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Nepal: Religious Freedom

Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN 107687, tabled on 19 January 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent discussions she has had with her counterpart in Nepal on protecting freedom of religion in that country.

Answered on

27 January 2022

We lobby the Government of Nepal on freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) at the highest level. The Minister of State for South Asia met with Nepali Prime Minister Deuba at COP on 1 November, where he raised the importance the UK attaches to human rights and FoRB. The Embassy also regularly engages civil society to discuss policy priorities, including human rights and FoRB. Finally, the Embassy is also the Chair of the Human Rights Core Group, a network of like-minded diplomatic missions, which discusses concerns related to freedom of religion or belief to drive collective action.

The UK's assessment of the trends on religious and belief tolerance is that there have not been significant recent shifts in intra-community persecution or closure of civil society space. This is due to Nepal's Constitution and legal framework forming part of the peace settlement to bring marginalised communities into Nepal's institutions, related laws being largely upheld by the courts and relevant human rights commissions, and COVID-19 related lockdowns not discriminating between different faiths or beliefs.