JuRI Nepal draws govt’s attention to formulate regulations to ensure people’s constitutional rights to food and shelter

Published On: February 1, 2023 01:38 PM NPT By: Aesha Bajracharya

KATHMANDU, Feb 1: Justice and Rights Institute. (JURI) Nepal, a group of legal and rights professionals, has submitted a memorandum to the Council of Ministers and various ministries, drawing their attention toward immediately completing the tasks of drafting the right to food and food security regulations and the regulations related to the right to shelter in accordance with the laws related to these fundamental rights guaranteed by the constitution.

"After the regulations are made, the issues that need to be implemented in accordance with the law through solid action plans, budgets, programs and institutional means should be carefully implemented so that no one is at risk of food insecurity or starvation, none of the landless squatter families are at the risk of homelessness or eviction due to the behavior of the state, and an environment where they can live a peaceful and humane life. For this the government can collaborate and coordinate with local and provincial levels," JuRI Nepal said in the memorandum handed to the government on Tuesday.

Similarly, the civil society organization has stressed the government to formulate a concrete road map by forming an expert task force, if necessary, and move forward with the formulation and implementation of the regulations to ensure the fundamental rights related to food, food security and shelter for every Nepali citizen as mentioned in the constitution.

The memorandum further says that to guarantee the fundamental rights for the provisions of Right to Food (Article 36) and Right to Shelter (Article 37), the federal parliament has already formulated Food Procurement Act, 2075 and Shelter Rights Act, 2075. "Both the Acts went into implementation from September 18, 2018. Parliament has arranged most of the provisions of those Acts shall be implemented as per the provision or as prescribed in the delegated legislation (rules and regulations). Such matters will not be put into practice unless the regulations are made in time. Therefore, it is the mandatory responsibility of the Council of Ministers of the Government of Nepal to formulate the regulations and implement them care- fully as required by the law," reads the memorandum. The memorandum further says that the constitutional guarantee of social justice, socialism, equitable economic development rights and right to live with respect, liberty and dignity pro- visions of the constitution have proved to be only a "blank check" due to the lack of the regulations concerned.

"The economic, social and cultural rights including the right to food and housing were recognized as fundamental rights with a view to address the root causes of past conflicts. But unfortunately, the government's inaction has rendered these rights as hollow commitments," said Raju Prasad Chapagain, a constitutional expert and founding president of JuRI Nepal. "The people at the grassroots who are deprived of the rights to food and housing are increasingly losing faith in all spheres of the government due to the delay in implementing these rights in practice," added Chapagain.

He also informed Republica that the memorandum was sub- mitted to the Council of Ministers, Ministry of Urban Development, Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development, Ministry of Land Management, Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation, and Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs.

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