UNPFII22: Agenda Item: 4 – Discussion on the six mandated areas of the permanent forum (economic and social development, culture, environment, education, health and human rights), with reference to the UNDRIP and 2030 Agenda for sustainable development.
Joint Statement of Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP) and Lawyers’ Association for Human Rights of Nepalese Indigenous Peoples (LAHURNIP) to the
United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII)
Twenty-Second Session: 17-28 April 2023, New York
Item: 4: Discussion on the six mandated areas of the permanent forum (economic and social development, culture, environment, education, health and human rights), with reference to the UNDRIP and 2030 Agenda for sustainable development.
25 April 2023
Presented by Mr. Durga Mani Rai, LAHURNIP
Our rights to self-determination are the basic requirement for our democracy and development. Articles 3 and 4 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples have protected our right to self-determination, autonomy and self-government for our socio-economic, cultural and political development.
We, the Indigenous Peoples of Nepal, share more than 50% of the total population in the country, have experienced centuries of systematic discrimination and marginalization socially, culturally, politically, and economically. Half of the population of 90 percent of Indigenous groups are experiencing extreme poverty.
We are experiencing land dispossession, forced eviction, destruction of our traditional territories in the name of protected areas, development and business activities that have pushed our communities towards further marginalization.
Our inherent rights to self-determination, Land Territories and Resources have not been recognized though Nepal is a party to ILO 169, and a signatory to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
The CERD concluding observations of 2018 to Nepal is concerned on the absence of laws guaranteeing the rights of Indigenous Peoples to own, use and develop their traditional lands and resources. CEDAW committee made a recommendation (CEDAW/C/NPL/CO/6) in 2018 to amend the constitution to recognize the rights of indigenous women, in particular, their right to self-determination
Article 56 (5) of the constitution of Nepal provisioned special, protected, autonomous and cultural regions for the socio-cultural and economic development of Indigenous Peoples. Supreme Court has issued a directive order to the government of Nepal in December 2018 to devise necessary laws to ensure the autonomy of Indigenous Peoples. But those are not translated into actions.
We want the forum to include our following concerns in the report and take needful initiatives to get our demands heard.
- Implement the recommendations of CERD and CEDAW, 2018
- Recognize our right to self-determination, autonomy and self-government, and judicial system for our democracy and development
- Recognize our rights to land territories and resources including Free Prior and Informed Consent.
- Establish special, protected and autonomous regions of Indigenous peoples as provisioned in the constitution of Nepal