This oral statement on the Outcome of the Universal Periodic Review of Nepal was broadcasted at the 47th session of the Human Rights Council. Watch the video here.
Thank you, President.
YUWA makes this statement on behalf of the Asian-Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women and Right Here Right Now Nepal in collaboration with the Sexual Rights Initiative.
We welcome the government’s acceptance of recommendations on decriminalisation of abortion and the protection of sexual and reproductive health and rights of all through universal access to quality and adolescent-friendly health services and the full integration of comprehensive sexuality education for all.
However, we are deeply concerned by the inattention to the issues on the existing statutory limitations on rape cases and discrimination against sexual and gender minorities, including the refusal to adopt marriage equality legislation.
The existing provisions of citizenship and binary definition of marriage impede sexual and gender minorities from enjoying their fundamental rights to citizenship, employment and marriage. Necessary amendments are required in the definition of marriage and mandated medical reports need to be eliminated from provisions of the citizenship bill. With the statutory limitations of one year for rape case registration and the rapid rise in rape cases during humanitarian crises like the COVID-19 pandemic, it is urgent that the government eliminate this provision. We also urge the government to ensure stronger commitments for youth sexual and reproductive health and rights and the implementation of Safe Motherhood and Reproductive Health Rights Act, 2018.
We call on the Ministry of Education and its constituent bodies to develop and implement a comprehensive curriculum for both in and out of school settings that aligns with the International Technical Guidance on Sexuality Education. For the ambitious goals to be realised, it is vital that young people are meaningfully involved in the planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the national plans and programs. We also urge the government to enact policies to ensure meaningful and inclusive youth engagement in all the advocacy and accountability processes and to safeguard everyone’s access to sexual and reproductive health services and information across the country.