Asia-Pacific Journal on Human Rights and the Law 2: 47-76, 2008. 2009 Koninklijke Brill NV. Printed in the Netherlands CONSTITUTIONALISING DISCRIMINATION IN BHUTAN: THE EMASCULATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE LAND OF THE DRAGON Fernand de Varennes 1. Introduction After a long consultation process, the Kingdom of Bhutan finally adopted its very first constitution on 18 July 2008. 1 Heralded with great fanfare in the country itself as a modern, forward looking accomplishment set to help propel Bhutan towards a democratic society, 2 the Constitution of the Kingdom of Bhutan is – from the point of view of international human rights law – a deeply disturbing document. While at first glance the Constitution may appear to be in harmony with international human rights treaties since many of its provisions seem to guarantee fundamental rights associated with these treaties, a closer examination reveals that on the contrary, it is intended to exclude vast segments of the population of Bhutan from being able to enjoy even the most basic of human rights in an attempt to ensure the dominance of certain ethnic groups – and the exclusion of others based solely on their ethnicity. All in all, this unfortunate
Asia-Pacific Journal on Human Rights and the Law – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2009
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