Image for Representation.
KATHMANDU: The Truth and Reconciliation Commission is set to include a vital amendment in its Third Amendment Bill on Disappeared Persons, allowing victims of coercion and serious sexual violence during the armed conflict to file complaints anew.
Notably, the initial bill presented to Parliament did not address the grievances of victims of forced labor and sexual violence from the conflict era.
This development emerges as a response to the fact that survivors of severe sexual violence during the armed conflict had been unable to come forward due to various fears and intimidation, even after the peace process had begun. Many voices in the nation underscored the significance of addressing these victims’ concerns to achieve true peace.
The sub-committee operating under the law committee of the House of Representatives has formulated this proposal and is submitting it to the committee’s full meeting today. After extensive discussions and consultations with relevant stakeholders, the sub-committee has agreed to integrate this crucial provision into the bill, which will enable victims of forced labor and serious sexual violence during the conflict to file complaints.
The committee’s report suggests that if victims of coercion and serious sexual violence during the armed conflict are exempted from filing complaints, the commission will issue a public notice, allowing a three-month window for such complaints to be lodged.
Presently, the commission has received 314 complaints from victims of coercion and sexual violence. However, the National Network of Women Raped in the Conflict has identified 3,000 women who were victimized by both state actors and rebels during the armed conflict. These survivors have been vocally advocating for changes in the law to address their issues.
In May, the Law Committee established a sub-committee to review the Bill on the Investigation, Truth, and Reconciliation Commission of Disappeared Persons.
Additionally, the sub-committee has proposed extending the term of the Commission for Investigation, Truth and Reconciliation of Disappeared Persons to four years, as opposed to the initial two-year term specified in the bill.