This shadow report has been prepared by the Tibetan Women's Association (TWA) in response to Nepal's combined fourth and fifth periodic report to the 49th session of the Convention for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). TWA is the second largest Tibetan Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in the world with a focus on the human rights of Tibetan women in Tibet, Tibetan women in exile, and refugee women from Tibet. In keeping with their mission, TWA has developed this shadow report to address the treatment of Tibetan women in Nepal.
The Treatment of Women During Arrest
Nepal has reportedly taken several measures to close the inequality gap between the treatment of men and women. For instance, the National Plan of Action (NPA) is a social measure implemented by the Government of Nepal (GoN) in response to CEDAW in 2004. The NPA incorporates a number of measures adopted for the empowerment of women so that they may exercise and enjoy human rights and fundamental freedoms equal to men. Although GoN has taken this step to improve the status of women, several NGO reports show that it is not uncommon for Nepali police to sexually assault Tibetan women during arrest.
The Rights of Female Refugees in Nepal
Women who become internally displaced persons or refugees in foreign countries are much more vulnerable to abuses, such as trafficking and sexual abuse. They are known to be victimized in many ways—verbally, sexually, physically and mentally within refugee camps. Tibetan women, in particular, are at high risk of being deported and/or sexually harassed while crossing the Nepal border.
The Political Rights of Women in Nepal
The NPA aims to encourage the participation of women in the political process, which should include the right to peaceful assembly. However, this right is not respected in Nepal for either Tibetan men or women, as they are often detained and arrested without a warrant.
The Tibetan Women's Association calls on the Government of Nepal to protect and respect the rights of women by: