TRC yet to prepare reparation policy

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Aug 27, 2018-

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which has largely failed to look into war-era cases of rights violation, is delaying the reparation policy, which could guide relief provisions for thousands of people awaiting justice.

Reparation—the process of providing victims with monetary and other relief as per their wish—is one of the five pillars of transitional justice.

Three years since the commission started drafting the policy, the work is still unfinished owing to the dispute over who would lead the process. The commission formed a taskforce led by its member Madhabi Bhatta in early 2016 to prepare the policy. In September that year, her team prepared a preliminary report but it was never presented to the commission for approval.

More than a year later, the commission decided to consult with conflict victims in all the provinces while discussing issues separately with rape victims for giving the policy its final shape. The consultations took around a year to complete while the policy has yet to be final.

Though the families of victims killed and disappeared during the decade-long insurgency have received cash support of Rs1 million, no other measure has been offered. Insurgency-era victims of rape, sexual violence or torture haven’t got even the cash relief. TRC officials say they need the government’s nod to the reparation scheme since the treasury will pay for it.

“The existing regulation which envisions maximum compensation of Rs300,000 also poses a challenge for finalising the policy as the prescribed amount is little,” said Lila Udasi Khanal, a member of the commission. However, since the TRC has the authority to recommend reparations, managing the problem is its responsibility too.

Conflict victims, with support from various organisations, have already prepared the advocacy paper for reparation, clearly explaining their expectations. Victims of abduction, maiming, torture, rape and sexual violence, seizure of property, and forced eviction and displacement during the decade-long Maoist insurgency are eligible for reparation schemes.

In the policy paper, victims have demanded security and protection of human rights, construction of parks and memorials in the name of victims, setting up museums and naming public infrastructure after victims. Identity cards for conflict victims, short- and long-term livelihood programmes, rehabilitation of the displaced people, employment opportunities for victims, free education for victims’ children, free health services, and skill and professional training are the other recommendations.

The TRC and the Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons (CIEDP) were formed in 2015 to look into war era cases of human rights violations and to recommend action. In the three-and-a-half years since, the TRC has completed preliminary investigation into hardly 2,800 cases among the 63,000 filed to it without completing detailed probe into a single case.

The CIEDP, which received some 3,000 cases, has completed preliminary investigation into some 500 complaints

but has failed to launch a detailed study.

Published: 27-08-2018 07:06

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