Trapped by Inequality

Bhutanese Refugee Women in Nepal

[1] Mathew Joseph C., Ethnic Conflict in Bhutan (New Delhi: Nirala Publications, 1999), pp. 129-164.  "Lhotshampas" refers literally to "people living in the south."  Ethnic Nepalese began migrating to southern Bhutan in the nineteenth century and many were granted Bhutanese citizenship by the 1958 Nationality Law.  Under this law, an adult may obtain Bhutanese citizenship by owning land, residing in Bhutan for ten years, and taking an oath of loyalty to the King. 

[2] Ben Saul, "Cultural Nationalism, Self-Determination, and Human Rights in Bhutan," International Journal of Refugee Law, vol. 12 (2000).  Bhutan is home to three major ethnic groups:  the ruling Ngalongs live in the west, speak Dzongkha, and belong to the Drukpa Kagyugpa sect of Buddhism; the eastern Sarchops speak Tsangla and belong to the Nyingmapa sect of Buddhism; and the southern Lhotshampas speak Nepali and are primarily Hindu.  The government of Bhutan feared a repetition of the events in neighboring Sikkim, where a growing Nepalese population had supported a 1975 merger with India, and in North Bengal, India, where the militant Nepalese Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) led an unsuccessful but bloody uprising seeking a separate Nepali state.  Yeshey Dorji, the deputy permanent representative of Bhutan to the United Nations, explained Bhutanese fears as follows: "What has happened in the neighborhood is very disturbing.  Look at Sikkim, Darjeeling, Ladakh.  In Sikkim, the original inhabitants are now only 17 percent of the population."  Human Rights Watch interview, New York City, May 6, 2003. 

[3] Article 15(2) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) states, "No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality."  Universal Declaration of Human Rights G.A. Res. 217A (III), U.N. GAOR, 3d. Sess., pt. 1 at 71, U.N. Doc. A/810 (1948).  Section 3 of the 1985 Bhutan Citizenship Act retroactively made 1958 the cut-off date for citizenship by registration.  In these cases, a person had to provide land tax receipts or other proof of residency from on or before December 31, 1958.  Vague provisions in the 1985 Act permitted government officials to strip individuals of their citizenship arbitrarily; for example, section 6(c) permitted the denationalization of any naturalized citizen who "has shown by act or speech to be disloyal in any manner whatsoever to the King, Country and People of Bhutan."  For a more detailed analysis of the 1985 Bhutan Citizenship Act and international human rights law, see Amnesty International, "Nationality, expulsion, statelessness and the right to return," September 2000 and Tang Lay Lee,  "Refugees from Bhutan:  Nationality, Statelessness, and the Right to Return," International Journal of Refugee Law, vol. 10, no. 1-2 (1998).

[4] AHURA Bhutan, "Bhutan:  A Shangri-La without Human Rights," March 2000; Amnesty International, "Bhutan:  Human Rights Violations against the Nepali-Speaking Population in the South," December 1992; Amnesty International, "Bhutan: Forcible Exile," August 1994; and Tessa Piper, "The Exodus of Ethnic Nepalis from Southern Bhutan," April 1995 [online], http://www.unhcr.ch/refworld/country/writenet/wribtn.htm (retrieved March 1, 2003).

[5] Amnesty International, "Bhutan:  Human Rights Violations;" Amnesty International, "Bhutan: Forcible Exile;" andPiper, "The Exodus of Ethnic Nepalis from Southern Bhutan."

[6] Human Rights Watch interview with Kira Maya R., Bhutanese refugee camps, Nepal, March 24, 2003.  All names of refugees we interviewed have been changed to protect their identity.  Other identifying information, including  the name of the refugee camp where the interview took place, has been omitted for the same reason.

[7] Human Rights Watch interview with Phul Maya L., Bhutanese refugee camps, Nepal, March 28, 2003.

[8] Human Rights Watch interview with Saraswati D., Bhutanese refugee camps, Nepal, March 26, 2003.

[9] Human Rights Watch interview with Pratima M., Bhutanese refugee camps, Nepal, March 23, 2003.

[10] D.N.S. Dhakal and Christopher Strawn, Bhutan:  A Movement in Exile (New Delhi:  1994), quoted in Lee,  "Refugees from Bhutan."

[11] Amnesty International, "Forcible Exile," p. 3.  By mid-1992, refugees' reports of arbitrary arrests, torture, and rape in Bhutan had diminished, but they continued to face threats of large fines and imprisonment if they did not sign "voluntary migration certificates" and leave the country.  Small numbers of Bhutanese seeking refuge continued to arrive in the camps through the 1990s.

[12] According to the government of Nepal, 102,140 refugees live in the camps jointly administered by Nepal and UNHCR.  Refugee Coordination Unit, Ministry of Home Affairs, Nepal, November 30, 2002.  There are also a small number of Sarchops refugees and asylum-seekers in eastern Nepal.  This group of Bhutanese refugees and asylum-seekers primarily fled Bhutan in 1996 and 1997.  E-mail message from UNHCR Sub-Office, Damak, Nepal to Human Rights Watch, September 1, 2003.  The Sarchop refugees fled persecution in Bhutan, including arbitrary arrest and prolonged detention without charge or trial, for their political views.  Amnesty International, "Bhutan:  Crack-down on 'anti-nationals' in the east," January 1998.

[13] U.S. Committee for Refugees, World Refugee Survey 2002 (Washington, D.C.:  2002), pp. 149-152 (citing Nepalese authorities). 

[14] See footnote 217 for a discussion of the right to return.  Representatives of the government of Bhutan have argued that the refugees are voluntary migrants who followed their political leaders out of Bhutan in the early 1990s.  "The people were misled by their leaders, they were told they should go stay in the refugee camps for a few months where they would get huts and food, and that a few months later they would return in triumph….  They told people living in India and Nepal to come live in the camps, and they would be rewarded with land in Bhutan."  Human Rights Watch interview with Yeshey Dorji, the deputy permanent representative of Bhutan to the United Nations, New York City, May 6, 2003.  Bhutanese law defines "anti-nationals" as "those aversed [sic] to the development of the Kingdom of Bhutan and those who assist the enemies."  Thrimshung Chhenpo Tsa Wa Sum (Law on Treason and Anti-Nationals), 1957, art. 1.  Bhutanese law criminalizes "anti-national" activities such as treason, undermining the security and sovereignty of Bhutan by creating or attempting to create disaffection among the people, creating hostility or misunderstanding between the government and the people of Bhutan, and promoting or attempting to promote feelings of hatred between different religious, racial, or language groups.  The law provides that such acts can be punished by imprisonment or death.  The National Security Act, 1992, clause 4.

[15] Jeff Crisp, "No Solutions in Sight:  The Problem of Protracted Refugee Situations in Africa," UNHCR  Evaluation and Policy Analysis Unit: Working Paper no. 75, 2003, p. 1.  Over 60 percent of the ten million refugees cared for by UNHCR at the end of 2002 were caught in protracted refugee situations.  Jeff Crisp and Ray Wilkinson, "Crises Without End or Solution," Refugees, vol. 4, no. 129 (2002), p. 23

[16] Many people observed that the quality of education offered in the refugee camps was superior to the education found in an average public school in Nepal.  Refugees receive a ration of 2,100 kilocalories per person per day, a number that meets standards set by the World Health Organization.

[17] The refugee organizations include the Bhutanese Refugee Women's Forum (BRWF), the Children's Forum, and Bhutanese Refugees Aiding Victims of Violence (BRAVVE).

[18] E-mail message from Douglass Cubie, United Nations Volunteers (UNV) associate protection officer, UNHCR Sub-Office, Damak, Nepal, to Human Rights Watch, September 1, 2003.

[19] E-mail message from Giulia Ricciarelli-Ranawat, protection officer, UNHCR Branch Office, Kathmandu, Nepal, to Human Rights Watch, August 15, 2003.  UNHCR records and follows up on all known reported suicide and attempted suicide cases.  E-mail message from Douglass Cubie, UNV associate protection officer, UNHCR Sub-Office, Damak, Nepal, to Human Rights Watch, September 1, 2003.

[20] Human Rights Watch, "'We Don't Want to be Refugees Again,' A Human Rights Watch Briefing Paper for the Fourteenth Ministerial Joint Committee of Bhutan and Nepal," May 19, 2003, available at:  http://hrw.org/backgrounder/wrd/refugees/.  The Bhutanese and Nepalese governments have agreed upon a system of categorization into four groups:  (1) bona fide Bhutanese who were forcibly evicted, (2) Bhutanese who voluntarily migrated, (3) non-Bhutanese, and (4) Bhutanese who have committed crimes.

