28 November 2020, a community dialogue was held on Indigenous Peoples right to Land Territories and Resources and the protection of sacred sites/cultural lands in Sunsari district, province No. 1.
The interaction has focused on the protection of sacred sites/cultural lands which are in threat of grabbing. The participants were made aware of the customary rights over their lands, constitutional and legal provisions that are linked to lands to advance their land rights advocacy.
The ILO Convention 169, UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, some key legislations such as such as Civil code, Forest Act, Local Government Operational Act, constitutional rights to religion, culture and identity, land policy 2019 that provided small space to claim the collective lands have been discussed in the interaction.
The interaction came up with the declaration and clear plan of action to engage with the local governments to legalize the collective lands/sacred sites which are being used by the Indigenous Peoples for generations collectively.
Leaders of Thar Indigenous Peoples in particular of Morang, Sunsari and Jhapa districts, non-indigenous persons, journalists and representatives of Indigenous Peoples Organizations have attended the interaction.
Mr. Gopal Dewan and Mr. Dil Bahadur Thebe, the Indigenous Peoples Human Rights Defenders, have facilitated the interaction