nearly 500,000 stateless citizens are awaiting the regularization of their situation

nearly 500000 stateless citizens are awaiting the regularization of their

In Nepal, around 500,000 people are impatiently awaiting the passage of a law which should offer them an essential right: citizenship. Since the promulgation of the new Constitution, 7 years ago, these young residents, sons of Nepalese, have fallen into a legal vacuum, and therefore have neither papers nor social assistance. The law that was supposed to solve the problem was passed by Parliament in recent weeks, but the president has just refused to sign it.

From our regional correspondent, Sebastien Farcis

For months, thousands of young stateless people of Nepalese origin have been demonstrating to demand the passage of this citizenship law. They were born in Nepal, but either their grandparents were not Nepalese or their Nepalese father died, and in this patriarchal country, the transmission of nationality is generally done through the father.

As a result, approximately 500,000 of these young people have no nationality, and cannot have an identity card, take exams or go to work abroad, for lack of a passport. This question of citizenship is extremely thorny in Nepal, and after four years of debate, the Parliament adopted this summer a law which was to solve these problems.

However, the president, from an opposition party, refused to sign the text before the expiry of the deadline on Wednesday evening, rendering the reform obsolete. This therefore transforms this question of the right to citizenship into a central subject of debate during the electoral campaign which begins for the parliamentary elections at the end of November.