Nepal is in the midst of a constitutional renovation which, the government contends, promises to grant more rights to its people. Yet the current draft of the Nepali constitution contains draconian and dangerous citizenship laws that threaten to strip thousands of Nepali children of their citizenship.
As it's currently drafted, Nepali children could only gain citizenship if they were able to prove that both parents are/were Nepali citizens. But what about orphans? Children of one foreign and one Nepali parent? Children of unknown parentage? Children whose parents have lost their papers? Already, at least 800,000 Nepalis lack citizenship certificates, and this new constitutional provision would only worsen the crisis of statelessness in Nepal.
As Human Rights Watch urged this month, Nepal must broaden its provisions for citizenship to prevent a massive crisis of statelessness, and a colossal abuse of international human rights. Sign this petition to tell Nepali Government Ministers that you agree.
As your current draft is written, children must prove that both parents are or were Nepali citizens. Yet over 800,000 of your country's people currently lack citizenship papers. How could their children prove that their parents are citizens if the parents, themselves, have not been provided paperwork? Moreover, what of the children who do not know their parents, whose parents have died, or who are born of both a Nepali and a foreign parent? Surely you do not mean to exclude these thousands of children from their rights to Nepali citizenship.
Your citizens deserve to be protected and given rights--not criminalized and forced to bear an unreasonable burden of proof as to their right to remain in Nepal.
I join Human Rights Watch in urging you to immediately revisit these problematic clauses to prevent a statelessness crisis in your country which would be a burden that would, undoubtedly, fall on the international community.