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Nepal: Religious Freedom

Volume 508: debated on Tuesday 6 April 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will take steps to encourage the Government of Nepal to enshrine protections for religious freedom consistent with Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in that country’s new constitution. (325341)

We regularly raise with the Government and political parties of Nepal the importance of ensuring that the new constitution is fully in line with Nepal’s commitments under international human rights treaties. The Constituent Assembly Committee for Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles has proposed that the new Nepalese constitution should provide that no person

“should convert a person from one religion to another”

which would be in contravention of article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The constitution drafting process remains ongoing. We will continue to raise protections for religious freedom with the Government and political parties of Nepal.