In the presence of more than 60 women survivors of conflict, the national convergence of conflict affected survivors was conducted on 6th November, 2017 at Union House, Anamnagar, and Kathmandu. Four survivors presented their stories demanding accountability of the concerned stakeholders. They stated that the government has tried to exchange the justice with the 10,000 NRs that it provides to the family of those disappeared ones. But they strongly presented that it can never mean justice for them. They face hurdles each step of their life and almost all the survivors have been taking medicines to tackle with their psychological hurdles. Government can’t repair this loss and hasn’t yet tried to as well. Thus, all of them strongly demanded that government become accountable to them and act sensitively and in a survivors’ friendly manner.
During the programme, Analytical working paper of the self-healing sessions was presented where all the challenges faced by the survivors were put forward. Relating the cases of many survivors, the slides were presented along with their demands.
Guests spoke on behalf of their commissions on how their respective commission is working for peace and security of the conflict survivors. MadhabiBhatta, member of Commission of Truth and Reconciliation stated that the commission has documented 62,000 cases among which only 7,000 cases are into investigation. She added that the commission is always sensitive towards the issues of conflict affected survivors and considering this, responsibility has been given to the members from the provincial level where one member has to be a woman. Likewise, commission has also improved on the educational sector making the education of children of conflict affected women free till Bachelors’ level.
Dr. Bishnu Pathak, Speaker and Member of Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons shared that 3039 cases have been registered while only 160 cases are in detail study. He added that due to the then local election, it was difficult to call the perpetrator and investigate them. He added that the commission has the capacity to investigate all the cases within a year and can go way ahead than 50 conflicts affected countries.
Joint Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, NirmalaAdhikari, shared that both the commissions are responsible for creating the safe environment for violence survivors to speak about violence. She added that the Ministry of Home Affairs is determined to build capacity of the security forces to become gender sensitive and create the gender friendly environment.
Secretary of National Women Commission, Tulsi Ram Sedai shared the truth of the commission having the responsible posts vacant. He added that the commission is committed to end violence against women so have come up with the twenty-four hours toll free number 1145. He also urged women to use the toll free number and share about their violence immediately they face it.
Dr. RenuAdhikari, founder chairperson of WOREC and the chairperson of National Alliance of Women Human Rights Defenders highlighted the incomplete definition of justice for the conflict affected women that doesn’t address the perspectives of viewing towards women’s pain. She stated that until and unless the social transformation takes place and the conservative perspective towards the violence survivors of conflict changes, women wouldn’t be able to access justice.
Susane Rijal, executive director of NagarikAwaj shared that they have been working on conflict management and emergency relief programs. She urged the government to be accountable in regards to addressing the need of conflict survivors.
Lastly, the founder chairperson of Story Kitchen, Jaya Luitel expressed her concern regarding the definition of conflict survivors as it fails to include sexual violence and torture in it. She further added that legal justice alone doesn’t define justice for the survivors rather it should include self- justice, family justice and social justice as well. So, she explained the need of survivors to organize to demand for real justice for themselves.
Likewise, KalpanaJha, officer of National Human Rights Commission and Joint Secretary, office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, Laxmi Prasad Gautam were also present in the program who gave their views on being accountable towards the justice and peace of the conflict affected women. This way, more than 80 people were present in the national convergence of survivors of conflict.