Nepal: VIDEO - The exclusion of indigenous people in political decisionmaking

Nepal’s indigenous people (IP) had hoped that their important stake in the historic Constitution-drafting process would be recognised and that, in the new Constitution, their rights would be legally protected in a manner consistent with the basic principles of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention 169. But their expectations were frustrated, as the Constitution-making process ended on 28 May without a finalised Constitution, thereby raising controversy over the indigenous peoples' main demand – identity-based federalism.

In fact, indigenous people claim to have been excluded from the decisionmaking processes of the Constituent Assembly (CA) since its birth in 2008; they complain that their communities have not been consulted and that the outnumbered indigenous representatives within the CA are not able to participate effectively in major political decisions. This is partially, claim that IPs, because indigenous MPs feel more accountable to their political parties than to the communities they supposedly represent. 

While Nepal's Interim Constitution contains provisions that recognise the injustices suffered by indigenous people and their inherent right to participate in political life, IPs are sceptical about the likelihood of the State to fulfil its promises. Indigenous groups demand a Constitution that provides for their right to self-determination by establishing autonomous federal states based on racial, historical, lingual, and geographical existence. This, they argue, is the only way that the State can guarantee their right to participate in political decisionmaking. 

Photo: Indigenous people take to the street to mark International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples 2012. Credit: Dev Kumar Sunuwar

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Dev Kumar Sunuwar

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Telephone - 977-9841666831

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Date: 30/06/2014




Indigenous Peoples

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