Society of Humanism Nepal (SOCH), Nepal
‘Kuriti’ is the Nepali word for improper cultural practices; practices maintained as customs or traditions, which violate an individual’s human rights.
57 such improper cultural practices have been identified in Nepali society. These improper cultural practices or ‘kuriti’ mainly victimize members of marginalized groups, such as women, children, untouchables, and other economically deprived members of society.
The “campaign against inhuman, degrading or harsh treatments to Nepalese women in the name of culture and tradition” was initiated in 2012. The campaign was initiated with the the aid of HAMU (Norway). The main mission of the campaign is to eliminate kuritis and protect the human rights of women, children, and other marginalized groups within Nepal.
In a superstitious country, such as Nepal, it is difficult to help people to understand that all customs are not beneficial and that some are in reality degrading, harmful and dangerous. Therefore, in 2013, regional workshops were held in several districts of Nepal to raise awareness of the evils of kuriti. On the 28th – 29th September a “National Conference to End Evil Customs Based on Violence” was held in Kathmandu, Nepal. The conference had 120 participants, and aimed to bring together and open dialogue between the victims of Kuriti, social workers, Nepali youth, journalists, and other related stake-holders.
On the second day of the conference a rally was held to place pressure on Governmental bodies to create legislation against kuriti in Nepal. Over 200 individuals participated in the rally. SOCH Nepal has already been in communication with the Nepal Law Commission and have drafted a bill against witch-hunting. SOCH Nepal hopes that further legislation will be possible in the future to defend Nepal against all Kuriti, which are inflecting Nepali Society.
Legislation against kuriti will not only benefit current victims of improper cultural and customary traditions, it will provide a safer environment for Nepali youth to thrive in the future.