Laws

NEPAL

Limited information only available for these topics

Access to Children
Adoption of Children
Age of Consent
Anti-Vilification
Artifical Insemination
Assisted Reproduction
Asylum / Refugees
Civil Unions
  Custody of Children
Discrimination
Fostering Children
Gender Identity
Harassment
Hate Crimes
HIV/Aids
  Homosexuality
Immigration
Inheritance
In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)
Marriage
Military
Parenting
  Partners
Property
Sodomy
Surrogacy
Transgender, Transsexual
Violence
Wrongful Death

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Age of Consent Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

Consensual sex between same-sex and opposite-sex couples is lawful at age 16 years [R1.1]

R1.1 Interpol: Sexual Offences Against Children (Accessed 24 OCT 09)
Assisted Reproduction, Artificial Insemination, In Vitro Fertilisation, Surrogacy Legislation/Cases/References
1.

Courts & Tribunals

On 26 August 2015, it was reported that the Supreme Court has ordered a halt to commercial surrogacy services in the Himalayan nation until it rules on the legality of the practice [R1.1]

R1.1 TheTimesOfIsrael: Nepal's top court orders suspension of surrogacy services 26 AUG 15
Discrimination Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

On 16 September 2015, it was reported that Constituent Assembly had approved amendments to the constitution: (1) to enable citizens to choose their preferred gender identity on citizenship documents; (2) making gender and sexual minority discrimination unlawful; and (3) allowing these citizens to participate in state mechanisms and public services to promote inclusion [R1.4].

In September 2011, the draft constitution reportedly looked set to protect LGBTI rights, including the recognition of a "third gender" [R1.3]. The new constitution may be promulgated by 30 November.

In January 2011, it was reported that draft criminal laws have several clauses that are non inclusive about rights of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgendered and citizens with certain disabilities and diseases [R1.2].

Nepal's first openly gay lawmaker Sunil Babu Pant is reported to have said, "Rather than simply putting the principal age of consent and consensus between adults for indulging in sexual behavior, the (draft) law tries to define 'natural and unnatural sex' in a vague way" [R1.2].

Previously:

In January 2010, Nepal was expected to draft its new constitution by May to include antidiscrimination protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex citizens [R1.1].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 18 November 2008, the Supreme Court issued final judgment to end discrimination, reiterating that all LGBTIs are defined as a "natural person" and their physical growth as well as sexual orientation, gender identity, expression are all part of natural growing process. Thus equal rights, identity and expression must be ensured regardless of their sex at birth [C2.3], [R2.2].

On 21 December 2007, the Supreme Court of Nepal issued directive orders to the Government of Nepal to end discrimination against LGBTI and ensure equal rights as heterosexual men and women in Nepal [R2.1].

1. National
R1.4 CatchNews: Nepal becomes first Asian country to include non-discriminatory laws for LGBT community 19 SEP 15
R1.3 GNN / MCV: Third gender for Nepal? 15 SEP 11
R1.2 Hindustan Times: 'Biased' winds of change in Nepal 31 JAN 11
R1.1 The Advocate: Nepal to Protect Gays in Constitution 19 JAN 10
See Also: Williams Institute: Surveying Nepalís Sexual and Gender Minorities: An Inclusive Approach OCT 14
2. Courts & Tribunals
C2.3 Order: Sunil Babu Pant v Nepal Government. Supreme Court, Division Bench, Order Writ No. 917 of the year 2064 (2007 AD) 22 PDF 210.38kb 21 DEC 07
R2.2 PinkNews.co.uk: Nepal's Highest Court Confirms Full Rights for LGBT People 17 NOV 08
R2.1 Blue Diamond Society: Great Victory of Nepalese LGBTI ! 07 JAN 08

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Gender Identity, Intersex,
Transgender, Transexual

[?]
Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [DISCRIMINATION]
1.

National

On 05 August 2017, it was reported that Monika Shahi Nath, 40, who legally identifies as a third gender, married Ramesh Nath Yogi, 22, in May and was able to register what is thought to be the first transgender marriage in their home district Dadeldhura in western Nepal last month [R1.6].

On 07 January 2015, Lok Bahadur Thapa, chief of the governmentís passport department said that changed passport regulations will add a third category of gender for those people who do not want to be identified as male or female [R1.5].

On 22 January 2013, Home Minister Bhola Siwakot said that an order to issue gender neutral citizenship documents – for people who do not wish to be identified as male or female – to all district administration offices [R1.4].

On 24 May 2012, the Home Ministry was reported to have confirmed that the government will recognize third gender people as 'other' on citizenship identification cards [R1.3].

On 13 December 2011, the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare reportedly wrote to the Ministry of Law and Justice saying that the existing laws do not restrict the issuance of citizenship to the sexual minorities in the country. Nepal is the only country in South Asia to recognise third gender rights [R1.2].

In February 2007, Nepal granted a person citizenship as both a man and a woman [R1.1].

2.

Cities & Towns

In September 2008, a lesbian in Kathmandu, was recognised as "third gender" on an official identity card. The term "third gender" has been used in the country to refer to gay men, lesbians, and bisexual and transgender people [R2.1].

3.

Courts & Tribunals

On 10 June 2013, after more than six years after the court ordered the government to enact laws to guarantee the rights of transgender, gay, lesbian and bisexual people, the Supreme Court ordered the government to alter passports so that transgenders no longer have to describe themselves as male or female [R3.1].

