Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Displacement

IDP Laws and Policies: Nepal

Nepal Laws and Policies

Relief Program for Internally Displaced People Due to Conflict for FY 2004/05

Purpose: To ensure systematic support is provided by the government to those internally displaced by the conflict.

Responsibilities: According to Section 9, a Central Legal Coordination and Directives Committee will be formed under the chair of the Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Home to coordinate the provision of relief packages for the displaced. District Coordination and Directives Committees will identify the displaced and coordinate relief programs. Ministries responsible for provision of specific relief are identified on page 20.

Content: The relief package includes cash support, scholarships for children and cash compensation for property damage, treatment of injured and targeted support for women and children (s. 4).

Other provisions of note include:

  • participation of ‘victims’ and civil society in implementing committees (s. 9(a));
  • Relief services are to be made available without discrimination (s. 12(b));
  • preference for women ‘victims’ in skill development and income activities (Annex 3, p. 15);
  • ‘displaced’ is defined to only include those who have left their residence ‘for security reasons due to Maoists terrorism’ and not, for example, as a result of the actions of government security forces (Annex 6).

National Policy on Internally Displaced Persons (2007)

Purpose: Following the 2005 visit of the Representative of UN Secretary-General on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons to Nepal, the government committed to develop an IDP policy as a means of improving the government’s response to the needs of IDPs. The Policy was initially adopted in March 2006. Concerns raised by NGOs and others led to modification of the Policy and its re-adoption in early 2007.

Responsibilities: As Chair of the newly established Central Steering Committee (s. 11.1), the Ministry of Home Affairs, in coordination with other relevant Ministries, is responsible for implementation of all policies and programs identified in the Policy (s. 10.2). Chief District Officers are responsible for identifying bodies at the local level that could coordinate IDP programs and for maintaining records of displaced persons and families (ss. 10.5, 10.6).

Content: The policy details the strategies and policies that form the basis for specific programs to assist in the protection, relief and rehabilitation of the internally displaced. The Policy also details mechanisms for the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the Policy (s. 10).

Provisions of note include:

  • The ‘guiding principles’ of the policy include international human rights treaties to which Nepal is a party, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement (ss. 2.1, 2.2);
  • Participation of IDPs in relief and service delivery, rehabilitation and reconstruction (ss. 7.9, 8.2.12, 8.2.13);
  • Special protection of vulnerable groups (ss. 7.10, 8.2.4, 9.3);
  • Prohibition against discrimination on the basis of displacement. Monitoring is responsibility of the National Human Rights Commission (s. 8.1.1);
  • Protection against displacement of indigenous groups/minorities (s. 8.1.9);
  • Protection of the right to vote (s. 8.1.11);
  • Development-induced displacement (s. 8.1.6);
  • Replacement of documentation (s. 8.2.5);
  • Return of physical property forcefully seized or looted (s. 8.3.4);
  • Programs for and participation of women (ss. 8.3.6, 9.12);
  • Programs for adult and non-formal education (s. 9.6);
  • Programs for trauma healing (ss. 9.10);
  • IDP participation in district coordination committees (s. 11.3).