Shadow report on violations of indigenous children’s rights in Nepal submitted to the UN

US-based NGO Cultural Survival, together with CEmSoJ and other organizations, today submitted a shadow report on violations of indigenous children’s rights for the review of Nepal under the 72nd session of Committee on the Rights of the Child. The review of Nepal is scheduled for 19-20 May, 2016.

The report details continuing violations of rights of indigenous children in relation to constitutional rights, citizenship rights, early marriage, health, education, violence against children, trafficking, child labor and ineffective post-earthquake aid.

Consequently, following recommendations were made to the Government of Nepal:

1. Disaggregate data to establish funding priorities for Indigenous children, full and effective participation of Indigenous peoples should be ensured in census processes and national census data should be disaggregated by Indigenous ethnicity or nationality, and gender, taking into account the criterion of self-identification.

2. Prioritize disaster relief to Indigenous and other rural marginalized people who have been hardest impacted by the 2015 earthquake but have not received adequate services.

3. Ensure that policies to address early child marriage are developed with full participation and consultation with Indigenous Peoples.

4. Develop a concrete implementation strategy and budget allocation for combatting child labour practices, in consultation with Indigenous Peoples.

5. Develop measures to combat the sexual exploitation and trafficking of girls to specifically address the causal factors that disproportionately impact on Indigenous girls.

6. Food security for Indigenous peoples should be improved, particularly for those impacted by national parks and development projects.

7. All Indigenous children should have equal access to quality education as provided under Article 14 of UNDRIP.

8. Existing plans for bilingual education should be enforced as a matter of priority in order to promote the revitalization and development of Adivasi Janajati languages, including by allocating the required human and financial resources to allow for effective implementation of such programmes.

9. Renewed efforts to promote the rights of Indigenous women should be urgently put in place, including measures to eliminate all forms of discrimination and violence against them, with the active involvement of Indigenous women and their organizations. Such measures should be specifically targeted to the most at risk populations addressing root causes such as poverty, economic marginalization, land loss and economic migration.

10. A plan of urgency should be developed in order to confront the social and economic conditions of Adivasi Janajati communities listed as endangered or highly marginalized Indigenous groups, including the former bonded labourers such as the Kamaiyas and Kamalaris.

11. In partnership with Indigenous Peoples, train teachers and administrators within the education system on culturally appropriate curriculum and diversity training.

12. Implement policies to train teachers and administrators within the education system to abandon the use of corporal punishment.

13. Implement the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples Outcome Document, beginning with drafting a National Plan of Action to achieve the ends of UNDRIP.

14. Invite the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to make an official visit to Nepal.

Background of the report

Of the total 27.8 million population of Nepal, the population of children under 18-years stands approximately 11.8 million, representing 44.4 percent of the total population of Nepal. Total population of children under 14 years of age is 31.6 percent. The population of Indigenous children stands at 36 percent of the total population of children, or 4.3 million. A large portion of the population of Nepal (37 %) is under age 15, while 11% population are under 5-years. There is a smaller portion of children under 5 years in urban than rural areas. Indigenous peoples consist of 37.2% of the total population of Nepal. The Nepalese government recognizes 59 Indigenous groups. In a 2011 report, the UN estimated that of the Indigenous Peoples in Nepal, 0.5 million people to are endangered and highly marginalized.

During the decade-long conflict between the Maoists and the Government of Nepal, which ended with the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2006, over 10,000 children became victims of human trafficking for military purposes and served as child soldiers in the Maoist army. There is a long history of Nepali Indigenous Peoples’ struggle against state oppression, exclusion and discrimination. Discrimination and oppression by the state has a direct effect on children.

Read more in the full report here

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