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Nepal: Excluded Groups Give Input On Rebuilding

Nepal: UN Conducts Training To Help Give Excluded Groups A Voice

New York, Oct 20 2008 1:10PM

United Nations human rights officials today convened a workshop in Nepal’s west with the aim of giving traditionally marginalized groups a greater say in how the Asian nation rebuilds after its decade-long civil war.

The training, held together with the National Human Rights Commission, was conducted with organizations representing groups largely excluded from decision-making processes on how the State should address the consequences of the conflict, a process known as transitional justice.

Women, members of the Tharu community, former Kamaiyas and Dalits – or so-called “untouchables” – were some of the groups represented at the workshop.

Participants were encouraged to share their experiences, identify the causes and consequences of the war and assess potential ways to consolidate stability. The organizations were given the tools needed to allow the groups to have their voices heard before bodies such as a Commission on Disappearances or a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) are set up.

“This workshop gave previously excluded groups, often those most affected by the conflict, the space and opportunity to explore and develop ways to best contribute to a national process on transitional justice,” said Andrew Palmer, who heads the Far Western Regional Office of the UN Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rightῳ in Nepal (OHCHR-Nepal).

Those who attended the training agreed to meet in a week for further talks.

Nepal, which in 2006 emerged from a civil war claiming 13,000 lives between Government and Maoist forces, abolished its 240-year-old monarchy in May and is now known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal.

ENDS

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