First time in Nepalese history, Right to Food was provisioned in the Interim Constitution of Nepal, 2007 as fundamental rights. Based on this provision, series of efforts from civil society, political parties and stakeholders had been made to explicitly provision Right to Food in the constitution. As a result of continuous lobby advocacy and pressures widely created, Right to Food along with Rights of Food Sovereignty and Right to be free from food insecurity were ensured in Article 36 of the Constitution under fundamental rights which was promulgated on 20 September 2015. Similarly, according to the Constitutional Provision, to implementation the fundamental rights need necessary laws/acts shall be formulated and enacted within 3 years of the promulgation. Therefore, Nepal Government has prepared necessary laws/acts among which Right to Food and Food Sovereignty Bill is one of them. The bill has been approved by Ministerial Cabine on The Government of Nepal has been approached by the Council of Ministers on 26 June 2018 and forwarded to the Parliament for final approval which is under discussion in the Parliament and requested to all Hon’ble members to submit the necessary amendment and suggestions if necessary.
Taking the opportunity, FIAN Nepal organized lobby advocacy meeting on 22 August 2018 with Hon’ble Members of Parliament along with Civil Society members to discuss on Right to Food and Food Sovereignty Bill. Representatives of CSO members suggested necessary amendments during the discussion. Member of National Assembly Hon’ble Balram Baskota said that the formulation process of this bill is due to the tireless efforts of Human Rights activist and he thanked all. Hon’ble member of the National Human Rights Commission, Mr. Govinda Sharma Poudel said, “National Human Rights Commission had collaborated with FIAN Nepal to organize provincial level consultation workshops during the drafting process of the bill”. Civil Society members pointed out fundamental aspects of production, farmers rights that need to be considered while finalization of the bill. The Hon’ble MPs also provided their views on the bill and thanked FIAN Nepal for bringing out the important aspects that need further attention in a very appropriate time. Hono’ble Member of Parliaments Lal Bahadur Thapa said, “After enactment of the bill/acts, effective and proper implementation is very important and needs support from all stakeholders.” Former Agriculture Development Minister, Hob’ble Gauri Shankar Chaudhary said, “Issues raised in this forum support us during the discussion in Parliament.” Accepting the suggestions raised in the forum, Hon’ble Members of Parliament expressed their commitments to raise needy issues and committed to passing the bill. Morethan 12 representatives from the National Assembly and Parliament participated the program.
FIAN Nepal has succeeded drawing the attention of MPs’ at the appropriate time regarding Right to Food and Food Sovereignty Bill, while the bill is going to be enacted by 19 September 2018. Parliamentarians expressed solidarity on the bill during the finalization process.
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