Nepal

Cluster Munition Ban Policy

Last updated: 03 July 2018

Summary: Non-signatory Nepal has not taken any steps to accede to the Convention on Cluster Munitions, but officials have expressed support for that objective in their meetings with national campaigners. Nepal changed its position to vote in favor of a key United Nations (UN) resolution promoting the convention in December 2017, after abstaining on previous UN resolutions on convention in 2016 and 2015. It participated in a meeting of the convention once, in 2013.

Nepal states that it has never used, produced, or transferred cluster munitions and possesses no stockpiles.

Policy

The Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal has not acceded to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

Nepal has never made a public statement elaborating its position on accession to the convention.[1] During 2017 and the first half of 2018, government representatives continued to regularly meet with national campaigners, who raised the need for Nepal to review its policy on the convention and take steps to accede without delay.[2]

Nepal participated in two meetings of the Oslo Process that created the convention, in Vienna in December 2007 and Wellington in February 2008, but it did not attend the Dublin negotiations in May 2008.

Nepal participated as an observer in the convention’s Fourth Meeting of States Parties in Lusaka, Zambia in September 2013, but did not make a statement. This was Nepal’s first and to date only participation in a meeting of the convention.

In December 2017, Nepal voted in favor of a UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution that calls on states outside the Convention on Cluster Munitions to “join as soon as possible.”[3] Nepal did not explain why it changed its position after abstaining from voting on the previous UNGA resolutions promoting implementation of the convention in 2016 and 2015.

The Cluster Munition Coalition’s (CMC) national partner the Nepal Campaign to Ban Landmines (NCBL) continues its outreach in support of the convention.[4]

Nepal is not party to the Mine Ban Treaty. Nor is it party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons.

Use, production, transfer, and stockpiling

Nepal has stated that it has never used, produced, or transferred cluster munitions and does not possess any stocks.[5]



[1] In 2013, a government representative informed the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) that Nepal is interested in the convention, but has other priorities. CMC meeting with the delegation of Nepal, UN First Committee on Disarmament and International Security, 23 October 2013. Previously, in 2009, the Minister of Peace and Reconstruction told the CMC that there are no issues preventing the government from acceding to the convention. Nepal Campaign to Ban Landmines (NCBL) and CMC interview with Rakam Chemjong, Minister for Peace and Reconstruction, in Cartagena, 3 December 2009.

[2] On 13 July 2017, Nepal’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Krishna Bahadur Mahara met with representatives of the NCBL, who called on the government to approve accession to the Convention on Cluster Munitions. Email from Purna Shova Chitrakar, Coordinator, NCBL, 13 July 2017.

[3] “Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” UNGA Resolution 72/54, 4 December 2017.

[4] In February 2017, on the 10thanniversary of the start of the Oslo Process, the NCBL wrote to the ministers of foreign affairs, defense, and peace and reconstruction, and the speaker of the house of representatives to encourage Nepal’s accession to the convention as soon as possible. Email from Purna Shova Chitrakar, NCBL, 14 June 2017.

[5] Letter No. GE/2010/577 from Hari Pd. Odari, Second Secretary, Permanent Mission of Nepal to the UN in Geneva, 21 June 2010; and NCBL and CMC interview with Rakam Chemjong, Minister for Peace and Reconstruction, in Cartagena, 3 December 2009.


Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 24 October 2017

Policy

The Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal has not acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty. In December 2010, Nepal stated that recommendations regarding accession to the Mine Ban Treaty would be completed “soon.”[1]

The November 2006 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) committed the government and the former Communist Party of Nepal/Maoist to halt the use of mines and required the parties to assist each other to mark and clear mines and booby-traps.[2] Subsequent to the CPA, it took until 2015 for Nepal to draft and adopt a new constitution as a republic. Since that time Nepal has had four Prime Ministers.

The reason for Nepal’s inaction in acceding to the Mine Ban Treaty remains unclear. The Nepal Campaign to Ban Landmines (NCBL) drafted an Article 7 Report in cooperation with the army and submitted to the Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction (MoPR) and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The NCBL requested the government to submit the voluntary report, but this did not occur. The NCBL has consistently engaged all key stakeholder ministries, who have contributed to awareness-raising and capacity-building on mine action through NCBL programs.[3]

The NCBL has received successive statements of support from key ministers in the MoPR, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Ministry of Defence. The NCBL organized events jointly with the MoPR, such as the International Mine Awareness Day on 4 April. Minister of Foreign Affairs, Prakash Sharan Mahat said to an NCBL delegation that he was one of the driving force to sign the Biological Weapons Convention and that he would lobby for the accession of the Mine Ban Treaty also. He will contact to the line ministries.[4] The NCBL met with Tirtha Raj Wagle, Joint Secretary of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who suggested organizing an inter-ministerial discussion.[5] However the former officials NCBL spoke with were subsequently transferred in each case, and no further progress has been made towards accession.[6]

