On her recent trip to Nepal, Elisabeth Wickeri, the Leitner Center’s Executive Director and Adjunct Professor at FLS, participated in the formal launch of her report “Land is Life, Land is Power”: Landlessness, Exclusion, and Deprivation in Nepal (PDF) with Nepal’s National Human Rights Commission.
Taking place on Wednesday, December 14, in Kathmandu, the launch ceremony was opened by Jagat Basnet of the Community Self Reliance Centre (CSRC), followed by a summary of the findings by Professor Wickeri. Honorable Gaudi Pradhan, a member of the National Human Rights Commission, Nepal, formally launched the report, stating that it is an important contribution in the struggle to place an emphasis on economic and social rights in Nepal. The Secretary of the Ministry of Land Reform and Management, Lal Mani Joshi, called the report a good challenge to the government to face this important issue. Finally, President of the NGO Federation of Nepal, Netra Prasad Timsina, endorsed the report and called on both the government and civil society to view economic social rights as a fundamental human rights issue.
The report examines the struggle ordinary Nepalis have in obtaining socio-economic rights despite Nepal’s existing international commitments. This report, based on two years of research and fieldwork in Nepal from 2009-10, takes as its focus the impact that inadequate access to land has on human rights, including the rights to housing, food, water, and political participation. Evictions and exploitation by landlords and local officials continue to be one of the biggest problems in rural areas in Nepal, and it is hoped that this report will help support ongoing dialogue about economic, social and cultural rights in Nepal. Professor Wickeri was also interviewed by several Nepali newspapers, including The Rising Nepal and The Himalayan Times.