2007: Facts on the Conflict
helps children traumatised by conflict
20 December 2007 (IRIN)
of children [in western Nepal] who witnessed and were victims of the violence,
torture and killings, are unable to overcome their worst experiences and
need help," CVICT's psycho-social trainer, Tilak Manandhar, told IRIN in
Bardiya District, in mid-western Nepal.
children in Nepal have mental disorders caused by the decade-long conflict
between Maoists and government forces, according to the Centre for Victims
of Torture (CVICT), a local non-governmental organisation (NGO).
Nepal was the worst affected by the conflict, with the highest rates of
killing, forced disappearance, displacement and torture.
specialises in the psycho-social treatment of children affected by conflict
all over Nepal.
in Nepal: Bacchu Rokaya and her children at an IDP camp in Rajhena of Nepalgunj
are no accurate statistics, but according to Child Workers in Nepal (CWIN),
a national children's rights NGO, thousands were affected all over Nepal
during the period 1996-2006. Over 8,000 children were orphaned, around
40,000 displaced and over 30,000 abducted.
addition, 236 children were arrested by the security forces. Some 473 children
(including 135 girls) were injured, and 423 children were killed (including
300 boys), according to CWIN.
District, a major centre of Maoist activity, is believed to have seen one
of the highest numbers of child victims: Local residents, especially children,
became the targets of both the rebels and government security forces, according
to the Dalit Welfare Organisation (DWO), a local NGO supporting child victims
of the armed conflict.
Maoist insurgency ended in November 2006 after the signing of a peace agreement,
but child rights activists say the rehabilitation of children has been
neglected by the government.
is a really crucial need to rehabilitate and heal the children, who continue
to be haunted by their terrible ordeals," said psycho-social counsellor
is among 17 counsellors trained by CVICT, which runs psycho-social programmes
helping traumatised children in over 17 districts of the country, with
the support of Save the Children-Norway (SCF-N).
of the most difficult cases for Sunuwar was a 17-year-old girl, Gauri Devi
Sharma, who became badly traumatised after her father was abducted by Maoist
rebels. Sunuwar has spent nearly three years helping her in addition to
arranging help from professional psychologists.
counsellors go to villages and provide 10-day crash training programmes
to local teachers, social workers, health workers, community leaders, child
club students and child rights activists. They are trained to work as community
psycho-social workers, with the aim of extending counselling services to
as many traumatised children as possible.
day there is a child suffering from mental disturbances in every village
and it is shocking to know that they are still living in trauma," said
Sunuwar, who has helped nearly 105 children aged 10-18 in the past three
daughter is speaking up finally after three years and that is enough for
us to feel that our daughter is not mad now," explained her 55-year-old
mother, Janki Devi Sharma, who sold all the family property to pay for
her daughter's medical treatment in India.
treatment is quite a new phenomenon in Nepal. It focuses on both psychological
exercises, and the involvement of the whole community in providing a hospitable
and supportive environment.
says most of the traumatised cases she has dealt with have benefited from
treatment to a great extent but she feels she wants to do more.
a lot we can do to heal the children but there is a dire shortage of trained
counsellors and resources are limited," said CVICT's Manandhar.
© UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs 2007
This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]
Regional Information Networks (IRIN), part of the UN Office for the Coordination
of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
of Victimes of Torture Nepal