Impact of Armed Conflict on Children in Nepal

Summary: Short document providing a useful background
and statistics on the impact of the conflict in
Nepal on children.
The Maoist insurgency, which started in 1996, has caused
widespread violence throughout the country and killed over
11,000 people including many innocent children. Many others
have suffered physical as well as psychological injuries. Hundreds
of children are in trauma brought about by the loss of their
parents, and relatives.

Both the conflicting parties have been violating the rights of the
children. Children have been the most affected by the violent
internal armed. With massive destruction of its infrastructure,
education has been badly affected. Both the conflicting parties
have been using the educational institutions as trainings. While
the rebels force the children & students to join them, the security
forces accuse them of being Maoists & assert them from their
schools.

As a result of the conflict, hundreds of schools have closed down
in the villages & thousands of children have been deprived of
their right to education. The children have also been deprived of
health facilities, a balanced diet and nutrition and the care of
their parents / relatives. They have list the essential
opportunities of physical, mental, and moral development.

Similarly child labor has increased and the conflicting parties have
been using children as messengers. The Maoists have been using
child soldiers. Between February 1996 to October 2003, a total of
155 children (below 17 years) were killed by the state while 79
were killed by the Maoists. 53 of the children killed by the state
were females while of those 22 killed by the Maoists were
females. Most of the children killed in the war were from the Mid-
western region, the area most affected by the conflict.

Thousands of orphans (victims from both sides) have seen their
parents, siblings, or friends being beaten up or tortured or killed.
According to CWIN report over 4000 children have been internally
displaced. Some of them even live on the street, exposed to
various types of danger. Many displaced children have witnessed
violence and destruction and thousands have been traumatized.
Children who have been directly affected or who have witnessed
atrocities from either side are deeply traumatized or have
developed a sense of revenge.

There has been an adverse effect on the development, survival
and security of children, the other victims of the armed conflict.
Lacking protection and guidance, orphaned children have fallen
into bad habits, often misbehaving & developing a deep sense of
revenge. Their youth has been stained by cruelty, inhumanity and
helplessness. Growing up in such an environment is certain to
have severe effect on their subconscious.

There is no effective government in the districts outside the
headquarters. The state seems to be indifferent to the lives of
terror suffered by the children. Therefore, there is a need for civil
society interventions to address these issues. As a member of
the civil society it is our responsibility to minimize the negative
impacts of the violent conflict on the lives of the children.

Conflict in Nepal:
- 1674 Lost Lives in the year 2003 (295 civilian, 130 Policeman,
129 Army Soldier, 56, Army Police-force, 1100 Maoist)
- Damaged billion rupees worth of property and infrastructure
- 70 % cottage, national industries & enterprises closed down
- Development budget diverted for military armament, mmoving
towards militarization
- Escalation of human rights violation

Militarization in Nepal:
- 1960: Government had 17,000 army personals
- 1996: number reached 46,000
- Currently: 78,000 Army personals
- Before insurgency: 40,000 policeman
- Current: 56,000 policeman
- The state has been acquiring modern arms, night vision
helicopters and ammunitions in the name of curbing terrorism
- Maoist spend over 10 million rupees a month to fuel their war
machinery
- Defense budget :( 8 billion. Increase of 830 million)

Disappearances:
- 1115 people have been disappeared from 2001-2003
- In the year 2003 there were 700 disappearance among which
there were 152 Students, 149 Teachers
- Amnesty International Report 2004; Nepal is listed as a country
to have highest number of disappearance and kidnapping.

Forced Displacement:
- More than 3000 teachers displaced affecting the education of
more than 100,000 students
- Over 4,000 children internally displaced

Forced Recruitment of Child Soldiers:
- Maoists Kidnap Children from the age of 8 and are recruited
through torturing their parents or relatives
- They are used as laborers (carry firewood, stones and soil, build
roads, clean drains and grounds and cook food and utensils
- They work as Messengers and help to transfer arms

Impact on Children:
- Thousands Children made orphans (victimized from both the
contending parities)
- Hundreds of children live in trauma due to the loss of their
parents and relatives
- 74% percent of students in Maoist affected areas are suffering
from the fear that they might be abducted either by the Maoist
rebels (Recent survey in Gulmi district, Nepali times)
- Destruction of infrastructure and closed down of schools
Children deprived of their right to education. (700 private schools
closed down since 1996)
- Deprived of health facilities, a balanced diet and nutrition
- Deprived of essential opportunities of physical, mental and
moral development
- Orphan children lacking of protection and guidance have fallen
into bad habits misbehaving and developing a deep sense of
revenge.
- Thousands of orphans witnessed violence and destruction are
psychologically affected and are deeply traumatized.
Owner: Shobha Shrestha

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