RECASTING JUSTICE: SECURING DALIT RIGHTS IN NEPAL’S NEW CONSTITUTION

A Joint Statement by New York University School of Law Center for Human Rights and Global Justice (CHRGJ), Dalit NGO Federation (DNF); and International Dalit Solidarity Network (IDSN), February 23, 2009.

Link: http://www.chrgj.org/press/docs/nepalconstitutionpressrelease.pdf

EXCERPTS FROM INTRODUCTION THE JOINT STATEMENT:

“In creating the new constitution for Nepal, the Constituent Assembly has …. the opportunity to demonstrate Nepal’s commitment to the inherent dignity of all individuals. In order to fulfill these paramount goals, the rights of all of Nepal’s Dalit population—including those marginalized within the Dalit community, such as Dalit women and “lower” Dalit castes—must finally be realized.”

“This Joint Statement draws on Nepal’s international human rights obligations to identify how to best achieve the rights of Dalits—a group that has faced more than 2,000 years of systematic  discrimination on the basis of caste.”

“Experience in Nepal and other caste-affected countries such as India has shown that guaranteeing rights on paper is not enough, and that strong implementation and enforcement is critical to closing the gap between a constitutional vision and the social reality which has characterized Nepal’s human rights record to date.”

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