Nepal: Indigenous people - still a long way to go
Looking back over the last 18 years in the history of Nepali Indigenous People (IP), starting from the very first International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples on August 9 in 1995 right up to 2013, there are stories of both glory and despair. Even though IPs, also known as Adivasi Janajati, comprise a significant proportion of Nepal's population, they have systematically suffered marginalisation by the dominant groups in terms of land, territories, resources, language, culture, customary laws, and political and economic opportunities.
In the two-decade-long journey of IP movements in Nepal, there have been some policy and programme reforms affecting the lives of IPs rights and development. This may be due to the change in political system and equally due to the increasing strength of IP movements which have succeeded in bringing about the creation of international multilateral and bilateral agencies for policy reforms and programme support. While the Nepalese government and international donors have started to allocate resources for the development of IPs, these are not yet adequate and measures of implementation are insufficient.
Photo: Koits-Sunuwar indigenous peoples performing dance on the occasion of International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples 2012. Credit: Dev Kumar Sunuwar
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