UN expert sees room for improvement for Nepal’s Indigenous People

By | 3 December, 2008

GENEVA / KATHMANDU – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous peoples, James Anaya, is “encouraged by the Government’s stated commitment to advance the rights of indigenous peoples of Nepal, comprehensively referred to as Adivasi Janajati.”

However, “much remains to be done to transform into reality the Government’s agreement to advancing their rights,” stressed Anaya in his report on Nepal to the Human Rights Council.

The UN Expert, who visited Nepal 24 November to 2 December 2008, reviews in his report the human rights situation of the Adivasi Janajati, analysing the ongoing process of constitution-making and political transition as it relates to them.

The report assesses the implementation of Nepal’s expressed initiatives to secure the rights of the Adivasi Janajati, as reflected in Nepal’s ratification of the International Labour Organization Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, 1989 (No. 169) and its support of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, as well as in a number of policy and law reforms at the domestic level.

While noting developments by the Government of Nepal, Anaya highlights a number of ongoing human rights concerns related to a history of discrimination against the Adivasi Janajati.

Conscious of the challenges involved in Nepal’s period of transition to democracy, the Special Rapporteur offers several recommendations that may serve to enhance the recognition and protection of the rights of the indigenous peoples in line with the Government’s commitments, and expresses his resolve to support these efforts.

The report will be presented to the 12th session of the Human Rights Council in September.