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Nepal

From 1996 until 2006, people from various social groups were subjected to conflict-related sexual violence in a civil war between the armed forces and rebel groups who have now become the Communist Party of Nepal. Women belonging to indigenous groups, so-called lower castes and impoverished communities were particularly targeted and subjected to severe moral, physical, and psychological harms. These harms were committed by all parties to the conflict and victims and survivors report the violations occurring while in custody or detention, as well as in their homes and in public. 

Some 18 years on, victims and survivors have tried to build their lives while dealing with unnecessary daily pain that reparation can remedy. They have debilitating physical injuries, experience daily psychological symptoms, and live in fear of social stigmatisation. Adding to their injuries is the denial of their status as victims of the conflict. 

2024

PROJECT BEGAN

300

EXPECTED SURVIVORS PARTICIPATING

2

LOCATIONS

They threw my complaint out without filing it and said, this kind of incident [typically] happens in conflict.

Nepali survivor

In 2008, the government began its Interim Relief Programme, aimed at providing interim relief to different categories of conflict victims. This programme did not include victims of conflict-related sexual violence and victims of torture. Today, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which was established in 2015 with a mandate that includes investigation and reparation for claims of conflict-related sexual violence, has all but stalled. 

Recognising that conflict-related sexual violence occurred during the civil war, that sexual violence in conflict is a gross violation and not an inevitability, that the victims are not at fault for the harms they have suffered, and that they are owed reparation, the Global Survivors Fund (GSF) and Nagarik Aawaz, have begun an interim reparative measures project together in Nepal. This project will take place in Lumbini and Sudurpaschim provinces. 

Victims and survivors have been living with debilitating symptoms for too many years, causing them physical, mental, and financial stress. The interim reparative measures project aims to provide comprehensive measures that will serve both the immediate and long-term goals of victims. 

It is possible for reparation to be delivered to victims in Nepal, with an estimated 300-2,000 victims of conflict-related sexual violence in total. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission tasked with this delivery has only gathered 308 reports of conflict-related sexual violence so far. It is not too late to reach all victims and survivors and include their testimonies in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. 

Notes

  1. In Nepal, many people who have suffered conflict-related sexual violence prefer to be called victims instead of survivors because the term victim affirms their legal status as victims of the conflict. 

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