Civil society concerned over PDCC report

  • Citizenship issue
- POST REPORT, Kathmandu
Civil society concerned over PDCC report

Jun 13, 2015-

An alliance of civil society organisations that have been advocating for gender equality and human rights have expressed serious concerns over the provision regarding citizenship in the report prepared by the Political Dialogue and Consensus Committee (PDCC).

The provision has it that an individual--’after coming of age’--will be able to acquire citizenship through father or mother if both the parents are Nepalis. This means that in order to be eligible for citizenship through descent both need to be Nepali citizen but either father or mother can certify the process.

The Civil Society Network on Citizenship Rights, comprising over 50 organisations, have objected the provision, arguing that the provision is discriminatory against women and that it renders thousands of Nepali children stateless. They demanded amendment to the provision allowing either of the parents to pass on citizenship to their children. “It should be the right of every individual to be able to confer citizenship through descent to their offspring,” reads the statement.  

According to the Census 2011, out of 1,034,108 children 896,800 are living with single mothers and 66,638 are living with single fathers, while 47,4777 are  living without either parent. “All of these children will be rendered stateless if this provision continues,” reads the statement.

The Interim Constitution, the Citizenship Act of 2006 and a Supreme Court directive of 2011 had allowed citizenship distribution through either mother or father. But the change of provision in the new citizenship draft bill in 2012 has made it mandatory for a citizenship applicant to prove that both of his/her parents are Nepali nationals. The provision, which is now at the CA drafting committee can still be changed.

Published: 14-06-2015 09:03

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