A comprehensive report on human rights violations in Bhutan has been published by Bhutan Watch. This is the second year the organisation has published such report. The report covers incidents of human rights violations between 1 Jan 2019 to 31 Dec 2019.
While appreciating Bhutan’s efforts on socio-economic sphere and environmental preservation, Bhutan Watch has criticised government’s efforts in protection of human rights.
Bhutan rejected many of these recommendations from UN Human rights council during UPR session in May last year citing technical and financial resources. Bhutan also rejected extending invitation to all special procedures mandate holders of the Human Rights Council into the country for regular monitoring.
The report further said, ‘while Bhutan has made progress towards harmonising legal provisions and practice in protecting rights of its citizens, there are several fronts that Bhutan must move swiftly to adhere with international standard. Protecting human rights is state’s obligation. Ensuring human rights not only enlivens the lives of citizens but also helps strengthen democratic culture and political plurality’.
Bhutan Watch has stressed the formation of a national human rights institution as independent mechanism to address the growing case of human rights violations and make the state accountable to its obligation. “Since there has not been any effort from either the government or the citizens to monitor human rights situation, many cases of human rights violations go unheard. This essentially leads to government’s failure to fully protect the rights of its citizens enshrined by the country’s constitution,” the report added.