Role of provincial and local governments in reparation: Addressing immediate reparative needs of conflict victims in Nepal
The Nepal government must provide reparations as compensation for the harm caused and the trauma still being experienced by thousands of individuals and families following the aftermath of the decade-long armed conflict. This policy paper explores the roles of the provincial and local level governments in delivering reparation in general and addressing the immediate needs of victims.
Providing reparation is not just a policy choice but an obligation – owed to victims as a result of an unlawful breach of international and domestic law during the conflict. Victims of gross violations of human rights and humanitarian law have a right to reparation. States have a corresponding obligation to respect, protect, and fulfil this right.
Reparation serves as a vehicle for acknowledging past violations along with state responsibility for harms suffered by victims. It also acts as a public commitment to respond to their enduring impact.
Domestic reparation programmes are considered to be the most effective tool for victims to receive reparation. It is important to note that reparation does not just mean compensation. Other measures include restitution, rehabilitation, satisfaction and guarantees of non-recurrence. Reparation must be ‘adequate, effective and prompt’, building on the principle of ‘full reparation’. This can be individual or collective reparation, material or symbolic reparation or both.
This policy paper aims to explore the roles of the provincial and local level governments in delivering reparation and addressing the immediate needs of victims. It also seeks to support these provincial and local governments in undertaking reparation initiations within their jurisdiction, powers and functions as prescribed by the Constitution of Nepal (2015), the Local Government Operationalization Act 2017 and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Act 2014.