Nepal has not attended a Meeting of States Parties to the convention since the Tenth Meeting of States Parties in December 2010, and did not attend the conventions Third Review Conference in September 2014. The NCBL forwarded via email to the mission of Nepal in Geneva an invitation letter for Nepal to participate in the Mine Ban Treaty intersessional meetings, and have met with Brigu Dhungana, Deputy Consular of Geneva Mission on 7 April 2014, and with Ambassador Deepak Dhital and Counsellor Suresh Adhikari on 6 September 2016.[7]

On 6 December 2016, Nepal abstained from voting on UN General Assembly (UNGA) Resolution 71/34 calling for universalization of the Mine Ban Treaty. This was the tenth consecutive year that Nepal abstained on the annual resolution, after voting in favor of all previous pro-ban resolutions since 1996.[8] In a June 2013 explanation of its abstention to the NCBL, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs representative said, “The reason for abstaining in the UNGA resolutions may be that the participating teams may not be ‘well-informed’ in those matters.” He said he would send a message to the concerned authorities regarding future votes.[9]

At one point a total of 27 of Nepal’s political parties signed an NCBL letter to seek Nepal’s accession to the Mine Ban Treaty.[10] The NCBL undertook a series of meetings with key government ministries to advocate for steps the government could take toward Mine Ban Treaty accession. This included a meeting in June with the Joint Secretary of the MoPR regarding the submission of Mine Ban Treaty voluntary Article 7 reports, as well as a joint meeting in July 2016 with the MoPR, Nepal Army, Armed Police Force, Nepal Police, and Department of Education, and meetings in August with ex-generals from the Nepal Army.[11] Also in July, a delegation from the NCBL met with Krishna Bahadur Mahara, Minister of Foreign Affairs. The NCBL also handed over the Survivor’s Declaration of November 2016 (Kathmandu). The NCBL delegation urged the government to accede the Mine Ban Treaty. The NCBL also urged the government to provide support to victims of landmines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs). The NCBL organized a photo and painting exhibition on 1–3 December 2016 and organized a survivors rally on 3 December 2016. The NCBL continued to organize public activities in 2017 to encourage accession to the Mine Ban Treaty, including a photo and painting exhibition in Basantapur on 1 March, a joint event with the MoPR on 4 April 2017, and a remembrance of the 20th anniversary of the adoption of Mine Ban Treaty in Durbar Square in Kathmandu on 18 September 2017.[12]

Production

On 21 June 2010, Nepal wrote to the Monitor that “Nepal does not produce any kind of antipersonnel landmines and the landmines that the Nepal Army is using have been produced abroad.”[13] Nepal repeated this in its remarks to States Parties in December 2010 at the Tenth Meeting of States Parties.[14]

Use, transfer, and stockpiling

Nepal is not known to have ever exported mines. In December 2009, the MoPR stated that Nepal has not planted mines since the end of the insurgency in 2006,[15] and that Nepal does not “enable the transfer” of mines.

During the conflict, the Nepal Army used antipersonnel mines and IEDs, assembled in-country, around military installations, police posts, and infrastructure. The Nepal Army has stated that it started using mines in 2002 and estimates it deployed around 14,000 antipersonnel mines (including 11,000 PMD-6 mines and 3,000 POMZ-2 and M14 mines). It also estimates that it used about 25,000 command-detonated IEDs.[16] In June 2010, Nepal told the Monitor that it used mines in 53 locations and IEDs in 275 locations during the conflict.[17] In June 2011, Prime Minister Jhalnath Khanal detonated the final mine, ending clearance of the areas mined by the Nepal Army during the civil war. He stated, “Today is a historical day because Nepal has been liberated from all kinds of landmines.”[18]

Nepal wrote to the Monitor in June 2010 that it is now only using antipersonnel mines for training purposes. It stated, “Landmines needed for this purpose have been retained in minimum number,” noting that this is in line with Article 3 of the Mine Ban Treaty.[19] The Nepal Police, Armed Police Forces, and the Nepal Army also retain stocks of IEDs.[20]

A Nepal Army spokesperson said in 2007 that the army had a stockpile of about 3,000 antipersonnel and antivehicle mines, including POMZ-2 and PMD antipersonnel mines. Nepal imported its mines from China, India, and the former Soviet Union, mostly in the 1980s.[21]

The former rebel Communist Party of Nepal/Maoist (CPN/M) became a part of the interim government in April 2007 and led the government in 2008–2009, 2011–2013 and 2016–2017. There have been no reports of new use of antipersonnel mines, victim-activated IEDs, or booby-traps by any armed group within the country during the reporting period.



