Nepal – Universal Periodic Review: Submission on the Human Rights Situation of Indigenous Peoples

Observations on the Human Rights Situation of Indigenous People in Nepal in Light of the
UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
March 2015

Prepared for
Second Cycle of Universal Periodic Review of Nepal
23rd session of Human Rights Council

INTRODUCTION

This joint submission has been prepared second Universal Periodic Review of Nepal in November 2015. The human rights situation of indigenous peoples in Nepal has seen little improvement since its first UPR in 2011.

According to the 2011 census, indigenous nationalities (Adivasi Janajati), as they are known in Nepal, comprise 35.81% of the total national population of about 26.5 million, although indigenous peoples’ organizations claim a larger figure of more than 50%. The 2011 census, like earlier census, came under strong criticisms from indigenous peoples for inaccurate reporting. The census reported decrease in indigenous population from 37% to 35% while completely omitted a number of identified indigenous groups and presented contradictory data, such as greater number of an indigenous language speakers than respective indigenous people. Further, while government agencies have begun disaggregation of data by ethnicity and gender since 1991 census, there is need for greater disaggregation of all relevant national data.

Currently, 59 groups are recognized as indigenous nationalities but the official list is contested. The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights expressed concern in 2008 about the “lack of clarification about the criteria used by” National Foundation for Development of Indigenous Nationalities (NFDIN), the indigenous development agency of the Government of Nepal, to recognize indigenous peoples and the implications of this recognition. The Government formed a taskforce, including indigenous representatives, to re-examine the official list that submitted its report to the Prime Minister in 2011 with recommendations for inclusion of further groups. However, the Government is yet to take any action on the report.

Discrimination, based on historical oppression and exclusion, against indigenous peoples remains deeply rooted in Nepal. Land and forest-related practices and laws of Nepal have hindered the development of indigenous communities leading to a litany of human rights issues, including in the name of ‘development’. Even though they constitute a significant proportion of the population, throughout the history of Nepal indigenous peoples have been marginalized in terms of socio-economic conditions, including cultural and language rights and political participation. Demands for rights of indigenous peoples, particularly in relation to lands and resources and political participation, have been met with violence and criminal persecution. More

Advertisements

UN rights experts apprised of violation of rights of indigenous Pradhan Newars for construction of a mega business complex

Kathmandu, 9 Feb

Two non-governmental organizations have submitted an urgent communication to UN rights experts alleging that a Nepali private company has unlawfully acquired the communal trust lands of indigenous Pradhan Newar community of Kathmandu to construct a mega business complex. As a result, the religious and cultural customs and traditions of Pradhan Newars based on the pond and its embankment lands have been devastated and thus their cultural rights and rights to cultural rights and rights to lands and resources violated, the communication reads.

Lawyers’ Association for Human Rights of Nepalese Indigenous Peoples and National Coalition Against Racial Discrimination jointly submitted the communication to the UN Special Rapporteurs on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and in the field of cultural rights on Monday. They have urged the Special Rapporteurs to correspond with the Government of Nepal about the need to take immediate action to defend, protect and promote the rights of the indigenous Pradhan Newars to their land, resources, sacred places and culture. More

NEPAL: Indigenous peoples submit complaint to the UN on violations of religious and cultural rights in Surkhet

1 October 2013

Indigenous peoples’ organizations have submitted a complaint to the United Nations concerning the violations of religious and cultural rights of indigenous peoples due to denial of installation of Buddha idol in Kakre Bihar, a monastery in Surkhet district of mid-western Nepal.

Representatives of indigenous peoples’ and Buddhist organizations, on Monday, emailed the complaint in an urgent communication to the UN Special Rapporteurs on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, in the field of cultural rights and on freedom of religion or belief. The complaint details obstructions by the Government to install the idol even after fulfilling all necessary procedures, including police intervention on the rally taken out on 25 May 2013 for installing the idol. More than 50 devotees were reportedly injured or looted of their belongings in the brutal police assault. More

%d bloggers like this: