Joint oral statement on the rights of indigenous peoples in disaster risk reduction initiatives in Nepal

Oral Statement: 27th session of the Human Rights Council

Half-day discussion on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

17 September 2014

Thank you Mr. President,

This is a joint statement by IMADR and National Coalition Against Racial Discrimination (NCARD) in Nepal.[1] Firstly, we would like to endorse the Expert Mechanism Advice No. 7 (2014) on disaster risk reduction initiatives.[2]

Floods and landslides have killed 260 people in the last three months across Nepal.[3] It is safe to assume that indigenous peoples, along with Dalits, have been most impacted in those disasters though official data does not exist.[4] Nepal has been in a long process of formulating necessary legislation to minimize the impacts of natural disasters. Indigenous peoples are one of the most vulnerable groups to those disasters due to their poverty, place of residence (remote rural and mountainous areas) and social background (historical exclusion from State power). However, they have been greatly ignored in this process, which is clearly evident when one reads through National Strategy for Disaster Risk Management, 2009.[5] Although the Strategy does not even include a specific reference to indigenous peoples, it takes into account indigenous skills and technologies. More

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