[1] Statement of Nepal, Mine Ban Treaty Tenth Meeting of States Parties, 2 December 2010.

[2] CPA between Government of Nepal and then Communist Party of Nepal/Maoists (CPN/M), 21 November 2006, points 5.1.1(i), 5.1.2, and 5.1.4. Earlier, the May 2006 bilateral cease-fire between the government of Nepal and the CPN/M, and accompanying Code of Conduct, committed both sides to discontinuing the use of mines.

[3] Email from Purna Shova Chitrikar, Director, NCBL, 23 October 2017.

[4] NCBL meeting with Prakash Sharan Mahat, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kathmandu, 23 November 2016.

[5] NCBL meeting with Tirtha Raj Wagle, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 24 March 2017.

[6] List of Ministers whom the NCBL previously met include: Janardan Sharma, Rakam Chemjong, Girija Prasad Koirala, Sher Bahadur Deuwa, Sahana Pradhan, Satya Pahadi, Shanti Devi Yadav, Mahendra Pandey, Bal Krishna Khand, Narahari Acharya, Prakash Sharan Mahat, and Krishna Bahadur Mahara among others.

[7] Email from Purna Shova Chitrikar, NCBL, 23 October 2017.

[8] An advisor to the Prime Minister later told the NCBL that the Permanent Mission of Nepal to the UN in New York decides how to vote. Telephone interview with Raghuji Panta, Advisor to the Prime Minister, 23 May 2010.

[9] Meeting with Modita Bajracharya, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kathmandu, 26 June 2013.

[10] Several parties that previously signed have merged with other parties, changed names or ceased to exist. However, the following currently existing political parties have signed the pledge: Nepali Congress, CPN (UML), Nepal Communist Party (Maoist- Maoist Center), Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum, CPN (ML), Rastriya Prajatantra Party, Nepali Janata Dal, Samajvadi Janata Party, Dalit Janajati Party, Nepa: Rastriya Party, and Rastriya Janamorchha.

[11] Email from Purna Shova Chitrakar, NCBL, 9 December 2016.

[12] NCBL, “News Updates,” undated.

[13] Letter No. GE/2010/576 from Hari Prasad Odari, Second Secretary, Permanent Mission of Nepal to the UN in Geneva, 21 June 2010.

[14] Statement of Nepal, Mine Ban Treaty Tenth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 2 December 2010.

[15] Statement by Rakam Chemjong, Mine Ban Treaty Second Review Conference, Cartagena, 4 December 2009.

[16] See, Landmine Monitor Report 2007, pp. 936–937. The Monitor reported indicators of mine use by government forces as early as 1999.

[17] Letter No. GE/2010/576 from Hari Prasad Odari, Permanent Mission of Nepal to the UN in Geneva, 21 June 2010.

[18]Nepal declared free of mines five years after civil war,” BBC News, 14 June 2011. Nepal continues to clear IED fields laid by the security forces during the civil war. Four International Mine Action Standard (IMAS) Demining Platoons were involved in the clearance of landmines, IEDs, and explosive remnants of war (ERWs). Clearance operations started on 13 October 2007 and was successfully completed on 14 June 2011. Nepal declared mine-free on 14 June 2011. NAMACC has cleared an area total of 225,217.46m2 during which it found 10,941 antipersonnel mines and 1,078 ERW/IEDs. The Nepal Army cleared conventional Russian antipersonnel mines in 53 locations (PMD-6 & M14: Blast type and POMZ-2: Fragmentation type) and command-detonated devices in 341 locations. The Nepal Army laid command-detonated IEDs within 341 bases for security measures according to a presentation by the Nepal Army at an Advanced Mine Risk Education Training, jointly organized by the NCBL and MoPR, Makawanpur, 7–8 August 2014

[19] Letter No. GE/2010/576 from Hari Prasad Odari, Permanent Mission of Nepal to the UN in Geneva, 21 June 2010.

[20] Presentation by DSP Benu Prasad Pathak, Armed Police Force, NCBL Interaction Program, 10 January 2011.


Mine Action

Last updated: 17 December 2012

Contamination and Impact

Nepal has been affected by antipersonnel mines and explosive remnants of war (ERW) as a result of a decade of conflict that ended with a peace agreement in November 2006. In 2011, it completed clearance of all known mined areas.

