WILPF & WOREC Recommendations to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women

Friday, April 1, 2011
Southern Asia


* Considering the international obligations to investigate and prosecute war crimes and human rights abuses, the Government of Nepal must initiate a thorough and complete investigation into the perpetration of sexual abuse during armed conflict. It is crucial that this investigation should be independent in character and include prosecutors, civilian police, representatives of the national human rights mechanisms, an international observer, and ensuring a gender balance, to investigate the extent of sexual violence committed during the conflict by all parties.
* The Government of Nepal must review and reform provisions in the law which currently discriminate against women

Reform should include:

* The definition of rape, in Nepalese law, must be redefined to ensure compatibility with international standards
* The normative framework regarding the prosecution of sexual violence in armed conflict must be addressed immediately, recalling important principals of non-discrimination and human rights which must be applied comprehensively throughout the process. The developments that have taken place in international law must be respected and legal standards must be interpreted accordingly, in particular in relation to definitions of rape, and the exclusion of the defence of consent in situations where there are coercive circumstances, such as in armed conflict.
* The Government of Nepal should be encouraged to establish a special court to hear cases concerning the perpetration of sexual violence during post conflict, including cases of female PLA combatants.
* The state authorities must vet the judiciary and train or if necessary seek technical assistance, so that the body is capable of providing justice without discrimination.

The procedural framework:

* The government should ensure legal aid and representation to women witnesses to sexual violence from the moment of first contact with the authorities to the finalization of the judicial process.
* The Government must implement the Supreme Court verdict by repealing the legal provision which limits the registration of cases of sexual violence, to 35 days.
* Provisions for witness protection and anonymity should be provided for.
* The government should establish a commission that can monitor and review the conduct of state appointed attorneys in relation to cases of sexual violence.
* Psychosocial support mechanisms must be established, designed to support the witness throughout the recovery and reintegration process. The (currently) deficient system represent a significant de facto barrier to justice and a grave misunderstanding of the intense trauma suffered by victims of abuse, reifying the stigmatisation of GBV.
* One-stop medical and legal support services must be established in areas outside of Kathmandu. The provision of official medical documentation, access to justice and legal redress, are tightly interconnected. Furthermore, civil society is widely unaware of important procedural aspects that can determine the course of a case. Bringing together complementary services will encourage better information sharing, efficiency and the provision of mutual support, removing significant barriers which have prevented the achievement of justice.


* Whilst former combatants await a political resolution, the Government must establish a body that can monitor and investigate the situation in the camps. This monitoring body must instigate a representative and holistic process of consultation with those in the camps, specifically women leading to the implementation of measures designed to abate growing tensions. To prevent further disengagement from the DDR process the authorities must ensure that the aforementioned cantonment reforms appropriately address women's insecurity, considering gendered implications throughout the process alongside increased women's participation. It is important that the integration of Maoist forces and Nepal National Army, maintains a gender balance, and that criteria enacted to filter the combatants do not discrimination against women combatants. Although the design and reintegration of Maoist combatants has yet to be enacted, gender balance and gender mainstreaming must be upheld throughout the process in line with international obligations in light of SCR 1325. Special attention should be paid to an appropriate reintegration package that does not replicate or reinforce gender stereotypes or inequality.

Document PDF: 

WILPF.WOREC, Nepal CEDAW Recommendations 2011