Discrimination against Ethnic Nepali Children in Bhutan: Submission from Human Rights Watch to the Committee on the Rights of the Child
Human Rights Watch
New York, NY: Human Rights Watch
September 2007, pages
Enumerates the violations of the Bhutanese government against the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) to include deprivation of nationality and identity; denial of the right to return to one's own country; discrimination resulting in thwarting access to education, health care, and landownership; restricting minority use of culture or language; and sexual violence against females. These assertions are based on interviews with 150 Bhutanese citizens living in Nepal or India. The history of discrimination by the Bhutanese monarchy toward an ethnic minority living in southern Bhutan results in the deprivation of nationality and statelessness which violates articles seven and eight of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Continued discrimination against ethnic Nepalese children in Bhutan exists causing restricted access to education, health care, employment, land ownership. The children cannot celebrate their cultural trademarks with traditional clothing, food, and holiday celebrations. Sexual violence against girls and women is pervasive making them feel unsafe in the refugee camps. Recommendations from Human Rights Watch include amending Bhutanese citizenship laws to remove discrimination and eliminate the four-tiered citizenship process currently used to restrict this ethnic minority.