The committee on the rights of the child 72nd



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THE COMMITTEE ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD
72nd Session (17 May – 3 June 2016)

NEPAL
Additional Information for the consideration of the Committee in relation to the right of every child to acquire a nationality under Article 7 CRC
15 April 2016

Introduction


  1. The Forum for Women, Law and Development (FWLD),1 the Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion (the Institute),2 and the Global Campaign for Equal Nationality Rights (the Campaign)3 welcome the opportunity to submit additional information for the consideration of the Committee on the Rights of the Child regarding Nepal’s compliance towards every child’s right to acquire a nationality under Article 7 CRC.




  1. This submission builds on the joint submission made by the 3 organisations prior to the 69th Pre-Sessional Working Group of the Committee4 and the Universal Periodic Review of Nepal at the 23rd session of the UPR;5 and relates to the List of Issues on Nepal, published by the Committee. Its purpose is to share with the Committee, important updates for the Committee’s consideration before the 72nd Session of the CRC. In this regard, it must be noted with regret that the replies of Nepal to the List of Issues have not yet been made available for comment.




  1. This submission comments on relevant aspects of the List of Issues, before providing updates in relation to the new Constitution of Nepal, the recent Universal Periodic Review of Nepal and important jurisprudence of the Supreme Court of Nepal. The submission also provides the Committee with a brief overview of the Nepal’s Citizenship Act and Rules, before concluding with recommendations for the Committee to bear in mind when reviewing Nepal at the 72nd Session.



List of Issues


  1. The List of Issues poses two relevant questions to the state:


5. Please indicate whether the State party intends to make birth registration compulsory, and describe the measures being taken to address the low rate of birth registration and to eliminate the obstacles encountered with respect to the registration at birth of children of single mothers, refugee and asylum-seeking children, children born to a foreign father and abandoned children.
6. Please clarify whether the new Constitution and relevant laws will allow children with only one Nepali parent to acquire Nepali nationality. Please inform the Committee of the measures envisioned to address the situation of statelessness of Tibetan refugee children.


  1. While welcoming the inclusion of these two questions, we draw the Committee’s attention to the fact that it is possible to answer these questions in a manner which shows progress – as a result of Nepal’s Constitutional reform – but does not address remaining concerns related to prevailing gender discrimination under Nepali law, and its implications on the child’s right to a nationality. A question which directly raised the issue of gender discrimination in Nepal’s nationality law and its impact on the child’s right to acquire a nationality would have addressed this gap.




  1. In the List of Issues, the Committee also has invited the state to provide updates on “new bills and laws and their respective regulations”. The relevance of this request to the right of every child to acquire a nationality, in light of the new Constitution of Nepal, is self-evident.





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