Strengthening the Capacity of the National Human Rights Commission (SCNHRC)

What is the project about

Strengthening the Capacity of the National Human Rights Commission (SCNHRC) project strengthens the National Human Rights Commission to protect and promote human rights and fulfill Nepal's national and international human rights obligations.

Deep-rooted hierarchical power structures, discrimination, and social and economic inequality mean that human rights abuses continue to be commonplace in Nepal, particularly against women, Dalits, Janajatis, Madhesis and other marginalized communities. The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) was set up in 2000 after prolonged pressure from the political parties and civil society to establish a high level independent body for protecting and promoting the human rights in Nepal. The need for such a body became particularly acute in its early years as the violent conflict escalated.

From 2002, the multi-donor funded Capacity Development of the National Human Rights Commission project, supported the commission to fulfil its mandates for the protection, promotion and full respect of the human rights enshrined in the constitution, national leigslations and international human rights instruments that Nepal is party to.

What have we accomplished so far

Phase 1 achievements

The five-year-long Phase 1 helped the commission establish itself as a force for protecting and promoting human rights. The project helped it set up its basic infrastructure, its management and IT systems, and a network of four regional offices and five district contact offices for monitoring the human rights situation across the country. This included setting up a system for the commission’s core task of handling complaints and monitoring human rights violations. The project supported the commission to develop and formulate the policies, guidelines and procedures for the investigation, monitoring and management of the cases. In addition, the project also assisted the commission to expand its outreach to increase the access to general people to the commission. As a result of the systems developed by the project, the  commission now deaIs with hundreds of cases a year and in the first 11 months of 2008 investigated a total of 207 cases.

Amongst its many other achievements, the project assisted the commission to: map out its priorities and future activities in strategic plans; host discussions and report on the human rights situation; produce human rights education materials, including Nepali versions of the international human rights instruments; review the human rights orientation of the secondary school curriculum and media and security related laws, and finalise the draft bill for the commission’s new upgraded status.

A major landmark was passed in 2007 when the Interim Constitution recognised the commission as an independent constitutional body.

Phase 2 Achievements

The commission has a very important role to play in taking forward the peace process and heightening respect for all citizens’ rights. This is a challenging task as the human rights situation remains precarious and a culture of impunity continues with many serious human rights cases waiting to be investigated.

The key accomplishments of the project so far are:

  • Guideline on complaint handling and detention monitoring revised and endorsed
  • Consumer protection rights monitoring guideline developed
  • Body exhumation guideline developed
  • HRBA resource materials developed and TOR training module finalized
  • Social inclusion policy developed
  • A number of backlog cases monitored and investigated
  • A number of recommendations submitted to the Government of Nepal
  • 6 Human Rights Resource Centers established
  • UPR report developed and disseminated among human rights defenders

Who Finances it?

Amount contributed
Finland $0.5m
SDC $0.5m
Danida $0.4m
British Embassy $0.3m
UNDP $0.1m
Total Phase 2 Budget $1.9 million

Delivery in previous fiscal year




Importance of this project towards achieving the MDGs and consolidating peace

A reduction in the number and seriousness of human rights abuses is fundamental to consolidating peace and achieving the MDGs. Fewer abuses will lead to a more democratic and equitable society where all Nepalis, regardless of caste, ethnicity and religion, can gain equal access to services and realise their full potential.

Project Overview
Project duration:
Phase 1: April 2002 to December 2008
Phase 2: August 2009 to September 2013
Implemented in:
National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and their regional offices
Implemented by:
National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)
Focus Area:
Democratic Governance
Phase 2 partners:
OHCHR (technical support)
National Dalit's Commission
National Women's Commissions
National Human Rights NGOs
UNDP's role:
Fund manager and donor
UNDP focal point:
Mr. Tek Tamata
Programme Analyst (Justice and Human Rights)
Governance Unit, UNDP

UN House, Pulchowk
P.O.Box 107 Kathmandu, Nepal
Tel: +977-1-5523200
Fax: +977-1-5523991
Project focal point:
Project Manager
Office of the National Human Rights Commission
Harihar Bhawan, Pulchowk
Lalitpur, Nepal
Tel: 977-1-5539776, 5539778
Fax: 977-1-5539779
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