Nepal
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  Preferred Religion (2015)1: Hindu

  Majority Religion (2015)2: Hindu (81.3%)

Features Of Constitution

Is there a constitution?3 yes
Does the constitution state an official religion?3 no [Article 4(1)]
Does the constitution provide for freedom of religion?3 yes [Article 26(1)]
Does the constitution protect religious equality/non-discrimination?3 yes [Article 18(3)]

Constitution

Constitution Year3 2015
Last Amended3 2016
Source3 Constitute Project
Translation3 Source is an English translation.
Current as of3 November 1, 2018

Constitution Excerpts (clauses that reference religion)3

Preamble

...

Embracing multi-caste ... specificities, by ending discriminations relating to ... caste, ... religion ...

...

Article 3. Nation.

Having ... multi-religious ... characteristics ... all the Nepali people collectively constitute the nation.

Article 4. State of Nepal.

(1) Nepal is [a] ... secular ... state.

Explanation: For the purpose of this article, ‘secular’ means protection of religion and culture being practiced since ancient times and religious and cultural freedom.

...

Article 17. Right to freedom.

...

(2) Every citizen shall have the following freedoms:

[Here follow enumerated rights]

Provided that,

(1) Nothing in section (a) [on freedom of opinion and expression] shall be deemed to prevent the making of an Act to impose reasonable restrictions on any act which ... jeopardizes the harmonious relations subsisting among the people of various caste, ... religion, ... or incites ... untouchability ...

...

(3) Nothing in section (c) [on freedom to form political parties] shall be deemed to prevent the making of an Act to impose reasonable restrictions on ... an act that ... jeopardizes the harmonious relations subsisting among different caste, ... religious groups and communities, or an act of acquiring or depriving the membership of a political party only on the grounds of caste, ... religion ...

(4) Nothing in section (d) [on freedom to form unions and associations] shall be deemed to prevent the making of an Act to impose reasonable restrictions on ... an act that ... jeopardizes the harmonious relations subsisting among different caste groups, ... religious groups and communities ...

(5) Nothing in section (e) [on freedom of movement and residence] shall be deemed to prevent the making of an Act to impose reasonable restrictions on any act which may undermine ... the harmonious relations subsisting among various caste groups, ... religious groups or communities ...

Article 18. Right to equality.

...

(2) There shall be no discrimination in the application of general laws on the grounds of ... religion, ... caste ... [among others]

(3) The state shall not discriminate among citizens on grounds of ... religion, ... caste ... [among others]

Provided that nothing shall be deemed to bar the making of special provisions by law for the protection, empowerment or advancement of ... Dalits, ... Muslims ... [among others]

...

Article 26. Right to religious freedom.

(1) Each person shall be free to profess, practice, and preserve his/her religion according to his/her faith.

(2) Every religious denomination shall, maintaining its independent existence, have the right to manage and protect its religious places and religious trusts in accordance with law.

Provided that it shall not be deemed to have hindered to make law to operate and protect a religious place or religious trust and to manage trust property and regulate land management.

(3) While exercising the right as provided for by this Article, no person shall act or make others act in a manner which is contrary to public health, decency and morality, or behave or act or make others act to disturb public law and order situation, or convert a person of one religion to another religion, or disturb the religion of other people. Such an act shall be punishable by law.

Article 29. Right against exploitation.

...

(2) No person shall be subjected to any kind of exploitation on the basis of religion ...

...

Article 38. Right of women.

...

(3) There shall not be any physical, mental, sexual or psychological or any other kind of violence against women, or any kind of oppression based on religious ... practices. Such an act shall be punishable by law and the victim shall have the right to be compensation as provided for in law.

...

Article 39. Right of children.

...

(6) No child shall be subjected to recruitment or any kind of use in the army, police or armed groups, neglected, or used immorally, or abused physically, mentally, or sexually, or exploited through any other means, in the name of religious ... practices.

...

Article 40. Right of Dalits.

(1) Dalit shall have the right to participate in all agencies of the state based on the principle of proportional inclusion. There shall be special legal provision of empowerment, representation, and participation of Dalit community for employment in other area also including the public service.

(2) Provisions of free education with scholarships shall be made for Dalit students from the primary to higher level of education as provided for in law. Special provision shall be made in law for Dalits to pursue higher education in technical and professional subjects.

(3) In order to provide health care and social security to Dalit community, special arrangements shall be made in accordance with law.

(4) Dalit community shall have the right to use, preserve and develop their traditional occupation, knowledge, skill and technology. The State shall give priority to modern profession of Dalits in relation to their traditional occupation, by providing them with necessary skill and resources.

(5) The State shall, according to law, provide land to landless Dalits for one time.

(6) The State shall, according to law, make housing arrangements for Dalits who do not have housing of their own.

