Institute of Development Studies published this report under the theme, ‘Sexuality, Poverty and Law’ in 2013. This report is based on research conducted in Nepal on the life experiences of LGBTI persons. It explores the legal, economic and social context of issues affecting sexual minorities.
According to the report, sexual minorities in Nepal face several forms of marginalisation and exclusions. It notes that while the values associated with marriage, family and sexuality are changing, there is considerable disagreement between these recent progressions and the country’s social and cultural history. The report presents the findings of the research on four themes: legal context, networks, actors and institutions. Additionally, it includes a case study of the Supreme Court decision in Sunil Babu Pant Vs Nepal, which was the first to legally recognise LGBT persons in Nepal.
The LGBT community and activists working for LGBT rights continue to face threats in society. The report also drew attention to the emphasis on ‘natural sexuality’ in the legal context and the ways in which rights-based advocacy conceptualises sexuality differently.
The report also noted the advocacy efforts of NGOs and activists in Nepal. It recognised that funding from international agencies has supported work on these issues. Furthermore, it noted that most advocacy around gender and sexual equality has focused on HIV prevention, and a holistic rights-based approach continues to be novel. In addition, the report situates LGBT rights in the broader context of social and legal reform, instigated by civil war and the establishment of ‘New Nepal’
The research concludes by identifying the need to study how sexuality is conceptualised in society. It also advocates for policy reforms and rights-based interventions.
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