Mines

Mine contamination when the conflict ended consisted of 53 fields of antipersonnel mines laid by the Nepal Army around military posts. By the end of 2010, clearance had reduced contamination to 17 minefields covering some 80,000m².[1] In June 2011, Nepal and a senior UN official declared that the last known mined area had been cleared.[2]

Other explosive remnants of war

The decade of conflict also resulted in a problem of ERW, mainly abandoned explosive ordnance and improvised explosive devices (IEDs). The Nepal Army, police, and Armed Police Force placed explosive devices, including command-detonated IEDs, as defensive perimeters around military installations. The police and armed police force have already cleared their IED fields. Of 273 IED fields laid by the Nepalese Army that remained at the end of the conflict, six had not been cleared at the end of 2011. These were due for completion in 2012.[3]

Continuing violence in the Terai region of southern Nepal has led to additional IED use and new victims. Humanitarian agencies reported 31 IED casualties in 2011 and estimated that half the casualties were from new devices as distinct from devices left behind by the earlier conflict.[4]

Nepal also has a continuing problem with “socket bombs” (improvised hand-grenades), produced in large quantities by Maoist supporters during the conflict and left over in people’s houses after the conflict ended. Socket bombs accounted for seven of 22 incidents in 2010; these incidents occurred in seven different locations. Other small improvised devices known as “Sutali bombs” and “tiffin box bombs” also cause casualties but there are no records of where they were used.[5]

Mine Action Program

Key institutions and operators

Body

Situation on 1 January 2012

National Mine Action Authority

Steering Committee for Mine Action, Mine Action Technical Committee

Mine action centers

Mine Action Joint Working Group; Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction Mine Action Office; and Nepal Army Mine Action Coordination Center (NAMACC)

International demining operators

None

National demining operators

NAMACC; Armed Police EOD Team; and Nepal Police EOD Team

International risk education operators

UNICEF

National risk education operators

Armed Police Force, Nepal Police, Nepal Red Cross Society, Nepal Campaign to Ban Landmines, Informal Service Sector Center, and other national NGOs

The Steering Committee for Mine Action and its Mine Action Technical Committee (MATC) serve as the National Mine Action Authority (NMAA). It created a mine action task force chaired by an Undersecretary at the Ministry of Peace & Reconstruction (MoPR) in October 2009 to make recommendations for future mine action. The MoPR issued a draft national mine action plan which received the approval of the MATC, but as of April 2012 it had not been adopted by the Steering Committee. An external evaluation of UN support for mine action in Nepal found that the Steering Committee appeared “moribund.”[6]

The MoPR, on the recommendation of the task force, set up a Mine Action Office in October 2009 to act as a mine action center and government focal point for mine action. The MoPR acts as a conduit for government financing of mine action but its ability to fulfill a wider role has been constrained by lack of capacity.[7] The Nepal Army Mine Action Coordination Center (NAMACC), set up in 2006, fulfills many of the functions of a mine action center, operating as a sub-unit command within the army and maintaining an Information Management System for Mine Action database recording contamination and mine action activities.[8]

Since August 2010, the MoPR has acted as chair of a Mine Action Joint Working Group (MAJWG) supporting operational coordination, especially of mine/ERW risk education (RE) and victim assistance.[9] It includes representatives of the government, security forces, UN agencies, and the ICRC. In April 2012, however, the government official fulfilling that role transferred to another ministry, creating a vacuum in government engagement with mine action.[10]

The UN Mine Action Team (UNMAT) coordinated mine action through MAJWG until August 2010 and later focused on quality assurance. UNMAT ended its activities in July 2011 after the completion of mine clearance.[11]

An evaluation of UN involvement in mine action in Nepal found the mine action activities undertaken by UNMAT and UNICEF were relevant and, in relation to destruction of ordnance stockpiles, “went very well.” It observed that UNMAS support to capacity development of the Nepal Army’s Engineering Brigade was “extremely successful.” It noted the effectiveness of the program was assisted by funding that was both adequate in scale and approved for an extended period. It also found, however, that the UN program had not achieved one of its main aims: the MoPR’s Mine Action Office had not developed into a fully fledged mine action center. It noted the concern of many stakeholders that MoPR had not been sufficiently active in coordinating mine action and might not continue to convene the MAJWG.[12]

Land Release

Nepal started 2011 with 17 minefields to clear covering approximately 80,000m.[13] Nepal Army engineers formally completed the task on 14 June 2011 when Prime Minister Jhalanath Khanal  triggered a controlled detonation of the last mines and the UN declared Nepal mine free.[14] No landmine incidents or discoveries have been reported since then.[15]

Five-year summary of clearance[16]

Year

Mined area cleared (m2)

No. of mined areas cleared

2011

80,000

17

2010

74,836

16

2009

42,045

15

2008

N/R

4

2007

N/R

1

Total

196,881

53

N/R = Not reported

Risk Education

The Nepal Red Cross Society (NRCS), the Nepal Campaign to Ban Landmines (NCBL), the Informal Service Sector Center (INSEC), and other national NGOs are active delivering RE to at-risk communities across the country with support from UNICEF. A network of some 430 people acting as focal points providing RE support coordinated by the MAJWG is active in 68 of Nepal’s 75 districts.[17]

The Department of Education, with funding from the Nepal Peace Trust Fund and UNICEF support, trained trainers to provide training for school teachers in the 20 most-affected districts in 2009−2010. This has enabled teachers to deliver a one-class RE session in each school class, reaching over 1,000 schools in 2011. There are plans to broaden the area of RE delivery to include schools in the 30 most-affected districts in 2011−2012 and the 50 most-affected districts in 2012−2013. In addition to this “systematic” RE, NRCS has conducted emergency RE after accidents or where explosive devices have been found; NRCS is working with MoPR on community-based RE programs undertaken by Local Peace Committees in 43 districts.[18]

 



[1] Email from Richard Derieux, Senior Technical Adviser, UNMAT, Kathmandu, 15 February 2011.

[2]Nepal clears last landmine,” Associated Press, 14 June 2011.

[3]Mine Risk Education,” Nepal Red Cross Society and International Committee of the Red Cross, March 2012, p. 12.

[4] Email from Luhar Danee, Child Protection Officer, UNICEF, Kathmandu, 13 August 2012.

[5] Email from Richard Derieux, UNMAT, Kathmandu, 15 February 2011.

[6] Interview with Shaligram Sharma, Under Secretary, Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction, in Geneva, 16 March 2011; Ted Paterson and Prabin Chitrakar with Abigail Hartley, “Evaluation of the UN Mine Action Programme in Nepal,” Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD), April 2012, pp. 23 & 29.

[7] Ted Paterson and Prabin Chitrakar with Abigail Hartley, “Evaluation of the UN Mine Action Programme in Nepal,” GICHD, April 2012, p. 21.

[8] Interview with Stephen Robinson, Programme Manager, and Mary Sack, Programme Officer, UNMAT, Kathmandu, 22 February 2010; Ted Paterson and Prabin Chitrakar with Abigail Hartley, “Evaluation of the UN Mine Action Programme in Nepal,” GICHD, April 2012, p. 22.

[9] UNICEF, “Summary Report on UNICEF Mine Action Activities – 2009,” provided by email from Danee Luhar, Child Protection Specialist, UNICEF, 19 May 2010.

[10] Email from Luhar Danee, UNICEF, Kathmandu, 13 August 2012.

[11] Interview with Richard Derieux, UNMAT, in Geneva, 16 March 2011.

[12] Ted Paterson and Prabin Chitrakar with Abigail Hartley, “Evaluation of the UN Mine Action Programme in Nepal,” GICHD, April 2012, pp. 27−29.

[13] Email from Richard Derieux, UNMAT, Kathmandu, 15 February 2011.

[14]Nepal clears last landmine,” Associated Press, 14 June 2011.

[15] Email from Luhar Danee, UNICEF, Kathmandu, 13 August 2012.

[16] Emails from Richard Derieux, UNMAT, 15 February 2011; and from Mary Sack, UNMAT, 9 April 2010.

[17] Ted Paterson and Prabin Chitrakar with Abigail Hartley, “Evaluation of the UN Mine Action Programme in Nepal,” GICHD, April 2012, p. 24.

[18] Email from Luhar Danee, UNICEF, Kathmandu, 13 August 2012; and Ted Paterson and Prabin Chitrakar with Abigail Hartley, “Evaluation of the UN Mine Action Programme in Nepal,” GICHD, April 2012, p. 25.


Support for Mine Action

Last updated: 10 September 2012

Support for Mine Action

In 2011, Switzerland contributed CHF145,000 (US$163,620) to mine action in Nepal.[1] In June 2011, Nepal reported it had cleared all known mined areas.[2]

In 2007–2011, Australia, Canada, Denmark, the European Commission, France, Switzerland, the United Kingdom (UK), and the United States (US) contributed a total of US$4.7 million for mine action in Nepal.

Summary of international contributions in 2007–2011[3]

Year

Donors

Amount (US$)

2011

Switzerland

163,620

2010

France, Switzerland, US

913,518

2009

Australia, Canada,  EC

834,789

2008

Australia, Canada, EC, UK

1,051,395

2007

Canada, Denmark

1,756,621

Total

 

4,719,943

 

 



[1] Switzerland average exchange rate for 2011: CHF0.8862 = US$1. US Federal Reserve, “List of Exchange Rates (Annual),” 3 January 2012. Response to Monitor questionnaire by Claudia Moser, Section for Multilateral Peace Policy, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Switzerland, 19 June 2012.

