U.S. Statement at the UPR of Nepal

23rd Session, November 4, 2015
As delivered by Amanda Jessen

The United States welcomes the delegation of Nepal.

We commend Nepal for establishing two transitional justice mechanisms to account for conflict-era human rights abuses, and finalizing a constitution enshrining the principle of non-discrimination for members of various groups.  We thank Nepal for hosting vulnerable refugees and for supporting third-country resettlement for Bhutanese refugees.

We encourage robust implementation of Nepal’s new policy limiting recruitment fees to help ensure migrant workers are not charged fees that make them more vulnerable to exploitation abroad.

We are concerned about discriminatory access to earthquake relief—particularly among Dalits and members of other marginalized groups—and about provisions in the Constitution that appear to restrict proselytizing  and voluntary religious conversion, as well as  provisions on citizenship that may discriminate against women and increase the risk of statelessness.  We are also concerned that over 20 years have passed since the last registration of Tibetan refugees, leaving the majority of the population undocumented without the right to work and ability to travel.

Bearing in mind these concerns, we recommend that Nepal:

  1. Ensure that earthquake relief engages and addresses the needs of members of vulnerable communities, including Dalits, and promotes decent work.
  2. Consider amending the Constitution to strike provisions that appear to curtail religious freedoms, and to allow women to convey their citizenship to their children and foreign spouses on an equal basis with men.
  3. Register refugees and provide documentation so they are able to work, access education, and travel.