Where are they? A National Conference on Enforced Disappearances in Nepal Disappearance in Nepal: In the later years of armed conflict, Nepal was defamed as the country with highest number of disappearances. The UN Working Group of Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances (UNWGEID) reported that Nepal was the country with the highest number of reported enforced disappearance cases for 2002 and 2003. According to the report of ICRC, more than 1000 people have been disappeared during armed conflict. NHRC report reveals that 645 people are still disappearing. Further, the families of disappeared citizens claim that there are about 5000 people missing. The ten-year conflict in Nepal resulted in thousands of temporary disappearances through the practice of unofficial detentions both by the security forces and the Maoists. Although the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention against Torture require the state to protect the liberty and security of the person in several ways, it has not been translated into practice in Nepal. Over the period of armed conflict, more than 15000 people lost their lives, thousands displaced, and about 1500 people disappeared. In the beginning years of armed conflict, the case of disappearance was comparatively less. But after the declaration of the state of emergency in 2001, the cases of enforced disappearances increased significantly. Me and Disappearance Campaign: I am also one of the active members of the Campaign against Disappearance. I have generated the concept of "The trans country cycle rally" from Jhapa in the eastern region to Kanchanpur in the far-western region which was organized in January through February 2008. During that rally we met more than 2oo families of the disappeared. Finding them in the everlasting agony I was very much worried on the issue. So, I strongly put the idea of the conference in the Anual General Meeting of COCAP (the organization which is handling the campaign). The AGM passed the agenda and now we are preparing for the conference. National Conference on Disappearance: Proposed national conference is planned as a follow-up of the previous campaigns on the issue of disappearance. The main aim of the conference is to contribute towards ending the culture of enforced disappearances in Nepal by linking the families of the disappeared citizens with policy makers, development communities and the government to take appropriate action to publicize the condition of the disappeared citizens and bring the perpetrators into the process of law. During the previous campaigns, COCAP volunteers collected case studies, prepared documentaries and reports on the issue. Moreover COCAP volunteers organized signature campaign, street dramas, press conference, and interactions with the families of the disappeared citizens. Objectives: 1. Link the families of the disappeared citizens with policy makers, civil society actors and the government. 2. Create citizens' pressure to government and policy makers to take the disappearance as an urgent issue to be addressed. 3. Make concerned parties responsible in observing the real condition of the families of the disappeared citizens and provide them with the compensation. 4. Put pressure to take appropriate actions to those involved in such inhuman act of forcing people to be disappeared and to end impunity. 5. Put pressure on the concerned authorities to form a high level commission about the issue of disappearance. 6. Put pressure to ratify and enforce international treaties relating to disappearance. Participants: The national conference is attended by the families of the disappeared citizens, leaders of political parties, government authorities and policy makers. The participants also include the members of constituent assembly, civil society leaders, journalists, volunteers, intellectuals, local NGOs and INGOs and organizations dealing with the issue of disappearance. It is expected that about 600 people will participate the conference. 1. 200 members of disappeared families from various parts of the country 2. 100 Constituent Assembly members 3. 100 volunteers 4. 150 participants including the civil society leaders, other various organizations, students, journalists, intellectuals political parties and their sister organizations 5. 50 from organizers Conference Modality: The national conference is a collective effort of various organizations, individuals and volunteers. About two dozen civil society organizations have been involved in organizing the conference. The cost of the conference will be shared by individuals, organizations and interested donor organizations. Since it is a collective effort no donations more than NRS. 50,000 will be accepted form national organizations. However, international donor agencies can contribute maximum up to NRS. 100,000. Venue: Staff College, JawalaKhel, Lalitpur
Date :Sep 19 2008
Time : 11 am onwards
I would like to invite you too.