[2] UNMAS, “UN Declares Nepal Minefield-Free,” Press release, New York, 16 June 2011.

[3] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Claudia Moser, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Switzerland, 19 June 2012; ICBL-CMC, “Country Profile: Nepal: Support for Mine Action,” 18 October 2010; ICBL-CMC, “Country Profile: Nepal: Support for Mine Action,” 18 August 2011. See previous editions of Landmine Monitor; “2009,” and “2008.”


Victim Assistance

Last updated: 19 November 2018

Victim assistance action points

  • Establish a victim assistance coordination mechanism.
  • Ensure the participation of mine/ERW survivors in the coordination and planning of victim assistance.
  • Update the National Victim Assistance Strategic Framework and implement it.
  • Strengthen the capacity of the Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction to fulfil its mandate to assist conflict-related victims.
  • Conduct a national needs assessment survey.
  • Ensure that healthcare services reach people in need living in remote areas.
  • Develop physical rehabilitation services and improve access to assistive devices
  • Develop psychological services and provide increased socio-economic inclusion services.

 

Victim assistance planning and coordination

Government focal point

Nepal Mine Action Authority Steering Committee and Technical Committee and its operational arm: the Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction (MoPR) “Mine Action Section.” As of February 2018, the MoPR Joint Secretary was the temporary focal point for conflict relief programs, including victim assistance.[1]

Coordination mechanisms

Mine Action Joint Working Group (MAJWG)

Coordination regularity/frequency and outcomes/effectiveness

There was no coordination of victim assistance activities in Nepal in 2017.[2] In the past, victim assistance was discussed in the meetings of the MAJWG.

Plans/strategies

National Victim Assistance Strategic Framework (inactive).[3] A 10-year disability rights national action plan was finalized in 2016.[4]

Disability sector integration

 

The MoPR is responsible for caring for persons with disabilities and for the provision of physical rehabilitation, as well as for the financing of mine action and assisting conflict-related victims.[5]

Survivor inclusion and participation

No inclusion of survivors in planning or coordination was reported. Survivors were included in the implementation of victim assistance activities, such as psychological support and advocacy, through the Nepal Campaign to Ban Landmines (NCBL)’s informal National Network of Mine Victims.[6]

Reporting (article 7 and statements)

None

 

International commitments and obligations

The total number of mine/explosive remnants of war (ERW) survivors in the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal is unknown, but at least 1,060 survivors of mine/ERW incidents have been recorded.

Mine Ban Treaty

No

Convention on Cluster Munitions

No

Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)

Yes

 

Laws and policies

Disability issues fall under the 2016 disability action plan,[7] and the Disability Rights Act adopted on 6 August 2017.[8] The Disability Rights Act provides equal access to education, health, employment, public physical infrastructure, or transportation and prohibits discrimination based on disability.[9]

The Nepalese constitution prohibits discrimination based on disability and guarantees the right to free higher education for citizens with physical disabilities who are “financially poor.” However, laws and regulations to improve rights and benefits for persons with disabilities are not fully effective.[10]

In January 2018, a demand paper was being drafted by the Conflict Victims Common Platform, calling for short- and long-term livelihood programs, rehabilitation of the displaced, employment for the victims, free education for the victims’ children, and free health services.[11]

The government provided monthly social security allowances for persons with disabilities. However, NGOs reported that little progress had been made regarding a 2012 Supreme Court order that the state do more for persons with disabilities.[12]

 

Major developments in 2017-2018

The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) reported that current government programs in support of persons with disabilities were not sufficient.[13] In 2017, it was reported that no specific actions were implemented by relevant national authorities to support mine/ERW survivors.[14] The MoPR is responsible for the financing of mine action and assisting conflict-related victims. However, its ability to fulfill this role was constrained by a high staff turnover in recent years.[15]

 

Needs assessment

No comprehensive assessment of the needs of mine/ERW survivors in Nepal has been conducted in recent years.[16] A lack of general, accurate data on the situation of persons with disabilities in Nepal was reported, making it difficult to assess the precise needs of persons with disabilities.[17]

The next national census will occur in 2021.[18] Statistics from the 2011 census and the National Federation for the Disabled were reported not to have included comprehensive data on the number of persons with disabilities as a result of conflict.[19]

 

Medical care and rehabilitation

Primary healthcare services in Nepal remained largely inaccessible to persons with disabilities living in remote areas.[20] Government healthcare services were limited to emergency care and very basic needs.[21] Moreover, many public places, including district-level and community-level health infrastructures, were not accessible.[22]

In 2017, the ICRC trained medical professionals in weapon-wound surgery and emergency-room trauma care.[23] Local actors were also trained in first-aid.[24]

The Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare (MoWCSW), the Ministry of Health and Population, and the MoPR were responsible for caring for persons with disabilities and for the provision of physical rehabilitation.[25] However, for regular physical rehabilitation most persons with disabilities relied on services funded through international assistance.[26] Access to assistive devices in Nepal was limited. There was no national manufacturing and distribution programs of such devices, and they continued to be mainly supplied by international and national NGOs.[27] In rural areas, there was a lack of technical knowledge for fitting of assistive devices.[28] Although there was no discrimination in terms of treatment received, civilians receiving rehabilitation services in military hospitals had to pay for their treatment, while militaries received treatment for free.[29]

The ICRC supported two physical rehabilitation centers with raw materials and equipment. It covered costs for devices, treatment, transport and/or accommodation for over 1,000 destitute people and supported partner organizations physical rehabilitation awareness outreach activities.[30] In 2016, Humanity & Inclusion (HI, formerly Handicap International) supported five rehabilitation centers, providing technical support, supporting the organization of mobile rehabilitation camps, supporting the identification and referral of persons with disabilities needing corrective surgery, and enhancing the sustainability of rehabilitation centers.[31] HI informed patients, including mine/ERW survivors, of their rights and referred them to relevant services.[32] The NCBL collected information about persons with disabilities’ needs for mobility devices, such as wheelchairs and sticks, and provided them with the appropriate, second-hand devices. The NCBL also supported survivors coming to Kathmandu for prosthesis fitting or repair, by providing shelter as well as money for food and transportation.[33]

Building sustainability within the rehabilitation centers remained a priority.[34] In 2017 the physiotherapy unit of the Bir Hospital in Kathmandu was handed over to the Ministry of Health.[35] HI ran a nine-year (2010–2019) funded by USAID to improve the quality, access, and sustainability of rehabilitation services.[36]

Led by the MoPR and the National Disabled Fund (NDF), the project for the provision of physical rehabilitation services to conflict-affected persons with disabilities was extended in 2016 and again in 2017.[37]

 

Socio-economic and psychosocial inclusion

Although the government mandates that each district allocates 15%of its budget for vulnerable groups, including persons with disabilities, most persons with disabilities had to rely almost exclusively on family members for assistance.[38] Municipalities allocated resources for income-generating activities.[39]

HI provided resources for skill training for livelihood activities for persons with disabilities, including civil war veterans.[40] HI also requested that microfinance institutions provide loans to persons with disabilities, including mine/ERW survivors.[41] The NCBL continued to support education for child survivors and other children with disabilities.[42] The NCBL also maintained its support to the National Network of Mine Victims, an informal survivor peer support network in 42 of the 77 districts of Nepal.[43] The NCBL conducted a livelihood and skill development program for survivors and other persons with disabilities and conducted a follow-up of the program.[44]

The NCBL provided some informal counseling in conjunction with other activities, such as encouraging survivors to participate in social, political, and economic activities.[45] HI continued to provide basic psychological support to persons with disabilities, though social workers.[46] Psychological assistance was reported to be almost non-existent outside of Kathmandu.[47]

The ICRC, along with partner organizations, promoted the social inclusion of persons with disabilities through sports.[48]

 

 

Victim assistance providers and activities

Name of organization

Type of activity

Government

Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction (MoPR)

Care for persons with disabilities, physical rehabilitation

Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare (MoWCSW)

Care for persons with disabilities, physical rehabilitation

Ministry of Health

Care for persons with disabilities, physical rehabilitation

National

Informal Sector Service Center (INSEC)

Data collection, information, immediate response assistance through referral

Nepal Campaign to Ban Landmines (NCBL)

Scholarships and vocational training for child survivors; psychological support; advocacy for victim assistance funding and accessible infrastructures; provision of assistive devices; and awareness-raising

National Red Cross Society

Micro-economic initiative program for victims of the conflict who have lost their mobility; network of first aid volunteers

International

HI (Humanity & Inclusion, formerly Handicap Interational)

Support to physical rehabilitation centers; community-based rehabilitation; personalized social support services for individual beneficiaries

ICRC

Support to the prosthetics department of the Green Pasture Hospital, in Pokhara, including treatment and transport costs for beneficiaries and support to the Yerahity Rehabilitation Center in Kathmandu, managed by the Nepalese Army (assisting both military and civilians); funding for emergency medical care

UNICEF

Education grants and income-generation; distribution of handbooks on rights and services for survivors

 

 



[1] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Purna Shova Chitrakar, Nepal Campaign to Ban Landmines (NCBL), 14 February 2018.

[2] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Pradipta Rana, HI (Humanity & Inclusion) Nepal, 21 December 2017.

