Communication for Empowerment in Nepal
Indigenous peoples are among the most marginalized and vulnerable groups in the world. In Nepal, the excluded groups are comprised of women, Dalits (so called “untouchable”), indigenous peoples (IPs) and religious minorities. People in these groups have little or no voice and participation in decision-making and
governance processes. There are large gaps between groups in terms of access, voice, participation and development. In recognition of UNDRIP, the UNDP Regional Centre in Bangkok launched the Regional Initiative on
Communication for Empowerment of Asia’s Indigenous Peoples in December 2007. The initiative emphasized the role of a diverse media and inclusive communication channels as empowering mechanisms to enhance voice, inclusive participation and democratic governance.
This report provides essential insights to how the indigenous peoples of Nepal are organized and represented by the national and local media. The report describes the media landscape in three districts inhabited by indigenous peoples and reveals that Nepal has one of the most vibrant media environments in Asia, particularly in community radio, yet these channels could be strengthened for ensuring voice and participation for indigenous peoples in the future. Alternative channels, using modern technology, should also be explored as a means to bringing information and giving a voice to indigenous peoples, especially in the most remote areas of the country. The report points to specific recommendations and proposes activities that can mutually benefit the media and indigenous peoples.