Objective: There is abundance of literature on adverse effects of conflict on the health of the population. In
contrast to this, sporadic data in Nepal claim improvements in most of the health indicators during the decadelong
armed conflict (1996-2006). However, systematic information to support or reject this claim is scant. This study
reviews Nepal’s key health indicators before and after the violent conflict and explores the possible factors
facilitating the progress.
Methods: A secondary analysis has been conducted of two demographic health surveys-Nepal Family Health
Survey (NFHS) 1996 and Nepal Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) 2006; the latter was supplemented by a
study carried out by the Nepal Health Research Council in 2006.
Results: The data show Nepal has made progress in 16 out of 19 health indicators which are part of the
Millennium Development Goals whilst three indicators have remained static. Our analysis suggests a number of
conflict and non-conflict factors which may have led to this success.
Conclusion: The lessons learnt from Nepal could be replicable elsewhere in conflict and post-conflict
environments. A nationwide large-scale empirical study is needed to further assess the determinants of Nepal’s
success in the health sector at a time the country experienced a decade of armed conflict....
February 9, 2011 The International Journal of Transitional Justice
Most studies of truth commissions assert their positive role in improving human rights. A
firstwave of researchmade these claims based on qualitative analysis of a single truth commission
or a small number of cases. Thirty years of experience with truth commissions and
dozens of examples allow cross-national statistical studies to assess these findings. Two
recent studies undertake that project. Their findings, which are summarized in this article,
challenge the prevailing view that truth commissions foster human rights, showing
instead that commissions, when used alone, tend to have a negative impact on human
rights. Truth commissions have a positive impact, however, when used in combination
with trials and amnesties. This article extends the question of whether truth commissions
improve human rights to how, when and why they succeed or fail in doing so. It presents a
‘justice balance’ explanation, whereby commissions, incapable of promoting stability and
accountability on their own, contribute to human rights improvements when they complement
and enhance amnesties and prosecutions. The article draws on experiences in
Brazil, Chile, Nepal, South Korea and South Africa to illustrate the central argument....
Does poverty or inequality explain the Maoist insurgency in Nepal? In
contrast to previous studies we limit the analysis to the hill/mountain districts of
Nepal as very few terai (plains) districts are classified as Maoist. And we conduct
separate analyses for Maoist control and level of conflict. We find that income
poverty and land-inequality are main determinants of Maoist influence, while the less
visible income inequality is not so important. We also demonstrate that previous
findings by Murshed and Gates, where landlessness appears to be important,
are due to two outliers that are the core Maoist districts. Without the outliers
landlessness is negatively, and not positively, correlated with Maoist influence....
November 13, 2008 Escola de Cultura de Pau // School for a Culture of Peace // Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Nepal is going through a period that is crucial to its future. After two years of a
long and not always easy peace process, important reforms are beginning in an
attempt to lay the basis of a new society, tackling some of the structural causes
that led to the outbreak of the armed conflict. Nepali women have been deeply
affected by this armed conflict, and, as with many other conflicts, its origin and
course have had a notable gender dimension. Various factors provide evidence of
this dimension, such as the use of gender violence or the large number of women
combatants in the Maoist ranks, as well as the fact that the negotiation process
which has led to the signing of the peace agreement largely excluded women.
The purpose of this paper is to offer an analysis of the armed conflict and peace
process Nepal is going through from a gender standpoint, analysing this situation
from a feminist point of view. With this intention, the armed conflict that took
place between 1996 and 2006 in Nepal is analysed from a gender perspective,
paying particular attention to the consequences of the war and women’s active
involvement in it. Secondly, the peace process that put an end to the armed conflict
is analysed, concerning the negotiations and the involvement of civil society
and the international community from a gender standpoint. Finally, some of the
most important challenges to be faced so that the post-war rehabilitation process
takes place in the most inclusive and least discriminatory way possible, giving
room for broad transformations in order to put an end to the exclusion of Nepali
women, are noted....
