News/Nepal: Human rights abuses remain widespread in Nepal: U.S. report

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Subject: News/Nepal: Human rights abuses remain widespread in Nepal: U.S. report
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Sun Mar 05 2000 - 20:25:16 EST


Human rights abuses remain widespread in Nepal: U.S. report

.c Kyodo News Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 25 (Kyodo) - Human rights violations are still
prevalent in Nepal, an annual U.S. report on human rights said Friday.

The State Department's 1999 report cited political killings, forced
labor, trafficking in human beings and violation of women's rights in
the country.

On a number of occasions, the Nepalese government used unwarranted
lethal force against people involved in the ''People's War,'' an
antigovernment movement by an insurgent group, the report said.

The United Nations recently conducted a human rights study in areas
affected by the insurgency, which began in 1996, and found that a
large number of people had disappeared.

Amnesty International said the insurgent group has killed at least
200 people over the last four years.

The State Department's report said about 70 people disappeared in
1999 after being taken into police custody and that more than 125
people have disappeared in the last four years.

Forced labor and human trafficking are also problems in Nepal, the report said.

About 100,000 people, mainly in the southern Terai region of Nepal,
are compelled to work as bonded laborers, the report said.

In August last year, the Nepalese government established a program to
free 83,400 bonded laborers, providing new jobs and land as well as a
total of $330,000 to pay off their debts, the report said.

Estimated 5,000-7,000 girls aged between 10 and 18 are lured or
abducted into prostitution each year, most of them sent to India, the
report said.

Nepal's parliament enacted a law in 1996 to empower a human rights
commission to investigate human rights abuses. But the commission has
yet to be established.

AP-NY-02-25-00 2028EST

 2000 The Kyodo News Service.


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