International humanitarian law in nepal - a case study

This paper analyses the humanitarian crisis in Nepal during the period of armed conflicts from the perspectives of International Humanitarian Law. Nepal, a Himalayan Kingdom until recently, was facing armed conflicts from communist rebels. The war prolonged for almost 12 years killing more than 13000 people. Too many human rights violations and ignorance of humanitarian law principles in the course of conflicts had become the rule of the day. This paper analyses various international laws which govern war and armed conflicts. Customary International Law is the first international legal principles which are applicable to the armed conflicts. Similarly, in the process of development of Humanitarian Law, four Geneva Conventions and two additional protocols have been signed by many nation states which are collectively called the "laws of war". The Paper analyses the existing international instruments in general and human rights statutes of Nepal in particular to study how the conflicts were governed in Nepal. Nepal being a signatory to the Geneva Convention was bound by international legal principles as well as constitutional provisions to safeguard the human rights of its people. Despite existing national and international legal provisions, the paper draws the attention to the fact that there were numerous instances where the laws were simply not followed. In its conclusion, the paper urges for an independent and impartial inquiry and punishment for the violators of laws.
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