Published in The Himalayan Times on Sep. 17::
Victims of human rights violation during the decade long armed insurgency in Nepal continue to experience hardships, says a new study by the International Centre for Transitional Justice, urging the government to implement a comprehensive reparations programme to respond to victims’ acute and long-term needs.
The report titled To Walk Freely with a Wide Heart: A Study of the Needs and Aspirations for Reparative Justice of Victims of Conflict-Related Abuses in Nepal was jointly unveiled today by Bed Prasad Bhattarai, Acting Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission, senior advocate Satish Krishna Kharel, SAATHI Chairperson Bandana Rana, ICTJ Reparations Director Ruben Carranza, ICTJ Nepal Chief Jan Borgen and conflict victim facilitators Bhagiram Chaudhary and Sabitri Khadka amid a function organised in the capital.
The study states that Nepal has not yet addressed all harms suffered by conflict victims or significantly contributed to repairing them. More than 400 victims of human rights abuse by the state and Maoist forces were interviewed for the study.
The research was conducted in partnership with the Centre for Research on Environment Health and Population Activities with the assistance of victims’ leaders and association coordinators across the country.
The report has made several findings, identified short- and long-term needs of the victims and recommended the government to address according to the victims’ priorities.
Representatives of diplomatic missions, UN agencies, INGOs, civil society organisations, NHRC, conflict victims, representatives of organisations of the conflict victims and mediapersons were present at the programme.