have to be repeated to achieve full immunization if they wait too long. 

Amnesty International’s briefing ‘Struggling to Breathe- The Second Wave of Covid-19 in Nepal’, documents the public health crisis faced by Nepal since April 2021 as the second wave of Covid-19 in the country wreaked havoc on its fragile health system. Immediate action is needed from both the government of Nepal and the international community to support the health care system, which is teetering on the edge of collapse. Nepal, like other countries across South Asia, is also facing a drastic shortage of vaccines. To date, Nepal has only vaccinated less than three percent of its population with second doses, while other countries that could potentially donate the needed vaccines enjoy high-vaccination coverage. For example, 60% of the UK population and 53% of people in the USA have received at least one dose to date. COVAX, a global initiative to help low- and middle-income countries access vaccines is falling short of its commitments to provide vaccines.

Many people have lost lives due to the unavailability of medical oxygen, or from being turned away from overwhelmed hospitals that were already struggling with shortages of hospital beds, human resources, and essential medical supply. While public health experts believe that the number of deaths is being underestimated, as of 16 June, 8,558 Covid-19 deaths had been registered in Nepal according to government figures, with the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) projecting a total of 34,887 deaths by 1 September 2021. 

The international community must fulfil their obligation to ensure international cooperation by joining and adequately supporting global mechanisms such as COVAX thereby enabling all countries, including low-income ones such as Nepal, to have adequate supplies of vaccines to protect their entire populations in a timely manner. States must cooperate globally and remove any potential barriers to ensure that vaccines are developed, manufactured insufficient supply, and then distributed in a timely and inclusive manner around the globe.

States must ensure that intellectual property rights do not prevent any countries from upholding the right to health. This includes agreeing to a ‘waiver’ on certain aspects of the TRIPS agreement for the production of COVID-19 health products, supporting the WHO’s COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP), and placing conditions on public funding to ensure pharmaceutical companies share their innovations, technology and data with other manufacturers. States also must assess and make any necessary adjustments to their intellectual property laws, policies and practices to ensure that these do not form a barrier to Covid-19 health products for all people globally including in countries facing a surge in cases like Nepal.  

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Nepal: Vaccines and oxygen desperately needed amid devastating second Covid-19 wave

New Amnesty briefing calls for international community to step up support “We are currently seeing the same desperate situation play out in Nepal that we saw in India over recent months” – Yamini Mishra Nepal’s politicians must set aside their differences and take decisive action to save thousands of lives as the country endures a devastating second wave of Covid-19, Amnesty International said in a new briefing published today (June 14). The briefing, Struggling to Breathe: The Second Wave of Covid-19 in Nepal, examines the virus’ impact on the country’s underfunded health system, and the

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Nepal: Migrant workers still being 'mercilessly' exploited - new survey

The Nepali government’s failure to crack down on recruitment agencies charging illegal fees for jobs abroad is leaving migrant workers trapped in a vicious cycle of debt and exploitation, Amnesty International said today (18 December). New research has found that almost two-thirds of Nepali migrant workers who responded to a survey, carried out in Nepal and Malaysia, had paid excessive, illegal recruitment fees. James Lynch, Deputy Director of Amnesty International's Global Issues Programme, said: “Nepali migrant workers are being systematically and mercilessly set up. Forced to take out loans

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Nepal: Dishonest recruiters are 'destroying lives' by exploiting migrants - new report

The Nepali government is failing to address rampant deception and extortion in the country’s labour recruitment business, putting migrant workers at risk of forced labour abroad and leaving them with crippling debts, according to a report published today by Amnesty International today. Amnesty researchers interviewed 127 Nepali migrant workers and dozens of government officials in 2016 and 2017, in eight districts of Nepal, for the 88-page report Turning People into Profits: Abusive Recruitment, Trafficking and Forced Labour of Nepali Migrant Workers. Almost all of the workers had been subject

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Amnesty: UK must not bow to pressure from Nepal over prosecution decision

The arrest in the UK of a Nepali man on allegations of torture is a welcome indication of the UK’s readiness to comply with its international obligations in combating torture. It could also be an important step for victims failed by the Nepali justice system Amnesty International said. On Thursday, UK police arrested a 46-year man, reportedly a high-ranking army official, on suspicion of torture of detainees in 2005, during Nepal’s civil war. Polly Truscott, Amnesty’s Deputy Asia-Pacific Director, said: “This arrest may prove to be a welcome step towards accountability, but it also really

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Nepal: Protect Nepalese migrants from false promises of work abroad

Rogue Nepalese recruitment agencies are trafficking Nepalese for exploitation and forced labour in the Gulf States and Malaysia, Amnesty International said today in a new report, as it called on the Nepalese government to improve protection of its migrant workers. False Promises: Exploitation and forced labour of Nepalese migrant workers highlights the fate of prospective migrants who take out large loans to pay recruitment fees to secure a job overseas, unaware that recruitment agencies are deceiving them about the work, pay and conditions they are signing up to. Amnesty International

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Nepal: Authorities must provide justice for torture and murder of 15-year-old girl Maina Sunuwar

International and local human rights organisations have today urged the Nepali authorities to stop obstructing criminal proceedings over the alleged torture and murder of 15-year-old Maina Sunuwar by four army officers. An open letter to the Attorney General of Nepal, Professor Bharat Bahadur Karki, on the sixth anniversary of Maina Sunwar’s death, calls on him to end ongoing obstructions to bringing the officers to trial. They are accused of subjecting Maina to prolonged simulated drowning and electrocution with a 220-volt current, which led to her death. Her body was secretly buried but

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Dec 23 2009 6:05PM
Detained Nepalese child soldiers - promises, promises...

On 16 December the United Nations, the Nepalese Government and Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M) signed a plan which hopes to release 3,000 child soldiers who served in the Maoist army during the country’s decade-long...

Nepal: UN major charged with torturing girl to death must be arrested

Amnesty International calls for arrest of soldier charged with 15-year-old’s death Amnesty International today demanded the immediate arrest of an army major accused of torturing a 15-year-old Nepalese girl to death.Major Niranjan Basnet is charged with murdering Maina Sunuwar on 17 February 2004. She died in military custody after she was subjected to electrocution and drowning during interrogation. Her body was later exhumed from an army barracks where Nepali UN peacekeepers are trained. A military court convicted the other three soldiers in 2005, but only on minor charges following a ruling

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