YFIN and IPRAN submit comments on Draft Youth Charter of SAARC

7 Oct 2013

In response to call for comments from Nepal’s Ministry of Youth and Sports, Youth Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (YFIN) Nepal and Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Activists Network (IPRAN) have today submitted comments on the draft of SAARC Youth Charter.

YFIN and IPRAN drew particular attention of the Ministry to the following issues with regards to the Charter :

  1. The Draft Charter largely ignores the diversity of peoples, and hence the youth, in SAARC region. We are particularly concerned about non-recognition of disadvantaged and marginalized groups in the region, including indigenous and tribal peoples, Dalits, sexual minorities, persons with disability, linguistic and religious minorities, among others, in the Draft. Youth from these groups have distinct identity than other youth and have specific needs arising from long-standing marginalization, discrimination, exclusion and oppression against those groups. Thus, we highly suggest, as reflected in our comments, that the Draft obliges State Parties to recognize such diversity, distinct identities of groups and their specific needs and take targeted actions to address those needs.
  2. Further, the Draft Charter proposes for a national mechanism for the implementation of the Charter and a Youth Plan of Action to operationalize the provisions of the Charter. We strongly emphasize that such mechanism and plan of action should ensure full, effective, meaningful and inclusive representation and participation of youth from the country, including those from indigenous and tribal peoples and other disadvantaged and marginalized groups. More

Draft report of the Government of Nepal to the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), September 2013

Click on the link below to see the draft of 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 21st and 22nd report of the Government of Nepal to the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD).

GoN_CERD_Periodic_Report_draft

 

Comments on the report or shadow report to CERD will be published later.

Nepal’s CIAA acts on complaint regarding access to traditional water sources of indigenous community in Gorkha

1 October 2013

In response to an informal complaint regarding obstructions to access traditional sources of water for indigenous community in Gorkha district in western Nepal, Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) has informed that complaint has been submitted to the concerned authorities.

Indigenous Gurung and Magar people in Bakrang village of the district have been denied access to freely use two major traditional sources of water located in public land for years now. The public land was sold under individual title in collaboration of few locals and land registration and measurement officials in 2008. The landowner, without information to the locals, began diverting sources for selling water to another in mid-2012 to which the locals protested and the diversion stopped. 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

Indigenous peoples demand to stop army mobilization in Nepal’s Makalu Barun National Park

27 Sep 2013

Local indigenous peoples and their organizations have demanded for immediate halt to the process of army mobilization in Makalu Barun National Park condemning the Government for violating human rights of indigenous peoples by beginning preparations for army mobilization without their free consent.

In a memorandum submitted to the Chairperson of Council of Ministers and other concerned state agencies on 26 August, representatives of indigenous communities and their organizationshave asked the Government to rather formulate conservation program through community participation with respectto their rights to Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC). They have also demanded to form security mechanism under the control of local indigenous peoples to stop hunting and conservation of bio-diversity in the park and have warned to organize protests if the Government takes action against them. More

Nepal’s slave girls

Can the young girls forced to work in middle class homes across the country break the bonds of slavery?

 Last Modified: 28 Sep 2013 14:34

Slavery is banned in Nepal. But hidden behind the walls of city homes, some still keep young girls as slaves called kamlaris.The girls are from the Tharu community, an indigenous group that was stripped of its land and forced into bonded labour after Nepal’s first social order was introduced 160 years ago. Tharus farm the land of their landlord and, in return, give back half of what they produce. Often, they trade away their daughters as well.

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In June 2013, kamlaris from all over the country protested in a bid to bring an end to slavery once and for all. They want to be free from servitude and have their basic rights guaranteed. The demonstrations were triggered by the mysterious death of Srijana, a 12-year-old kamlari girl who burnt to death in her owner’s house. The police alleged it was suicide but the kamlaris were not convinced.

The police retaliated against the demonstrators with violence. Political organisations and rights groups were conspicuously absent from their demonstrations. More

Indigenous peoples’ organizations demand amendments in Nepal’s election laws

23 September 2013

Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN) and other indigenous peoples’ organizations have demanded amendments in Nepal’s election laws to provide for organizational representation of indigenous peoples through their ethnic organizations in second Constituent Assembly elections of the country.

In a memorandum submitted to Election Commission on Sunday and copied to High Level Political Committee, Chairperson of the Interim Election Council of Ministers and chairpersons of all political parties, the organizations have made the following demands:
1. Fully proportional representation of indigenous nationalities based on population and at least one representative per indigenous group in the second CA elections should be ensured.
2. The State should recognize the recommendation of indigenous peoples’ organizations with regards to Constituent Assembly members as per the Supreme Court order of 21 April 2013.
3. As provided in Interim Constitution of Nepal 2007, minimum 37 per cent of total number of members in second Constituent Assembly should be guaranteed from indigenous nationalities.
4. Manifestos of political parties should be published in indigenous languages understood by indigenous nationalities.
5. Effective implementation of International Labour Organization Convention 169 (C169) and United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) should be guaranteed.
6. Indigenous communities not represented through direct elections and proportional representation system should be represented through recommendations of their representative and traditional institutions.
7. At least 37 per cent of candidates under direct and proportional seats for elections recommended from all geographies, departments and concerned agencies should be guaranteed from indigenous nationalities and same ratio should be ensured in acquired proportional seats.
8. The 20-point agreement signed between NEFIN and Government of Nepal on 7 August 2007 and following 9-point agreement signed with Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction on 22 May 2012 should be strictly adhered to.
9. As provided in Interim Constitution of Nepal 2007, all 26 seats to be nominated by the Council of Ministers should be ensured for indigenous nationalities. More

NEPAL: The final countdown in Nepal

March 6, 2012

PRASHANT JHA

Political parties have less than three months to resolve three issues — integration of Maoist combatants, form of government, federalism — that will shape state structure for years to come.

Five years after a peace accord marked the end of a decade long civil war, Nepal’s political transformation has entered its final phase.

On May 27, 2012, the term of the Constituent Assembly — extended four times beyond its original two-year term — will expire. And this time, politicians will not find it easy to give the CA another lease of life due to a judicial stricture. The Supreme Court (SC) has declared that the current extension is final, and if the constitution is not promulgated, there should be another election or referendum. There is also rising popular pressure to wrap up the prolonged transition, which has been accompanied by abysmal service delivery.

That gives the political forces less than three months to wrap up the peace process and write a constitution. Together, this will shape the nature of Nepal’s political institutions and security apparatus. More

NEPAL: Anti-federalism will lead to confrontation

The way in which the states will be carved, the rights to be allocated to various levels of governance and groups, on the issue of state restructuring, have created heated debates among many sectors. After the State Restructuring Commission’s report failed to bring parties together on the issue, and rather intensify the polarisation, the debates—inside parliament and out—on federalism continue. As Chairman of the Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities, Raj Kumar Lekhi has been at the forefront of the debate, speaking on behalf of marginalised communities. Also the Chairman of Tharu Kalyankarini Sabha, Lekhi spoke with Bidushi Dhungel and Gyanu Adhikari about the demands of the marginalised on state-restructuring, the Tharu perspective and the parties’ inability to explain adequately the need for federalism to the people. Excerpts: More

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