November 12, 2008 Population Studies Center, University of Michigan, Institute for Social Research
The concept of “environmental refugees” has been put forth to hypothesize a connection
between environmental deterioration and out-migration. In this paper we test this hypothesis using
data from Nepal. We operationalize environmental degradation in terms of declining land cover,
rising times required to gather organic inputs, increasing population density, and perceived declines
in agricultural productivity. Holding constant the effects of other social and economic variables, we
find that population density is unrelated either to short- or long-distance mobility, but that moves
within the immediate vicinity are predicted by perceived declines in productivity and land cover and
increased time required to gather firewood. Long-distance moves are predicted by perceived
declines in productivity, but the effect is weaker than in the model of short-distance mobility and
even this effect is confined only to lower and non-Hindu castes. No other environmental
characteristics affect the odds of making a distant move, thus casting doubt on the utility of the
concept of environmental refugees in explaining interregional or international migration.
Environmental deterioration mostly leads to short-distance moves within the immediate vicinity,
affecting males and females in a manner consistent with Nepal’s gendered division of labor....
December 11, 2006 Public Broadcasting Service // Frontline
Despite its breathtaking beauty and famous mountains, drawing tourists from all over the world, Nepal has suffered more than a decade of bloody civil war. Before a peace deal was finally reached this November, FRONTLINE/World reporter Aaron Goodman traveled to Nepal to see what was tearing the country apart.
December 11, 2006 Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars // Environmental Change and Security Project
Nepal is at a crossroads. The recently signed peace accord between the new multi-party government and the Maoist insurgents offers an opportunity for the country to begin to heal the wounds inflicted by a decade of civil war. Yet addressing Nepal's problems will require a closer look at the factors that initially drove the unrest, said Bishnu Raj Upreti, regional coordinator of the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research (Kathmandu), at an event co-sponsored by the Environmental Change and Security Program on November 1, 2006. Providing an in-depth analysis of the country's history and current situation, Upreti discussed the ways in which efforts to resolve the country's demographic and environmental problems could reduce conflict, alleviate poverty, and provide a pathway to peace....
Terrorism Monitor is a publication
of The Jamestown Foundation.
The Terrorism Monitor is
designed to be read by policymakers
and other specialists
yet be accessible to the general
public. The opinions expressed
within are solely those of the
authors and do not necessarily
reflect those of The Jamestown
The Council is expected to finalise a resolution on Nepal by the end of the week. The resolution is likely to endorse the Secretary-General's recommendations for the mandate and focus of a UN Mission in Nepal (UNMIN). The draft resolution was circulated by the UK on 15 January and at the time of writing was being discussed at the experts level.
Deception, political maneuvers and desperate struggle to conserve, secure and seize power marked year 2006 in Nepal. The wanton violence of the past years has been contained within the framework of a xe2x80x98peace process', with at least two of the principal parties in conflict - the dominant Maoists and the Seven Party Alliance (SPA) that has cobbled together a Government at Kathmandu - engaged in negotiations. It is, however, far too early for celebrations, and the endgame is still to manifest its contours in the Himalayan Kingdom....
In a ceremony held at the Birendra International Convention Center in capital Kathmandu on November 21, 2006, Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala and Maoist chairman Prachanda signed the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) 2006. Presented below is the full text of the same.
Nepal's peace process, initiated with the People's Movement of April 2006, led to a historic process of political reconciliation. After a Comprehensive Peace Agreement with the Seven Party Alliance that spearheaded the movement, the forces of the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-M) pledged to place their arms under U.N. supervision and explore political avenues for voicing their demands.
In April 2008, voters went to the polls to elect members of the Constituent Assembly (CA), the Nepalese parliament. Both the process and results of the election impressed and surprised observers across the globe. The CPN-M emerged as the single largest party in parliament after a decade-long guerilla struggle against the monarchy and rival political parties. The elections not only paved the way for integrating Maoists into the political mainstream, but also culminated in the abolition of the century-old monarchy. Nepal's journey towards institutionalizing a democratic republic had begun.
This, though, is where the fairy tale ended and hard political realities dawned in Nepal. Outward manifestations of the country's struggle with both the Maoists and democracy have undoubtedly changed, but the struggle itself is far from over. New challenges have appeared to threaten the country's political stability, leaving its democratic transition walking on a razor's edge....
