TWA submits crucial report on Nepal to UN CEDAW

Shadow report on Nepal addresses the treatment of Tibetan women in Nepal

Mingyur la CEDAWDharamsala: On the first day of the 49th session of the United Nations Convention for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the Tibetan Women’s Association has respectfully submitted a shadow report on Nepal in response to Nepal’s combined fourth and fifth periodic report. Nepal is among the eight countries whose periodic reports will be reviewed at the CEDAW meeting (July 11 -29). Past reports submitted in 1997 and 2003 by the Government of Nepal have lacked any mention of refugees or internally displaced people. The report submitted by Nepal this year makes slight mention of refugee women in Nepal, but does not reference the plight of Tibetan women. Nepal claims that they have “been providing adequate protection and treatment to refugee women victimized by gender-based violence” but TWA claims that events documented since the submission of Nepal’s first report to CEDAW in 1997 would show otherwise.

The ten-paged report deals extensively with the rights of female refugees in Nepal, particularly the treatment of Tibetan women in Nepal by Nepali police during arrest and the contradiction to the stipulations of Article 3 and 4 of the Convention. These articles are meant to guarantee basic human rights and fundamental freedoms and to accelerate equality between men and women. The report also dwells on the impediments on the political rights of Tibetan Women in Nepal despite Articles 7 and 8 of the Convention, which guarantee political, public and international participation for women.

Through this report, TWA has placed four recommendations for the Government of Nepal to:

1) Fully implement the provisions of CEDAW, ensuring that the stipulations therein are translated into appropriate legislation to effectively protect the rights of women in member countries.

2) Take all necessary action to end arbitrary arrests, including unlawful and preventive arrests, of Tibetans and others engaged in peaceful political activity or otherwise going about their daily lives.

3) Publicly oppose the deportation of any Tibetan who faces a risk of persecution or torture under the Chinese government, and taking all necessary action, including the issuance of warnings and the imposition of disciplinary action, against Nepali police who threaten Tibetans with deportation.

4) Issue orders to all police officers to cease sexual assaults on female protesters and conduct investigations into sexual assaults on protesters that have taken place since the submission of the last CEDAW report, and thereby have the individuals responsible prosecuted.

TWA’s report is now made available on the website of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner of Human Rights:
http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/cedaw/docs/ngos/TWA_Nepal49.pdf

The vice president of TWA chapter in Nepal, Mingyur will attend the meeting for two weeks (July 15 to 29). Mingyur will represent Tibetan women in Nepal, observe the proceedings of the meeting and lobby the state participants.

As an organization committed to defending the rights of Tibetan Women, TWA has complete faith in the United Nations and its convention for the protection of women’s rights as the strongest avenue to report the true status of Tibetan women as oppressed citizens in Tibet and as
threatened refugees in host countries (in this case, Nepal) that employ an unnecessary hard-line policy.

TWA is the second largest Tibetan Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in the world with a focus on the human rights of Tibetan women in Tibet, Tibetan women in exile, and refugee women from Tibet. In keeping with their mission, TWA has developed this shadow report to
address the treatment of Tibetan women in Nepal. TWA’s slogan is advocacy for home and action in exile.

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