MPs committed to ‘or’ provision for citizenship

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

Mar 26, 2015-

Lawmakers have expressed commitment to change the “and” provision into “or” allowing either of the parents to pass on citizenship to their children.

All of the 70-odd lawmakers present in a discussion organised by the Forum for Women, Law and Development in the capital on Thursday said they would amend the draft provision on citizenship approved by the Political Dialogue and Consensus Committee (PDCC) of the Constituent Assembly.

The PDCC approved provision that requires both father and mother of an applicant for citizenship to be Nepali citizen. Experts call it regressive as the Interim Constitution stipulates that citizenship should be granted if one of the parents is a Nepali citizen.

Despite the existing provision, bureaucrats in District Administration Offices across the country repeatedly deny issuing citizenship in the name of mother. Citizenship rights activists claim that the “and” provision essentially renders thousands of children of single mothers stateless. Making a presentation at the programme, CA member Radheshyam Adhikari said the controversial “and” provision puts millions of rightful Nepali citizens at risk of being stateless. “It is wrong to deny citizenship to children born to Nepali mothers,” he said. “Such children are deprived of economic, social and political rights limiting their mobility within the country as they cannot travel abroad in the absence of legal papers.”

Experts have termed the fear that overwhelming number of children born to Nepali women married to Indian men will secure citizenships in the county thereby threatening the demographic composition as an “ultra-nationalist tendency” of politicians.

Published: 27-03-2015 08:19

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