R1.6 HindustanTimes: Nepali couple registers 'first transgender marriage' 05 AUG 17
R1.5 ReutersUK: Nepal to issue passports with third gender for sexual minorities 07 JAN 14
R1.4 PinkNews: Nepal introduces gender neutral citizenship documents 22 JAN 13
R1.3 GayStarNews: Third gender finally recognized in Nepal 24 MAY 12
R1.2 The Himalayan: Existing laws 'let third sex get citizenship' 13 DEC 11
R1.1 MX News: Citizenship is his and hers 05 FEB 07
R2.1 PinkNews.co.uk: Nepalese Lesbian Recognised as "Third Gender"" 22 SEP 08
R3.1 News24: Nepal recognises transgender passports 11 JUN 13
Homosexuality, Sodomy Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [AGE OF CONSENT]
1.

National

On 03 August 2014, it was reported that the law ministry under law and justice minister Narahari Acharya of the ruling Nepali Congress is seeking to enact punitive laws to recriminalize gay sex, punishable by three years imprisonment, and also prohibit same-sex unions, oral and anal sex among heterosexuals, and narrow the definition of rape to only apply to women [R1.4].

On 21 November 2007, as a consequence of Supreme Court directive orders, consensual sex between same-sex couples is not unlawful [C2.1].

Previously:

Country Code 1963/2001

Article 16 Rape of animals/sodomy

"(1) No person should have sexual intercourse with fourlegged animals or perform, or cause to be performed, any other unnatural sexual act.

(2) [...]

(3) [...]

(4) Any person who performs, or causes (permits) to be performed, an unnatural sexual act, shall be punished with a term of imprisonment of one year or a fine of 5,000 rupees.

(5) The offence shall become statute-barred in one year if no complaint is submitted." [R1.3]


In June 2011, the marriage clauses in drafts of a new criminal code and a civil code of law define the union as only that between a man and a woman, treating homosexual unions as "unnatural sex offences" [R1.2].


In January 2007, it was reported that roaming bands of Maoist cadres were reportedly threatening gay men and transsexuals as part of "a zero tolerance policy towards homosexuality" [R1.1].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 12 January 2016, it was reported that the division bench of justices Bishwambhar Prasad Shrestha and Sapana Pradhan Malla in the Supreme Court set a precedent in ruling that if a woman deceives another woman and uses any object or sex toys forcefully for her sexual gratification, the act should be considered as a rape, noting also that in the context of the presence of heterosexuals, homosexuals and bisexuals in the society, a rape should be understood as intentional penetration into the vagina or anus of another person with a part of his body or anything else without the consent of the person and stated that the perpetrator could be a man, woman or a third-gender [R2.2].

On 21 December 2007, the Supreme Court of Nepal issued directive orders to the Government of Nepal to end discrimination against LGBTI and ensure equal rights as heterosexual men and women in Nepal [C2.1].

R1.4 GayStarNews: Nepal drafts new laws to recriminalize gay sex, stall same-sex marriage recognition 03 AUG 14
R1.3 ILGA: State-Sponsored Homophobia PDF 382.87kb, MAY 08
R1.2 Mangalorean: New law threatens Nepal as gay rights haven 10 JUN 11
R1.1 MCV: Nepal's Gays Threatened 11 JAN 07
2. Courts & Tribunals
R2.2 myRepublica: SC sets precedent on same-sex rape 12 JAN 17
C2.1 NJA Law Journal: Sunil Babu Pant & Ors v Nepal Government (2008) 02NJALJ1 at 261-286 PDF 1.72MB, 21 DEC 07
Marriage Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

On 05 August 2017, it was reported that Monika Shahi Nath, 40, who legally identifies as a third gender, married Ramesh Nath Yogi, 22, in May and was able to register what is thought to be the first transgender marriage in their home district Dadeldhura in western Nepal last month [R1.6].

On 09 February 2015, a 150-page Committee report was submitted to the government with a recommendation for an equal marriage legal provision for same-sex couples, with equal family protection to the couple and children and to address discriminatory criminal and civil laws [R1.5].

In June 2011, an American professor and her partner made history by becoming the first lesbian couple to wed in the Dakshi nkali Temple, near Kathmandu [R1.4].


There is a legal provision in Nepal that criminalizes same sex marriage on the ground that it is "unnatural coition". However, the Supreme Court noted that "the sexual preferences and choices of every individual may not be the unnatural coition. Hence, it is an appropriate time to think about decriminalizing and de-stigmatizing the same sex marriage by amending the definition of unnatural coition. [C1.3].


In June 2011, the marriage clauses in drafts of a new criminal code and a civil code of law define the union as only that between a man and a woman, treating homosexual unions as "unnatural sex offences" [R1.2].


In September 1998, two lesbians tied the knot in Nepal despite their parents trying to have them arrested just prior to the wedding ceremony [R1.1].

R1.6 HindustanTimes: Nepali couple registers 'first transgender marriage' 05 AUG 17
R1.5 WashingtonBlade: Committee recommends Nepal legalize same-sex marriage 10 FEB 15
R1.4 PinkPaper: Lesbian couple become first to wed in Nepal 23 JUN 11
C1.3 National Judicial Academy: Sunil Babu Pant v Nepal Government. Supreme Court, DivisionBench, Order Writ no. 917 of the year 2064 (2007 AD) 22 21 DEC 07
NJA Law Journal: Sunil Babu Pant v Nepal Government 21 DEC 07
R1.2 Mangalorean: New law threatens Nepal as gay rights haven 10 JUN 11
R1.1 Brother Sister Lesbians Wed 03 SEP 98

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