(7) The facilities provided to the Dalit community according to this Article, shall have to be justly distributed to Dalit women and men and all the Dalit communities living in different parts of the country, ensuring that all Dalits receive the facilities proportionally.

Article 42. Right to social justice.

(1) The economically, socially or educationally backward ... Dalit, ... Muslims, [among others] ... shall have the right to participate in the State bodies on the basis of principle of proportional inclusion.

...

Article 50. Directive principles.

...

(2) It shall be the socio-cultural objective of the State to build a civilized and egalitarian society by ending all forms of discrimination, oppression and injustice based on religion, ...

...

Article 84. Constitution of House of Representatives.

...

(2) Provision shall be made according to Federal law for the representation of political parties to file candidacy for the election of the House of Representatives for proportional representation system through closed list of ... Dalit, ... Muslim, [among others] ... Balance in geography and province shall be considered for such candidacy.

...

Article 86. Constitution of National Assembly and terms of members.

...

(2) (a) ... eight members from each province, including at least ... one Dalit, ...

...

Article 116. Federal Consolidated Fund.

Except for the revenues of religious endowments, all revenues received by the Government of Nepal ... shall be credited to a Government Fund to be known as Federal Consolidated Fund.

Article 151. State policies.

The State shall pursue the following policies:

(a) Policies regarding national unity and national security:

...

(2) Promoting national unity by developing relations of mutual cooperation between federal units by maintaining mutual understanding, tolerance, and solidarity among various caste, ... religious, ... groups and communities.

...

...

(c) Policies regarding social and cultural transformation:

...

(5) Put an end to all forms of discrimination, and injustice in the name of religion ... and rites.

(6) To preserve and develop the language, texts, culture, literature, arts motion pictures and property of different castes ..., on the basis of equity, while also maintaining the country’s cultural diversity.

...

...

(l) Policies regarding tourism: Developing environment friendly tourism industry as an important basis of national economy by identifying, protecting, promoting and publicizing the ... religious [among others] ... sites of the country ...

...

Article 176. Formation of the Provincial Assembly.

...

(6) The representation of ... Dalit, ... Muslim, [among others] ... on the basis of geography and population in the nominations filed by the political parties for the election to be held for the Provincial Assembly through the proportional representation (PR) election system shall be made on the basis of closed list in accordance with Federal law.

...

Article 204. Consolidated Fund of the Province.

Except for the revenues of religious endowments, all revenues received by the Provincial Government ... shall be credited to a Provincial Government Fund to be known as the Provincial Consolidated Fund.

Article 215. Provisions related to Head and Deputy Head of Village executive.

...

(4) ... two persons elected from the Dalit or minority community ... below shall also be members of the Village executive ...

...

Article 216. Provisions related to Mayor and Deputy Mayor of municipality.

...

(4) ... three persons elected from the Dalit or minority community ... shall also be members of the Municipal executive ...

...

Article 220. District Assembly and District Co-ordination Committee.

...

(3) The District Assembly shall, pursuant to Provincial laws, elect a District Coordination Committee with ... at least one person from the Dalit or minority community. ...

...

Article 222. Formation of Village Assembly.

...

(2) The Village Assembly ... shall comprise ... [one] member ... elected from the Dalit or minority community ...

...

Article 223. Constitution of Municipal Assembly.

...

(2) The Municipal Assembly ... shall comprise ... [one] member ... elected from the Dalit or minority community ...

...

Article 255. National Dalit Commission.

(1) There shall be a National Dalit Commission in Nepal consisting of Chairperson and four other Members.

(2) The President shall, on the recommendation of Constitutional Council, appoint the Chairperson and members of National Dalit Commission.

(3) The term of office for the Chairperson and Members of National Dalit Commission shall be for six year from the date of appointment.

(4) Notwithstanding anything contained in the clause (3), the office of the Chairperson and the members of National Dalit Commission shall be vacant in the following circumstances:--- [Here follow several nonreligious circumstances]

...

(6) Persons who meet following qualification shall be eligible for appointment in the posts of Chairperson and members of the National Dalit Commission:---

(a) a person from Dalit community who has significantly contributed to Dalit welfare, human rights and in the legal field for at least ten years,

[Here follow additional, nonreligious criteria]

(7) The remuneration and other benefits of the Chairperson and members of the National Dalit Commission shall be as prescribed by law, and conditions and terms of remuneration and other benefits shall not be altered, so long as they hold office, to their disadvantage.

Provided that extreme economic breakdown has led to the state of emergency, this provision shall not be applicable.

(8) The person, who has served in the capacity of Chairperson or members of the National Dalit Commission, shall not be eligible for appointment in other government services.

Provided that, nothing in this clause shall be deemed to be a bar to the appointment to any position of a political nature, or to any position which has the responsibility of making investigations, inquiries or findings on any subject, or to the position which has the responsibility of submitting advice, opinions or recommendations.

Article 256. Functions, duties and powers of National Dalit Commission.

