June 1, 2015

Nepal: Earthquake Recovery Must Safeguard Human Rights


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Interventions to support and protect Nepal’s earthquake victims and aid in their recovery must not only address the immediate need for material and psychological support, but should anticipate and address key human rights challenges. Continuing aftershocks and landslides make it clear that the earthquake in April was not a single disaster, but an ongoing emergency, posing serious challenges for the government, international community and above all the people of Nepal. There is an immediate need to guard against discrimination in the distribution of relief and to ensure protection of vulnerable groups. In the longer-term, Nepal must use all available resources to ensure the right to adequate housing, the right to livelihood, the right to recognition under the law, the right to health, and to freedom of movement, including protection against forced relocation of displaced persons. A human rights compliant approach to the disaster response will be critical to ensuring that the quest for equality, justice and accountability in Nepal does not lose ground as the country struggles to recover from the devastation.