This Report presents the findings of this research effort. A comprehensive consideration of the many aspects of land ownership in Nepal, including the related issues of agricultural development, the impact of nonstate actors in newly-formed special economic zones, and the claims of landlords returning to land seized during the Maoist conflict is beyond the scope of this project. The Report and study focused on documenting the impact that inadequate access to land has on the human rights of landless people, including rights to housing, food, water, work, and access to justice. The Report consists of four parts. Part I provides a background of the legal framework and political context of land rights in Nepal and details the domestic law and documents several of its shortcomings. It also provides background on gender, ethnic, and caste discrimination despite prohibitions. Part II presents the delegation’s findings regarding the impact of landlessness on a range of rights, focusing on the impact on socio-economic rights and the attendant vulnerability to further exploitation that this impact has. Part III considers the place of land rights in the international legal framework. It considers the gap-the lack of an explicit “right to land”-that exists and its impact, and also examines the relevant human rights that underlie access to land. The final Part provides some conclusions and recommendations to the Nepali government and civil society, as well as the international community. The recommendations are drafted with the understanding that the constitution drafting process is ongoing with a view to providing possible steps that are realistic and also effective. The Crowley Program commends the government for its commitment to addressing the problems of landlessness in the Interim Constitution and in numerous public statements, and joins the government in hoping that these changes will provide relief to the many landless people that the delegation met.
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