Nepal's historic April 10 vote has resulted in Maoists joining the growing list of organizations that have traveled the long path of armed rebellion to political legitimacy. The country's peaceful transition of power, while still fraught with hurdles, would seem to bolster the pro-democracy cause espoused by the Bush administration. But it also poses a challenge to another long-held principle of the administration—opposition to engaging states or entities deemed as rogues. The Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), which won more seats than any other party in the constituent assembly elections, continues to be on the U.S. Terrorist Exclusion List and the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (PDF). This means its members are barred from traveling or owning any property in the United States....
April 23, 2008 International Center for Transitional Justice
Human rights abuses have been part of political and military policies and practices in Nepal since Britain formally acknowledged the country's independence in 1923 , but their scale and intensity heightened dramatically in 1996 when civil war broke out. For the next decade the Nepalese people experienced unparalleled levels of violence at the hands of the country's monarchy and rival Maoist rebels, with at least 13 ,000 killed and thousands more tortured, raped, and forcibly disappeared. In April 2006 an extraordinary mobilization by civil society against the government ended the conflict by forcing a military retreat, disempowering the ruling monarch, reinstating Parliament, and bringing the Maoists into the peace negotiations....
The Nepali government has started the work of identifying, mapping, fencing and marking landmines in different parts of the country, which were planted during the decade-long conflict, Minister for Peace and Reconstruction Ram Chandra Poudel said.
Advocacy Forum is a leading non-profit, non-governmental organization working to promote the rule of law and uphold international human rights standards in Nepal. Established in 2001 by human rights lawyers, Advocacy Forum addresses cases of human rights violations while providing free legal assistance to victims of torture and others in need. We raise awareness about human rights violations through domestic and international channels, while supporting legal reforms to make the justice system in Nepal more efficient and accessible.
Informal Sector Service Centre (INSEC) has been working in human rights sector, for the last 17 years with high credible records. It has significantly contributed to the process of bringing multiparty democracy in the country and raising number of human rights issues to the national agenda to influence the necessary policy and legislations. INSEC has been constantly emphasising economic, social and cultural rights in its agenda right from the days it implemented the programme for the cart pushers of Kathmandu valley in 1989. It has been highlighting issues of bonded labour, minimum wage for the agricultural workers and other issues concerning human rights. INSEC has moved far ahead from there by involving itself in campaigns, awareness creation and education programmes for maintaining civil and political rights of the people. Education, monitoring, lobbying, advocacy, research and training on issues related to human rights have been regular functions of INSEC for more than a decade already. It is also involved in wide dissemination of human rights situation and violation records, specifically, through publication of the Human Rights Yearbook since 1992....
Ockenden International works with some of the most vulnerable communities in the world. It works to provide opportunities to rebuild lives torn apart by conflict or natural disaster, helping restore self-reliance to displaced people.
Ban Landmines Campaign Nepal was established on 4th July 1995 with the objectives of raising awareness among the people about the loss of lives and property caused by Landmines, creating pressure to ban the production, transfer, use and stockpiling of Landmines to enhance world peace, launching people's campaign for the total ban on landmines, being united in favor of the landmines-victim, and conducting income-generating and service-oriented programs for the welfare of the landmine victims. This is a non-profitable, non-political and non-governmental organization....
South Asia Analysis Group is a non profit non commercial think tank. The objective of the group is to advance strategic analysis and contribute to the expansion of knowledge of Indian and International security and promote public understanding. In so doing, the SAAG seeks to address the decision makers, strategic planners, academics and the media in South Asia and the world at large. The group holds the concept of strategy in its broadest meaning-including mobilization and application of all resources to understand national and international security. The articles in this site are provided by scholars with many years of experience in political and strategic analysis. The aim of the group is not to compete with Governments, Academics, NGOs or other institutions dealing with strategic analysis and national security but to provide another point of view for the decision makers and other national/international think tanks....
October 20, 2005 Institute for Conflict Management
SATP is the largest website on terrorism and low intensity warfare in South Asia, and creates the database and analytic context for research and analysis of all extremist movements in the region. SATP has been set up to counter the progressive distortions regarding, and the international community's neglect of, the wide range of terrorist movements within South Asia, and particularly in India. SATP establishes a comprehensive, searchable and con#tinuously updated database on all available information relating to terrorism, low intensity warfare and ethnic/communal/sectarian strife in South Asia....
