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.
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Shobha Shrestha, Peace and
Security Officer, Peace and
South-Asia Partnership (SAP) Nepal
Babar Mahal, Kathmandu, Nepal
Tel: + 977 4223230; Fax: + 977
Last updated 30/09/2004 07:03:10