Land Rights, Mental Health Challenges Face Post-Conflict Nepal

Report
from International Organization for Migration
Published on 08 Mar 2013

Nepal's ten-year civil war may have ended with the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2006, but land and property rights still need to be addressed, as does the mental health of conflict-affected people.

As part of its global mandate on migration, IOM works to assist governments and societies address land and property issues and victim reparations in the aftermath of natural disasters or conflict.

It will shortly begin two important post-conflict programmes in the county, aimed at supporting land reform and providing psychosocial support to conflict-affected women.

The "Catalytic Support of Land Issues" project, which will be undertaken in partnership with the UNDP and UN Habitat focuses on facilitating a draft framework for land reform and beginning to implement it in three districts. The principal partners on the government side are the Ministry of Land Reforms and Management (MoLRM) and the Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction (MoPR.)

"Nepal has a history of unequal distribution of land as well as people who own very little or no land at all," explains Maurizio Busatti, IOM's Chief of Mission in Nepal. "Land reform was one of the main demands at the origin of the civil unrest that ravaged the country and the comprehensive peace agreement and the interim constitution slate land reform as one of the key priorities."

Funds, to the tune of USD 1.25 million, come from the United Nations Peace Building Fund. It is also the source of funding for the USD 500,000 "Psychosocial Assistance to Conflict Affected Persons" project, which IOM will run alongside the MoPR.

While the government has implemented various relief programs to conflict-affected people and their families, the psychosocial needs, especially women, are still largely unmet.

"Conflict-related human rights violations have lifelong repercussions for women in particular, many of whom continue to suffer from medical complications and prolonged psychological problems," says Busatti.

The project will support the Government to develop and deliver psychosocial services to conflict-affected people in 12 districts for 15 months. IOM will second a technical team at the MoPR, to support the day-to-day implementation of the services.

For more information, please contact Maurizio Busatti at IOM Nepal, Email: mbusatti@iom.int

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