Insight on Conflict provides information on local peacebuilding organisations in areas of conflict. Local peacebuilders already make a real impact in conflict areas. They work to prevent violent conflicts before they start, to reduce the impact of violence, and to bring divided communities together in the aftermath of violence. However, their work is often ignored – either because people aren’t aware of the existence and importance of local peacebuilders in general, or because they simply haven’t had access to information and contacts for local peacebuilders. We hope that Insight on Conflict can help redress the balance by drawing attention to important work of local peacebuilders. On this site, you’ll be able to find out who the local peacebuilders are, what they do, and how you might get in touch with them. Over half the organisations featured on Insight on Conflict do not have their own website. Insight on Conflict is a project launched by Peace Direct, the UK-based charity that finds, funds and promotes local peacebuilders in conflict areas around the world. Peace Direct wants to change the balance of power and resources between local people and outsiders so that local peacebuilding is central to all strategies for managing conflict....
Building strong socio-economic foundations and promoting economic development is one of the major elements of strategic peacebuilding. Since 1999 International Alert has been working with business people from both conflict zones and multinational corporations to help them contribute to the creation of a stable political climate.
July 22, 2011 UN Women // United Nations Entity for Gende Equality and the Empowerment of Women
The past century has seen a transformation in women’s legal rights, with countries in every region expanding the scope of women’s legal entitlements. Nevertheless for many of the world’s women the laws that exist on paper do not translate to equality and justice.
Progress of the World’s Women: In Pursuit of Justice looks at how the legal system can play a positive role in women accessing their rights, citing cases that have changed women’s lives both at a local and at times global level. It also looks at the important role women have played and continue to play as agents for change within the legal system, as legislators, as lawyers, as community activists but also asks why, despite progress on legal reform, the justice system is still not delivering justice for all women.
The report focuses on four key areas: legal and constitutional frameworks, the justice chain, plural legal systems and conflict and post-conflict. Drawing on tangible examples of steps that have been taken to help women access justice, the report sets out ten key recommendations for policy and decision makers to act on in order to ensure every woman is able to obtain justice....
This report is the culmination of a six-month project commissioned
by the Women’s Refugee Commission and co-funded by the United
Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to address the
rights and needs of displaced persons with disabilities, with a
particular focus on women (including older women), children and
youth. Based on field research in five refugee situations, as well as
global desk research, the Women’s Refugee Commission sought to
map existing services for displaced persons with disabilities, identify
gaps and good practices and make recommendations on how to
improve services, protection and participation for displaced persons
with disabilities. The objective of the project was to gather initial
empirical data and produce a Resource Kit that would be of
practical use to UN and nongovernmental organization (NGO) field
staff working with displaced persons with disabilities....
July 8, 2011 United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
Since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in November 2006, one of the
greatest challenges for the Government of Nepal has been to maintain public security.
This has not been easy in a country where police posts and government offices were
displaced for many years as a result of the conflict. In the Terai in particular, non-state
armed groups have taken advantage of this law and order vacuum, and have engaged in
killings, abductions, threats and extortion. This has taken a severe toll on local
communities, and also on the morale of the police. In response, the Government of
Nepal has increased its police presence in the Terai and expanded the roles of the
paramilitary Armed Police Force and the Nepal Army in the context of national parks,
without a corresponding increase in support to and reform of the civilian police and
criminal justice system. There are preliminary indications that violent criminal activity
has decreased since the Government began implementation of its Special Security Plan
in 20091 . Though the Plan incorporates a commitment to protecting human rights, 2
credible allegations of unlawful killings have continued to surface, most of which,
according to information received by OHCHR, have gone uninvestigated.
OHCHR supports government efforts to counter criminal activity, increase public security
and enhance respect for the law, but stresses that these initiatives should be consistent
with international human rights standards and the Interim Constitution. Unfortunately,
over the years, OHCHR monitoring teams have documented a troubling pattern in which
the security forces resort to the use of excessive and sometimes unwarranted lethal
force during their operations. Drawing on OHCHR’s monitoring experience, this summary
of concerns attempts to identify problems of law, policy and practice that contribute to
persistent allegations of extra-judicial killings, and the failure to fully investigate such
allegations. It provides a tool to address extra-judicial killings with concrete and specific
recommendations developed in consultation with or building upon the work of partners
including members of civil society organizations, the National Human Rights Commission
- NHRC, the Office of the Attorney General, and police personnel at the regional and
district levels. The summary of concerns was developed with the cooperation of the
Nepal Police and Armed Police Force Human Rights Cells, and formal comments on a
draft version were received from the Nepal Police, Armed Police Force, NHRC, Office of
the Attorney General and the Nepal Army. OHCHR believes that strong and effective
policing can best be achieved by respecting international human rights standards....
