Nepal | July 05, 2020

Protect rights of LGBTI people, ICJ tells govt

Himalayan News Service
Share Now:

Kathmandu, December 21

International Commission of Jurists has called on the Government of Nepal to fully implement the court’s ruling on the protection of the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people.

In 2007, the Supreme Court of Nepal had delivered a judgment directing the government to take necessary measures to ensure that people of diverse gender identities and sexual orientations could fully enjoy their rights without discrimination. However, 10 years after the judgment, LGBTI persons are denied equal protection of the law and their rights are still not fully protected.

“The SC’s 2007 judgment gave hope to LGBTI people in Nepal and inspired judiciaries in the region and the world,” said Frederick Rawski, ICJ’s Asia director. “Despite some positive measures, the government has much more work to do to implement the judgment and ensure that the rights of the LGBTI community in Nepal are fully respected.”

The SC based its findings on international human rights law and standards, particularly in respect of the right to non-discrimination and equality and the right to privacy. The court relied in particular on Nepal’s legal obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The court strongly rejected arguments that a person’s LGBTI status was the result of ‘emotional and psychological disorders’, and found that the petitioners faced violence, stigmatisation and discrimination because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Since then, some steps have been taken. The 2015 Constitution that was ultimately adopted contains provisions guaranteeing the right to equality for all citizens and establishing special provisions for the protection, empowerment and advancement of gender and ‘sexual minorities’. Pursuant to a subsequent Supreme Court ruling, transgender men and women can now change their gender markers to ‘O’ on official documents. However, to use ‘M’ or ‘F’, they still face prohibitive and unclear restrictions. A recently tabled bill would also criminalise unnecessary medical interventions and provide some, though incomplete, protections to intersex children.

Despite these developments, discrimination against LGBTI people remains rampant in the labour market, in schools and in hospitals. LGBTI people are mistreated and sometimes disowned by their families and singled out for physical attack – often beaten, sexually assaulted and subjected to severe physical abuse. Recent revisions to the Civil Code (2017), effective from mid-August 2018, do not recognise equality before the law related to family life, said the ICJ.

“These violations continue in the absence of a state strategy or political will to tackle them,” added Rawski. “The government should prioritise enacting reforms to ensure the protection of the rights of LGBTI persons.” The ICJ also called on the government to fully implement all aspects of the 2007 ruling and subsequent SC rulings affecting LGBTI communities.

 


A version of this article appears in print on December 22, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.


Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Nepal's Covid-19 recovery rate sees improvement in the last 7 days

KATHMANDU: Nepal has witnessed a relatively significant rise in the number of COVID-19 recovery cases in the last seven days, compared to the past weeks, adding a glimmer of hope as the nation as a whole grapples with the rapidly rising number of positive cases. In the last week alone, as many as Read More...

Locusts devour crops on 1,100 hectares

KATHMANDU, JULY 3 Desert locusts have damaged crops cultivated on 1,100 hectares of land across the country. According to the Locusts Information Centre, eight districts have reported damage caused by locusts till date. Of them, Dang is the worst hit and Palpa the least. The locusts devoure Read More...

World Bank elevates Nepal to ‘lower middle income economy’

Country saw its GNI per capita rise to $1,090 in 2019, but economists says it doesn’t mean much in terms of development KATHMANDU, JULY 3 Nepal is now officially a lower-middle income country, an upgrade from its previous status as low income nation, according to the World Bank’s latest coun Read More...

Oli, Dahal in bid to save NCP unity

If the two co-chairs fail to act as per the spirit of the party unity document, maintaining party unity will be difficult  - NCP leader Mani Thapa KATHMANDU, JULY 3 Co-chairs of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) — Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli — held talks for thr Read More...

Kailali's Bhajani Municipality, Joshipur Rural Municipality inundated

KAILALI, JULY 3 Bhajani and Joshipur of Kailali have been inundated after floodwaters gushed into the settlements. According to eyewitnesses, many houses in Wards 2, 3, 6 and 8 of Bhajani Municipality have been inundated. Local Ganga Chaudhary said floodwaters from local Kandra and Kadha ri Read More...

Ministry develops guidelines for rehab centres

KATHMANDU, JULY 3 The Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizens has developed guidelines for operation of rehabilitation centres to ensure that vulnerable persons at the centres do not contract COVID-19. MoWCSC said the new guidelines would be effective until Nepal was declared coronavir Read More...

Nepali Congress Ram Chandra Paudel

Country pushed into crisis: Paudel

DAMAULI, JULY 3 Senior Nepali Congress leader Ramchandra Paudel said sudden prorogation of the Parliament was unfortunate for the nation. “At a time when the nation is fighting a deadly disease, the decision to prorogue the Parliament has pushed the country further into the crisis,” said t Read More...

Holding centre in Khotang

KHOTANG, JULY 3 A 10-bed holding centre has been established in Diktel, the district headquarters of Khotang, for returnees. According to Chief District Officer and District COVID-19 Crisis Management Centre coordinator Shaligram Sharma Poudel, Nepali Army personnel and Red Cross staff jointly Read More...