Seven years after the end of Nepal’s armed conflict, civilian victims are still struggling in the absence of effective help from the government, according to a report released Sept. 26 by Harvard Law School’s International Human Rights Clinic (IHRC), in partnership with the advocacy group Center for Civilians in Conflict. According to the report, a government relief program, set to end in 2014, has failed to deliver sufficient services and support.
“Assistance Overdue: Ongoing Needs of Civilian Victims of Nepal’s Armed Conflict” documents Nepali victims’ calls for financial and in-kind assistance as well as justice and truth after a decade-long conflict between government and Maoist forces. The report also evaluates the Nepali government’s current programs and proposals in light of victims’ needs and expectations.
“Atrocities committed by both sides left thousands of Nepali civilians with permanent disabilities, lingering psychological trauma, and lost livelihoods,” said Bonnie Docherty, lecturer on law at IHRC and co-author of the report. “The government has failed to reach many victims and urgently needs to do so.”
During the armed conflict that raged in Nepal from 1996 to 2006, Maoist and government forces targeted civilians with impunity. The Maoists often executed civilians publicly to create fear, while the government routinely eliminated perceived enemies through enforced disappearances. Both sides also tortured, raped, and committed other forms of violence. “Assistance Overdue” is based on more than 100 interviews with survivors, government officials, and other experts as well as extensive legal analysis.
Read more on the Harvard Law School website.