Delay in constitution implementation hits marginalized community

Thakur Prasad Dulal/Pahichan – Members of gender and sexual minority are compelled to live their lives sands political and civil rights for the ages. Homosexual male and female, transgender male and female, bisexual female and female and inter-sex fall under this category. According to a study, members of this community constitute the 10 percent of total population. In Nepal it is estimated that half million members of this community have disclosed their identity. Central Bureau of Statics has not collected any official data about the members of this community.

Members of this community began their organized campaign since 2001 and former lawmaker Sunil Babu Pant played a vital role to highlight the agenda of this community. He established a fact that along with male and female, people with different gender identity live in the society and their protection is needed. He also founded Blue Diamond Society and started to organize the members of this community.

Initially, the organization was registered with a purpose of providing services related to human health. The organization distributed condoms in the various parts of the city to protect the health of this community. Initially, there was not any support for this community. Gradually, the organization started to receive the support of donors, and it was expanded by size and staff and working areas. The organization filed a case at Supreme Court demanding to legalize the same sex marriage which has generated a lot of hope among the members of this community.

The court provided directions to government to provide citizenship on the basis of citizenship on the basis of identity legalize the same sex-marriage and scrap the laws which are adverse to this community. Following the court verdict, Ministry of Home Affairs issued a notice in the name of District Administration Offices across the country to provide citizenship on the basis of gender identity.

Similarly, government also formed a committee to suggest the ways for legalizing the same-sex marriage. The report submitted by the government is under consideration and process to formulate a bill on legalizing the same-sex marriage is underway.  This is one of remarkable progress that has taken place in the last one decade which also serves as an example for South Asia.

However, civil and criminal laws have not been amended yet. In the previous CA, there was the presence of Sunil Babu Pant which succeeded to incorporate the sexual orientation in the draft of the constitution. But, second CA deleted the words. But, new constitution has ensured citizenship on the basis of citizenship and there would not be discrimination on the basis of gender identity. Similarly, article 42 of the constitution has ensured the proportional and inclusive representation of this community.

Though there is Supreme Court verdict and constitutional provisions, members of this community are being denied from citizenship on the basis of their identity. Many District Administration Offices are demanding the medical report before issuing the citizenship on the basis of identity. Few districts have already issued citizenship but there are still problems in some districts. Members of this community are in confusion as there are no provisions about providing the photocopy of the citizenship. This is happening due to the traditional mindset of our bureaucracy and society which needs a drastic change.

Due to the political complexities, the process of constitution implementation has been sluggish which has sprouted pessimism among the people. It is a time of kick-starting the journey of peace, development and prosperity but we are still engaged in dissatisfaction. Due to the delay in the implementation of constitution, the process of reservation for the marginalized community is yet to take the place. Therefore, members of this community are putting pressure on lawmakers to implement the constitution which will help to cement their rights written in the constitution.