Isis-WICCE in collaboration with Women’s Rehabilitation Centre (WOREC), Nepal have launched the research report “Unveiling Justice: Rape Survivors speak out” on access to justice for rape survivors in Nepal 2007-2010.
The report which was launched on 21 March 2012 in Kathmandu, Nepal was officiated on by Hon. Balram KC, former Judge of the Nepalese Supreme Court. The function was also attended by the leaders from different political party affiliations in Nepal, members of civil society organizations, the media, bilateral agencies as well as survivors and human rights defenders from 75 districts in Nepal.
The report presented findings from 10 districts of Morang, Dhanusha, Kailali, Udayapur, Kavrepalanchowk,Kathmandu, Baglung, Dailekh, Dolakha and Darchula on the experiences and the extent to which rape survivors have been constrained in accessing justice. The research was carried out in 2010 by Isis-WICCE and WOREC teams as part of the 2010/11 International Exchange Institute that was held in Nepal. The findings were presented by the lead researcher Ms Bindu Gautam who highlighted silent facts and the response mechanism rape survivors use to bridge the gaps in the legal framework and the environment.
The former Judge of the Nepalese Supreme Court expressed concern on the rate at which rape cases have increased and urged authorities to ensure that culprits are punished. He called upon women human rights defenders to sensitize survivors on the court procedures so that they do not lose their cases on technicalities. He further urged WOREC to profile the outcomes of the study so that policy makers are well informed to take appropriate actions.
Likewise, the first lady of Nepal Hisila Yami welcomed the report noting that women are not only raped physically but also economically and politically. She called for a holistic healing mechanism to address the plight of the victims and survivors.
She thanked Isis-WICCE and WOREC for producing a report that clearly documents and brings out facts about the experiences of women.
Other speakers like the Victomologist, Dr Shanker Kumar were concerned that in spite of the legal framework in place, there has not been any effort to help survivors and punish perpetrators. He urged WOREC to keep voices of survivors in the limelight so that their needs and concerns can be addressed.
Isis-WICCE Executive Director, Ruth Ochieng called upon the government of Nepal to enact a gender friendly constitution which will automatically guide different institutions in putting up laws and policies to address strategic needs and concerns of survivors of rape.
The report mainly recommended a major review and reform of the criminal justice system to ensure that it complies with the human rights standards, provision of immediate support to survivors of rape and implementation and enforcement of laws that strengthen social and community mechanisms for protection of survivors of rape.