FPP and signatory organisations from around the world have sent an Open Letter to WWF International, calling for thorough, fair and transparent investigations into serious allegations of abuses in WWF projects in Cameroon, Nepal, India and elsewhere.
KATHMANDU, May 13: Indigenous communities have lauded the Supreme Court´s (SC) recent order on filling the 26 vacant CA seats with representatives of indigenous communities that have not been represented in the CA. They have expressed hope that the implementation of the decision would make the new Constituent Assembly (CA) to be more inclusive. Of the total CA seats, 575 have already been filled, with only 23 of the total 59 scheduled indigenous communities represented at present.
What are the prospects for securing the land rights of indigenous peoples, local communities, and women in the foreseeable future?
Significantly, the report of the United Nations Secretary-General’s High Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, under Goal 1 to “End Poverty”, sets a target to “Increase by x% the share of women and men, communities, and businesses with secure rights to land, property, and other assets”.
The contours of “New Nepal” we all dream of cannot be shaped without appropriately addressing the concerns being raised by the indigenous women, who comprise half the female population. Traditionally, these women enjoyed greater degree of freedom and socioeconomic status than those from the so-called high caste Hindu groups such as Bahun, Chhetri, and Thakuri, who were restricted by pervasive patriarchy and religious orthodoxy. Unlike these women of the Indo-Aryan origin, the indigenous women were adept in handicrafts and other enterprises and freely participated in socio-cultural events. They faced no restriction during menstruation and were even free to choose their life partner and to remarry if they became single. They were also less affected by the dowry system.
1. Destruction at Dawn: The Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the Republic of Nepal
An in-depth report into the development of the Arun III hydropower project and the challenges it, and projects like it, pose to the Nepali government commitments to protect the rights and interests of indigenous peoples (LAHURNIP, NGO-FONIN and FPP).
The importance of ensuring respect for the rights of forest peoples’ to control their forests, lands and livelihoods, becomes ever clearer and yet more contested. As the articles in this edition of our newsletter starkly reveal, land and resource grabs are not just being imposed by commercial developers but are being actively promoted by governments, whose principle responsibility should be to protect the rights of citizens. Yet these same impositions are also being resisted, sometimes at great personal cost, by local communities and indigenous peoples.
This submission had been made jointly by the Nepal Indigenous Women’s Federation (NIWF), the Lawyer’s Association for the Human Rights of Nepal’s Indigenous Peoples (LAHURNIP) and by the Forest Peoples Programme (FPP).
In July, the 49th Session of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) met in New York. Indigenous women in Nepal, under the umbrella of the Nepal Indigenous Women’s Federation (NIWF), attended the session for the first time to defend and explain the findings that they had presented to the Committee in their Shadow Report.
The report was supported also by the Lawyer’s Association for the Human Rights of Nepal’s Indigenous Peoples (LAHURNIP) and by the Forest Peoples Programme, and represented the first national level, self-researched and written, report on the status of indigenous women in the newly emerging Nepalese republic.
A shadow report to the 49th Session of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), jointly submitted by the National Indigenous Women's Federation (NIWF), the Lawyers' Association for Human Rights of Nepalese Indigenous Peoples (LAHURNIP) and Forest Peoples Programme (FPP).
In January 2010, the Indigenous Peoples Mega Front, the Lawyers' Association for Human Rights of Nepalese Indigenous Peoples (LAHURNIP) and the Forest Peoples Programme (FPP) submitted a request to the United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of Indigenous Peoples, following Nepal's failure to comply with UN recommendations regarding the exclusion of indigenous peoples from the revision of Nepal's Constitution. Link to the Request to UN Special Rapporteur
(See CERD's September 2009 communication to Nepal, in related reports)Submission to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of Indigenous Peoples (SRIP)By the Indigenous Peoples Mega Front, the Lawyers' Association for Human Rights of Nepalese Indigenous Peoples (LAHURNIP), and the Forest Peoples Programme
Letter to Ambassador of Nepal from CERD
(Also see July NGO submission to CERD)
Submission to the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination concerning the exclusion of indigenous peoples from the process of drafting Nepal's new constitution. Submitted by ten indigenous peoples organisations and FPP