• Indigenous peoples in Nepal

    Indigenous peoples in Nepal

    The Nepalese population is comprised by 125 caste and ethnic groups. Nepal has adopted the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. However, the constitution denies the collective rights and aspirations for identity-based federalism of indigenous peoples, and Nepal’s indigenous peoples are thus still facing a number of challenges.
  • Peoples

    36 per cent of Nepal’s total population of 26.5 million are of indigenous nationalities, according to the latest census. Indigenous peoples’ organizations claim a figure of more than 50 per cent
  • Diversity

    125 caste and ethnic groups together constitute the Nepalese population
  • Rights

    2007: Nepal adopts the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
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  • Nepal: Indigenous Nationalities’ Comprehensive Conference concludes with a 12-point declaration

Nepal: Indigenous Nationalities’ Comprehensive Conference concludes with a 12-point declaration

A three-day conference of indigenous nationalities held from 29 April in Nepal’s western city of Pokhara has concluded issuing a 12-point declaration. The declaration calls for ensuring identity-based federalism with rights to self-determination and autonomy of Nepal’s indigenous nationalities so as to incorporate basic and collective identity and existence of indigenous while restructuring the state in new constitution.

Nepal, following a decade long Maoist war that transformed it into a federal republic from constitutional monarchy, is set to write a new constitution by 28 May. Rights to consultation and free, prior and informed consent of indigenous peoples have been disregarded in the process despite recommendations from international human rights mechanisms. Meanwhile, UN Secretary General, in a statement on 14 May, has expressed concern over rising (inter-community) tensions in Nepal linked future federal system of Nepal. The statement reads, “It is important to adhere to existing agreements to meet the aspirations of traditionally marginalized groups. At the same time, efforts should be made to assuage the concerns of communities who fear they would be disadvantaged under a federal system.”



IWGIA - International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs - is a global human rights organisation dedicated to promoting, protecting and defending indigenous peoples’ rights. Read more.

Indigenous World

IWGIA's global report, the Indigenous World, provides an update of the current situation for indigenous peoples worldwide. Read The Indigenous World.

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