(1) Functions, duties and powers of National Dalit Commission shall be as follows:---

(a) To carry out research and studies regarding Dalit community of Nepal so as to identify legal and institutional reforms to be made and make a recommendation to the Government of Nepal,

(b) To formulate national policies and programs in matters related with ending caste discrimination, untouchability, suppression and to enhance Dalit’s status and development, and to forward a recommendation to the Government of Nepal for implementation,

(c) To monitor, so as to ensure whether the special provisions and laws related with Dalit welfare have been implemented or not, and to forward a recommendation to the government of Nepal, in case these provisions are found not to have been implemented,

(d) To review or monitor the Government of Nepal, so as to ensure that the Government of Nepal submits the report as a signatory to the international treaties and agreement, as provisioned by those treaties,

(e) To monitor, review and evaluate the policies and programs implemented by the State to bring Dalit community into the mainstream of national development such as proportionate representation in all of the state agencies, and to forward a recommendation to the Government of Nepal for an effective implementation of those provisions,

(f) To recommend to respective agencies on filing petitions in court according to the law, against any person or organization if it is deemed necessary on subjects of discriminations on caste and untouchability or victim of social malpractices or disallowing or depriving of exercising the right of Dalits.

(2) The National Dalit Commission may delegate, as required, some of its powers to the Chairperson of the Commission, member, or an officer of the Government of Nepal, to be exercised in compliance with the conditions specified.

(3) Other functions, duties and powers of the National Dalit Commission, shall be as specified by Federal law.

Article 257. Offices may be established in province.

The National Dalit Commission may establish its offices in provinces as may be necessary.

Article 264. Muslim Commission.

(1) There shall be a Muslim Commission in Nepal consisting of Chairperson and as many as four other members.

(2) The President shall, on the recommendation of Constitutional Council, appoint the Chairperson and members of Muslim Commission.

(3) The term of office of Chairperson and members of Muslim Commission shall be six years from the date of appointment.

(4) The qualifications, conditions of vacancy, remuneration and conditions of service of the Chairperson and members of Muslim Commission and other provisions related to functions, duties and power of such Commission shall be according to the Federal law.

Article 267. Provision relating to Nepal Army.

...

(3) The entry of ... Dalit, ... Muslim, [among others] ... shall be ensured in Nepal Army, based on the principle of equality and principles of inclusion as provided for in the Federal law.

...

Article 269. Constitution, registration and operation of political parties.

...

(5) No political party shall be registered if its name, objective, symbol and flag is of a character that may disturb the country’s religious ... unity ...

Article 281. Review and revision of special powers.

The Government of Nepal shall review and revise, along with census of every ten years, the provisions regarding special rights of the ... Dalit community and its implementation and effectiveness based on human development index.

Article 306. Definitions and interpretations.

(1) Unless the subject or context otherwise requires, in this Constitution:---

(a) "Minority" means those caste, ... religious communities, whose population is less than that determined by the law, and who has their own specialties, and who aim to protect them; it also signifies those groups who have faced discrimination and harassed.

...

(l) "Constitutional body" means ... National Dalit Commission, ... Muslim Commission established in accordance with this Constitution.

...

...

Schedule 6. List of provincial powers/jurisdiction.

...

(18) Protection and use of ... religion

...


Sources

1.  The Religious Characteristics of States Dataset Project: Government Religious Preference (GRP) measures government-level favoritism toward, and disfavor against, 30 religious denominations. A series of ordered categorical variables index the state's institutional favoritism in 28 different ways. The variables are combined to form five composite indices for five broad components of state-religion: official status, religious education, financial support, regulatory burdens, and freedom of practice. The five components' composites in turn are further combined into a single composite score, the GRP score. The RCS Data Project would like to acknowledge, recognize, and express our deepest gratitude for the significant contributions of Todd M. Johnson, the principal investigator of the World Christian Database, the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database, and co-author of the World Christian Encyclopedia series.

2.  The Religious Characteristics of States Dataset Project: Demographics reports annual estimates of religious demographics, both country by country and region by region. It estimates populations and percentages of adherents of 100 religious denominations including second level subdivisions within Christianity and Islam. The RCS Data Project would like to acknowledge, recognize, and express our deepest gratitude for the significant contributions of Todd M. Johnson, the principal investigator of the World Christian Database, the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database, and co-author of the World Christian Encyclopedia series.

3.  Text from country constitutions was copied from primary documents obtained online using a variety of sources, including the Constitute Project, World Constitutions Illustrated, and government sources. When the text was in a language other than English, it was translated to English by ARDA staff or with web-based translation utilities such as Google Translate. Emphases were added to the text by ARDA staff to differentiate religious content from non-religious content. Text is current to the date listed in the "Current as of" field shown above. Please contact us at support@thearda.com if you are aware of any incorrect information provided on this page.

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