13th International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearance – ‘State a mute spectator in search for the missing’

  August 30, 2023 By: INSEC

On August 30, which marked the 13th International Day against Enforced Disappearances in 2023, various organizations, including the Informal Sector Service Center (INSEC), Advocacy Forum, Nepal Red Cross Society Kaski, and Civil Society Network for Peace Kaski, organized an interaction program in Pokhara, focusing on the theme of “Transitional Justice and the Voice of the Victims.” During the event, family members of victims who have disappeared shared their concerns about the state’s response to enforced disappearances.

Sushila Simkhada, the Minister of Social Development and Health of the Gandaki Province government, emphasized the importance of unity among families of martyrs and missing persons to seek justice. She reassured the attendees that the government is dedicated to finding ways to provide relief to the families of victims.

Annath Baral, the President of the Disappeared Society in Kaski, urged the government to address the issue of missing persons promptly, so that the need to mark the International Day against Disappearances in the following year could be avoided.

संक्रमणकालीन न्याय र पीडितको आवाज विषयको अन्तक्र्रिया कार्यक्रम (28) (1)

During the program, family members of disappeared persons expressed their dissatisfaction with the functioning of the Commission of Inquiry, which was established to investigate disappearances that occurred during the armed conflict. They voiced concerns that the commission has not been effective in addressing the grievances of the victims. Shaligram Paudel, representing a family with a missing member, questioned why the state seems inactive in searching for those who have disappeared.

The event shed light on the challenges faced by families when a main breadwinner goes missing, leaving their dependents in distress. Participants stressed the importance of the government providing support, employment, education, and healthcare for these families.

संक्रमणकालीन न्याय र पीडितको आवाज विषयको अन्तक्र्रिया कार्यक्रम (1)

Advocate Kunjani Pariyar, Coordinator of Advocacy Forum Nepal in Gandaki Province, presented the current situation of transitional justice during the program.

संक्रमणकालीन न्याय र पीडितको आवाज विषयको अन्तक्र्रिया कार्यक्रम (5)

Tank Khanal, an Official from the National Human Rights Commission in Gandaki Province, called on the government to take proactive steps to instill hope in victims and ensure justice. He urged the government to approach the issue with a deep sense of empathy and commitment to address the concerns of the victims.

INSEC Gandaki Province Office, Pokhara