At the invitation of the National Human Rights Commission – a constitutional human rights watchdog body of Nepal, Freedom Forum experts sensitized senior human rights officials of the commission on Budget and Human Rights on 13 September 2023.
NHRC organized the knowledge sharing program for exploring the ideas and information on various human rights issues to develop the capacity of the staff on new dimensions, trends and experiences in the human rights regime.
On the occasion, Freedom Forum’s executive chief Taranath Dahal and open budget expert Krishna Sapkota delivered their sessions on budget and human rights highlighting open budget practices in Nepal and the role of human rights commission. Dahal shed light on seminal works of Freedom Forum, especially generating evidence and advancing advocacy for open and accountable budgets and public finance management, including audit accountability, performance audit, climate budget and COVID fiscal management. He highlighted the need for explicitly linking justice, democracy and human rights with public finance so that citizens’ rights can be assured through accountable budgeting.
Likewise, Sapkota highlighted the survey methodology, findings and recommendations of latest Open Budget Survey 2021 and explained how NHRC can play a role in providing oversight roles in promoting accountable budgeting in Nepal. He highlighted the National Strategy of Citizen Engagement in Public Finance Management in Nepal which was prepared and submitted by Freedom Forum for PEFA secretariat.
Responding to the queries from participants, Dahal highlighted the need for tax investment study and overall budget reforms from formulation to oversight in Nepal. He urged NHRC to proactively participate in the budget oversight process in the country taking into consideration the explicit linkage between budget and human rights.
Also on the occasion, NHRC Commissioner Mihir Thakur delivered his presentation highlighting NHRC view on budget and human rights.
He pledged to actively engage NHRC in the area of budget and public finance sector so that public resources of the country will be properly channeled for the protection of rights of the citizens.
Also present on the occasion were NHRC Commissioner Manoj Duwady, Acting Secretary Murari Prasad Kharel and senior staff of the commission from all provinces and branch offices.