[3] A five-year National Victim Assistance Strategic Framework was developed with the main victim assistance agencies under the leadership of the MoPR in August 2009. However, the strategy was not yet being used as a framework for victim assistance activities by February 2018 and there was a general lack of awareness about its existence among government mine action actors. Ibid; interview with Danee Luhar, UNICEF Nepal, Kathmandu, 31 January 2013; and email detailing field mission notes from Firoz Alizada, ICBL, 30 October 2014.

[4] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Pradipta Rana, HI Nepal, 21 December 2017.

[5] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Purna Shova Chitrakar, NCBL, 14 February 2018; and United States (US) Department of State, “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2016: Nepal,” Washington, DC, 3 March 2017, p. 37.

[6] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Purna Shova Chitrakar, NCBL, 14 February 2018.

[7] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Pradipta Rana, HI Nepal, 21 December 2017.

[8] National Federation of the Disabled – Nepal (NFD-N), “Press Release: The legislative parliament passes the Disability Rights Act,” 7 August 2017.

[9] US Department of State, “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2017: Nepal,” Washington, DC, 20 April 2018.

[10] Ibid.

[11]Conflict victims working on demand paper,” The Kathmandu Post, 7 January 2018.

[12] US Department of State, “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2017: Nepal,” Washington, DC, 20 April 2018.

[13] UN Population Fund, “Population Situation Analysis of Nepal,” 19 July 2017, p. 61.

[14] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Pradipta Rana, Program Officer, HI Nepal, 21 December 2017.

[15] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Purna Shova Chitrakar, NCBL, 14 February 2018.

[16] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Pradipta Rana, HI Nepal, 21 December 2017; email from Deepak Raj Subedi, HI Nepal, 15 October 2014; and email detailing field mission notes from Firoz Alizada, ICBL Campaign Manager, 30 October 2014.

[17] ICRC Physical Rehabilitation Programme (PRP), “Annual Report 2016,” Geneva 2017, p. 55; and Austin Lord et al., “Disaster, Disability, & Difference: A Study of the Challenges Faced by Persons with Disabilities in Post-Earthquake Nepal,” 19 May 2016, p. 35.

[18] UN Population Fund, “Population Situation Analysis of Nepal,” 19 July 2017, p. 51.

[19] UN Country Team in Nepal, “A Country Analysis with a Human Face 2011,” Kathmandu, updated February 2013.

[20] UNDP in Nepal, “Annual Report 2016,” Kathmandu, 3 July 2017, p. 43.

[23] ICRC, “Annual Report 2017,” Geneva, 12 June 2018, p. 370.

[24] Ibid.

[25] United States Department of State, “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2016: Nepal,” Washington, DC, 3 March 2017, p. 37.

[26] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Pradipta Rana, HI Nepal, 21 December 2017.

[27] Arne H. Eid et al., “Living conditions among people with disability in Nepal,” Trondheim, 28 April 2016, p. 46.

[29] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Pradipta Rana, HI Nepal, 21 December 2017; and interview with Purna Shova Chitrakar, NCBL, in Geneva, 5 September 2017.

[30] ICRC, “Annual Report 2017,” Geneva, 12 June 2018, p. 370.

[31] HI, “Country card: Nepal,” July 2016, p. 2; and response to Monitor questionnaire by Pradipta Rana, HI Nepal, 21 December 2017.

[32] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Pradipta Rana, HI Nepal, 21 December 2017.

[33] Interview with Purna Shova Chitrakar, NCBL, in Geneva, 5 September 2017.

[34] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Pradipta Rana, HI Nepal, 21 December 2017.

[35] Ibid.

[36] USAID, “STRIDE Service Coverage Assessment,” 12 March 2017, p. 2.

[37] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Pradipta Rana, HI Nepal, 21 December 2017.

[38] US Department of State, “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2017: Nepal,” Washington, DC, 20 April 2018.

[39] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Pradipta Rana, HI Nepal, 21 December 2017.

[40] HI, “Country card: Nepal,” July 2016, p. 2.

[41] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Pradipta Rana, HI Nepal, 21 December 2017.

[42] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Purna Shova Chitrakar, NCBL, 14 February 2018.

[43] Ibid.; and see NCBL, “Empowering Persons with Disabilities,” undated.

[44] Interview with Purna Shova Chitrakar, NCBL, in Geneva, 5 September 2017; and response to Monitor questionnaire by Purna Shova Chitrakar, NCBL, 14 February 2018.

[45] Ibid.

[46] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Pradipta Rana, HI Nepal, 21 December 2017.

[47] International Medical Corps, “Rapid Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Situational Assessment,” 22 May 2015.

[48] ICRC, “Annual Report 2017,” Geneva, 12 June 2018, p. 370.