23 April 2019

Major Highlights

National Human Rights Commission-Nepal raised concern over the draft bill on NHRC Act amendment.

–  Circular from Ministry of Home Affairs eased the youths (whose parents have citizenship certificate by birth) to access Citizenship certificates.

–  Windstorm affected a large number of families in Bara and Parsa district.


  1. NHRC raised serious concern over the draft bill on NHRC Act amendment

National Human Rights Commission- Nepal issued a press statement [1] on April 16, raising serious concerns on National Human Rights Commission Act, 2012 (Amendment) Draft Bill that has been prepared by Nepal government. The NHRC believes the draft bill will adversely affect its   autonomy and independence.

According to NHRC press statement the bill, which has been passed by the Council of Ministers and has been sent to the Federal Parliament of Nepal, has completely ignored the suggestions provided by NHRC in that regard.

THRDA supports the call of NHRC and also request the Government of Nepal to rethink and revise the bill assuring the maximum autonomy and independence of the National Human Rights Commission.

  1. Circular from Ministry of Home Affairs eased children of citizens by birth)to access Citizenship certificates.

On 2 April 2019, the Ministry of Home Affairs had issued circulars (Annex-1) to all district administration office directing them to issue citizenship by descent to children of citizens by birth.

The Home Ministry cited Article 11 (3) of the constitution that guarantees the right of the children of citizens by birth to obtain citizenship by descent. Article  11 ( 3)  of the Constitution of Nepal stated, “A child of a citizen having obtained the citizenship of Nepal by birth prior to the commencement of this Constitution shall, upon attaining majority, acquire the citizenship of Nepal by descent if the child’s father and mother both are citizens of Nepal.”

The Home Ministry issued the circulars as DAOs were refusing citizenship to children of citizens by birth, citing lack of the enactment of new federal citizenship law.

Following the issuance of Home Ministry circulars, DAOs had started issuing citizenship by descent to the children of citizens by birth, but had to halt the process after the single bench of Supreme Court Justice Purushottam Bhandari stayed the circular on April 8. This stay order issued in response to a case field by Senior Advocate Bal Krishna Neupane was, however, vacated by a division bench of the apex court comprising Justices Hari Krishna Karki and Bam Kumar Shrestha on April 16 following which the DAOs resumed distribution of citizenship by descent to children of citizens by birth.

SC’s latest ruling in favour of the children of citizens by birth brought a huge relief to the children of citizens by birth who had not been able to enroll  in education institutions, open bank accounts, obtain driving licenses and avail of formal sector employment opportunities due to lack of citizenship. Nepal has 170,042 citizens by birth. In this case, THRD Alliance and some other lawyers had made a third party intervention in the court to argue on behalf of the children of citizens by birth.

It may be noted here that stateless people supported by THRD Alliance had submitted multiple memorandums to the Home Minister in the past, urging it to facilitate distribution of citizenship to children of citizens by birth and other eligible persons. THRD Alliance had also provided legal aid to almost two dozen stateless people to file their cases in the High Courts and Supreme Court seeking citizenship and in most of these cases filed by children of citizens by birth, the courts ruled in their favour. The division bench of the SC cited these verdicts to vacate the order of Justice Purushottam Bhandari who had stayed the government’s circular.

It is essential to monitor the citizenship distribution process as per the circular and Supreme Court ruling as there has been report of non cooperation from DAO and obstacles to get recommendation from the local units.

  1. Windstorm affected a large number of families in Bara and Parsa district

At least 27 people were killed by a tornado on 31 March 2017 in the southern district of Bara and Parsa. According to the government, over 600 people were injured and more than 1897 family were affected by the tornado. Pheta rural municipality of Bara saw the highest number of human casualties.

Although national and international non-governmental organizations,  provincial and federal government provided food and other relief materials to the windstorm victims, their support remains far from enough as the victims lack adequate food and toilets. Most of the relief materials, including  rice, lentils, clothes, hand pumps and other materials remain stored in the local level’s storerooms and  concerned local levels keep telling the victims that they would distribute those relief materials to the needy after making assessment.

Victims say they had a fear that the elected representatives could favour some victims and discriminate against others on grounds of their political leanings.

Victims of the windstorm openly defecate in the areas which raises the risk of spread of diseases. Federal and provincial governments have pledged to rebuild the homes of victims destroyed by the tornado, but locals say they might have to live under tent this monsoon season as the government had not initiated the process to build their homes.

The stakeholders need to make three types of intervention to insure their fundamental rights: They need to rebuild the houses of the victims, provide enough food materials and build toilets for the victims. Stakeholders also need to ensure that people affected by the tornado have access to adequate drinking water and sanitation.



Unofficial Translation

Ministry of Home Affaires

Citizenship and National Identity Card Management Branch


Date: 2 April 2019

Subject: Regarding citizenship certificate of the children of citizens by birth

All 77 District Administration Offices,

Since a bill registered in the Parliament to amend the Citizenship Act, 2006 is still under consideration and the Honorable Supreme Court has also passed orders telling the government to grant citizenship by descent to the  children of citizens by birth,  it is necessary to address the problems faced by children of citizens by birth, who have been facing obstacles in their quest of pursuing education and career development and hence you are notified that a ministry level decision was reached on April 1 to give citizens by descent to the children of those people who have received citizenship by birth as per Article 11 (3) of the constitution if the applicants sought citizenship attaching the evidence of their father and mother obtaining Nepali citizenship. You are requested to give citizenship by descent to children of citizens by birth by fulfilling the procedures stipulated in citizenship Act, 2206, Citizenship Rules, 2006 and Citizenship Distribution Manual, 2006.



Ganga Prasad Neupane

(Under Secretary)

Carbon copies sent to:

The Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, Singhdurbar, Kathmandu

Office of the Chief Minister and Council of Ministers,

Province no.1/ Province no.2/ Province no.3/ Gandaki Province/ Province no.5/ Karnali province / Sudur Paschim province

[1] http://www.nhrcnepal.org/nhrc_new/doc/newsletter/NHRC_Press_Release_Concern_Amendment%20Bill_NHRC_2076-01-03.pdf


Click for Pdf file Human Rights Situation updates_THRD Alliance (1)