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Call to incorporate torture and sexual violence in definition of conflict survivors

KATHMANDU: A national gathering of the women affected by the decade-long armed conflict in the country concluded recently by issuing a 12-point Kathmandu declaration which calls for a prompt response to complaints that survivors have been denied justice.
The two-day gathering organised by the Women for Human Rights (WHR), Single Women Group on December 19-20 had underlined the need of incorporating the war-time cases of torture and sexual violence in the definition of conflict survivors.
The declaration seeks an immediate response to the issues of those women bearing effects of conflict even after the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Accord and guarantee of justice and compensation to the survivors. It calls for reinstatement of the Commission on Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to establish a justice in an effective way. The tenure of both transitional justice mechanisms had already come to an end.
Demand has been made for empowering the WHR remaining as a common organization of conflict affected women of all classes in terms of resources and technology and the omission of words ‘disarmed’ and ‘armed’ giving ambiguous meanings from the draft bill to amend the definition of conflict victims.
The collection of data about conflict affected women and men separately in upcoming census as there lacked an exact number of such people, respect to sentiments of women facing sexual violence and rape during the war who are yet to come forward to break the silence and acceleration of works to construct a peace memorial monument for the honour of the forced disappeared are other demands included in the declaration.
More, they have demanded identification of the survivors of rape, torture and sexual violence; and interim relief packages, medical treatment, legal assistance and psychosocial counseling to them so as to create an atmosphere so that they could live a dignified life with full of self-esteem. Birth registrations have been sought in case of those children born from the survivors of rapes during the conflict.
The document has pressed for opportunities for higher education to the children of affected people. “The Sate should take the entire responsibility of those children who lost their parents in the conflict,” it asserted, calling upon the government to develop an archive of conflict survivors of all nature who are missed out from the previous listing.
A total of 127 women from all provinces were present in the gathering. Minister for, Justice and Federal Affairs Bhanubhakta Dhakal said the government was committed to delivering justice to the conflict-affected women and internal discussions were underway to determine the best possible ways towards that end.

Published Date: Sunday, December 23rd, 2018 | 12:05 AM

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