The people of Nepal have begun discussing truth, justice and accountability for human rights abuses committed during the 1996–2006 conflict, but progress remains slow. ICTJ works on the ground in Nepal with local groups and national actors to achieve justice and reconciliation.
Following a long history of political exclusion, Nepal’s government gradually opened after the first pro-democracy people’s movement of 1990. But armed conflict erupted when Maoists walked out of Parliament in 1996. From 1996–2006, more than 13,000 people lost their lives and approximately 1,375 people were forcibly disappeared.
The people’s movement Jana Andolan II led to the reinstatement of parliament in April 2006. A coalition government and the Maoists signed a Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in November 2006, and in 2008 Nepal abolished the monarchy and become a federal democratic republic.
The CPA was a significant step toward reconciliation, but promises to achieve truth, justice and accountability remain unfulfilled. The CPA’s call for a truth commission has not materialized. The disappeared are still unaccounted for, and reform of Nepal’s unwieldy security sector has not been carried out.
The pace of change slowed considerably in 2009 and 2010 with increasing political party turmoil. But the Nepali people remain deeply invested in achieving redress and accountability.
Tear open this chest of mine
perhaps the pictures
in my heart,
when you see them,
will change your mind.
Laxmi Prasad Devkota, MunaMadan
ICTJ works at the national and grassroots level to further transitional justice in Nepal.
Technical assistance: We research and analyze what Nepali people want and need. Our report, Nepali Voices, explored victims’ perceptions of truth, justice, reconciliation and reparations so that any justice tools can include their voices. We share information from other countries that have dealt with similar situations.
Training and advocacy: We work to ensure local actors have the knowledge and skills to advocate for credible and representative truth and disappearances commissions. We train local groups and activists on mechanisms such as truth-seeking and reparations. We also run workshops on reparations for government officials and parliamentarians.
Gender justice: We work to integrate women into the peace process and to raise awareness about their experiences during and after conflict. We educate people about gender and transitional justice through materials such as Across the Lines: the Impact of Nepal’s Conflict on Women published with Advocacy Forum, street theater productions and radio broadcasts.