June 23, 2011 National Human Rights Commission, Nepal // United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner, Nepal
In October 2008, the Council of Ministers took a decision to withdraw 349 criminal cases
against numerous political party cadres, including two senior members of the Cabinet.
The case withdrawals were said to be necessary to promote the peace process and fully
implement the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), a provision of which calls for
the withdrawal of cases brought against individuals “due to political reasons”.2 As
opposed to political charges, however, the most frequent offences alleged in the cases
are murder and attempted murder, numerous incidents reported well after the signing
of the CPA in 2006, along with other serious crimes such as rape and mutilation.
According to the Ministry of Law, the Council of Ministers has subsequently
recommended the withdrawal of at least 41 additional cases, as successive
governments have come under pressure from political parties, armed groups and
indigenous and ethnic groups demanding that criminal cases against their supporters be
dropped. More than a third of the most recent 41 cases also deal with allegations of
murder or attempted murder.
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has consistently requested that the
Government justify its rationale for all of those proposed withdrawals. Observing that
numerous cases withdrawn by the Government are clearly criminal in nature, and have
nothing to do with politics, the NHRC has also maintained that the Government needs to
consult the Commission prior to withdrawing cases involving human rights violations,
especially cases on which NHRC has already conducted investigations and
After World War II, nations got largely divided between the two blocs dominated
by the United States of America (USA) and the erstwhile Union of Soviet Socialist
Republics (USSR). With the end of the Cold War, the international power equation
unilaterally shifted towards the USA, which emerged as the world’s only superpower.
Since then, the regional, ethnic, linguistic, resource, geo-political, and religious
issues began to have more importance. But, whenever a state failed to
properly address these problems, the latent conflicts turned violent. Poor and
developing countries have been found more vulnerable to violent conflicts due to
inequality in distribution of resources and opportunities, inadequate service delivery
system, injustice to identities and beliefs, ineffective governance and administration,
inefficient socio-political transformation and intolerant leadership. Therefore,
while most violent conflicts of the twentieth century were waged between
the states, almost all the major conflicts around the world that took place in the
1990s were fought within the state. As a result, the frequency and intensity of the
volatile internal conflicts are significantly increasing in number around the world.
Between 1989 and 1996, 95 of the 101 armed conflicts identified around the
world were such internal confrontations. Describing the intensity
of the violent conflicts around the world, Bishnu Raj Upreti writes: “In 1999 there
were 40 armed conflicts being fought within the territories of 36 countries, up
from 36 armed conflicts in 31 countries in 1998, and 37 in 32 countries in 1997.
The People’s War initiated in Nepal in 1996 is considered as the creation of
interwoven and complex web of socioeconomic, legal and politico-ideological problems.
Little attention was paid to it in the beginning both at national and international
levels, but it quickly intensified across the country. It has now become
Nepal’s most pressing political, socio-cultural and economic problem.
The escalation of armed violence due to the People’s War has resulted in disruption
of lives, livelihoods and security; serious damage or destruction of public
and private properties; possible disintegration of unity in diversity and disturbance in harmonious relationship among communities; massive exodus and displacement
of people; and increased hardship for the poor, marginalized, disadvantaged
and vulnerable people in getting access to basic needs, resources and services as
basic rights. I agree with Upreti as he writes, “When conflict escalates into violence
and civil war, persuasive despair, sorrow, and grief are the unwanted realities
and irrepressible damage to society is unavoidable. Building peace in such a
situation becomes far more costly and difficult than to address the root causes of
social conflict before it escalates into such violence”. Therefore, the
armed conflict or People’s War has become a grave threat to life, liberty, security
and dignity of poverty-stricken people and its frequency and intensity are continuously
escalating the violations and abuses of human rights in Nepal....