UN urges Nepal to respect verdict on discrimination against sexual minorities

Jyoti Sanghera, Acting Head of OHCHR-Nepal

16 September 2010 – The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Nepal today urged the country's Government to expedite the implementation of a Supreme Court ruling issued three years ago that upholds equal rights in the granting of citizenship and identity documents to members of sexual minorities.

OHCHR-Nepal voiced concern over what it described as structured forms of discrimination and stigmatization faced by self-described members of the third gender, and lack of respect for their human rights by the State.

The Office pointed out that under key instruments and decisions of the UN human rights mechanisms, lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender (LGBTI) and other sexual minorities have the right to non-discrimination and equality.

“In fact, Nepal is to be commended as the only South Asian country to extend equal rights to the LGBTI members via a historic Supreme Court ruling,” said Jyoti Sanghera, acting head of OHCHR-Nepal.

“My Office has deployed a team of human rights monitors for the first and second day of the protests by members of sexual minority in Kathmandu. Our monitors have reported that the protests are peaceful and the police have acted responsibly,” Mr. Sanghera said. “I call on the Government entities to respect the rule of law by implementing the court order as soon as possible,” he added.

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