Nepal's human rights record remains on a positive trajectory. This is according to the annual report on human rights and democracy published by the European Union (EU) for the year 2022.
As per the report, published on Tuesday, Nepal's human rights situation appeared largely encouraging last year. However, given the many challenges the country is still facing, progress remains slow.
"Discrimination related to caste, gender, ethnic or religious background, is the most crucial issue and together with corruption, the biggest impediment to development in Nepal," the report stated. Nevertheless, despite the prevalence of discriminatory practices, EU felt that the country had made remarkable legislative achievements to ensure the rights of Dalits.
EU also called the Government of Nepal's adoption of the long-awaited second phase of the National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) in August last year "a positive note". It also noted that Nepal rose to the 76th position on the World Press Index in 2022. A year earlier, its rank was 106.
Additionally, the report's Nepal profile also spoke of Nepal's efforts in transitional justice and wrote, "Extensive consultations and in-depth preparatory work were carried out on the Transitional Justice bill. Its swift adoption by the new parliament and subsequent implementation would be a distinctive achievement in view of the completion of the peace process."
It also looked at the local, provincial and federal elections that were held last year and stated that they were orderly. “But there is much scope to improve inclusivity for future elections, notably through a better representation of disadvantaged communities, and enabling the voting of millions of Nepali workers abroad and millions of undocumented Nepali people inside the country."
The impacts of climate change pose growing problems in Nepal in the areas of health, safe water and sanitation, food, and adequate housing, it found.