[21] Under the 1985 Bhutan Citizenship Act, citizenship through naturalization requires:  twenty years of residency in Bhutan; the ability to speak, read, and write Dzongkha proficiently; good knowledge of the culture and history of Bhutan; good moral character; no "record of imprisonment for criminal offenses in Bhutan or elsewhere"; and "no record of having spoken or acted against the King, country and people of Bhutan in any manner whatsoever."  Most refugees will not be able to fulfill the Dzongkha proficiency requirement.  The vagueness of several provisions in the 1985 Bhutan Citizenship Act permit arbitrary interpretations that make returning refugees vulnerable to discrimination.  The government of Bhutan issued an application form to refugees for citizenship that states, "The re-applicants shall not be associated with activities of any anti-national organizations/individuals."  Government of Bhutan, Form KA-(C): Terms and Conditions for Re-Application, June 18, 2003.  This provision could prevent refugees who participated in peaceful demonstrations, and their relatives, from obtaining citizenship. 

[22] Human Rights Watch, "We Don't Want to be Refugees Again."

[23]  As the JVT has not explained the criteria it used to categorize refugees, it is possible that many of those placed in this category are indeed Bhutanese and will be denied their right to return to Bhutan. 

[24]  Given Bhutan's treatment of political dissidents in the past, these activists could be subject to criminal trials without due process of law or suffer other human rights abuses during their time in pre-trial or post-conviction custody. 

[25] E-mail message from AHURA Bhutan, Kathmandu, Nepal, to Human Rights Watch, July 7, 2003.

[26] Human Rights Watch, "We Don't Want to be Refugees Again."  Without citizenship or appropriate security clearance documents, children in Bhutan cannot take qualifying national exams and may be barred from high school.

[27] Human Rights Watch interview with Kala G., Khudanabari camp, Nepal, March 21, 2003.

[28] The Executive Committee ("ExCom") is UNHCR's governing body, and has passed a conclusion calling upon States, relevant United Nations organizations, and NGOs  to "[p]rovide, wherever necessary, skilled female interviewers in procedures for the determination of refugee status and ensure appropriate access by women asylum-seekers to such procedures, even when accompanied by male family members…[and to p]rovide for informed and active consent and participation of refugee women in individual decisions about durable solutions for them,"  ExCom Conclusion No. 64 (1990).  Since 1975, ExCom has passed a series of conclusions at its annual meetings.  The conclusions are intended to guide states in their treatment of refugees and asylum seekers and in their interpretation of existing international refugee law.  While the conclusions are not legally binding, they constitute a body of "soft" international refugee law.  They are adopted by consensus by the ExCom member states, are broadly representative of the views of the international community, and carry persuasive authority. 

[29] Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees ("Refugee Convention"), 189 UNTS 150, 1951, entered into force April 22, 1954.  In 1967 a Protocol was adopted to extend the Refugee Convention temporally and geographically.  Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees, 19 UST 6223, 606 UNTS 267, 1967, entered into force October 4, 1967.  Article 1(A) of the Refugee Convention defines a refugee as a person who, "owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, or membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country."  Neither Nepal nor Bhutan are party to the Refugee Convention.

[30] Human Rights Watch interview with Chandra Maya R., Bhutanese refugee camps, Nepal, March 24, 2003.

[31] Human Rights Watch interview with Kira Maya R., Bhutanese refugee camps, Nepal, March 24, 2003.

[32] Human Rights Watch interview with Devi C., Bhutanese refugee camps, Nepal, March 24, 2003.

[33] The JVT treated individuals above the age of twenty-five, single or married, as separate family units from their parents and siblings.  E-mail message from Giulia Ricciarelli-Ranawat, protection officer, UNHCR Branch Office, Kathmandu, Nepal, to Human Rights Watch, September 10, 2003.

[34] Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), U.N. Doc. A/44/49, 1989, entered into force September 2, 1990, arts. 3(1), 9, and 10(1).  Bhutan ratified the CRC on August 1, 1990 and Nepal ratified it on September 14, 1990.  ExCom Conclusion No. 84 (1997) urges "States and concerned parties to take all possible measures to protect child and adolescent refugees, inter alia, by:  preventing separation of children and adolescent refugees from their families and promoting care, protection, tracing and family reunification for unaccompanied minors."

[35] Human Rights Watch interview with Saraswati D., Bhutanese refugee camps, Nepal, March 26, 2003. 

[36] United States Department of State, "2002 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices:  Bhutan," March 31, 2003 [online], http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2002/18310.htm (retrieved on May 30, 2003).  Bhutanese men may marry more than one woman with the permission of the first wife.

[37] The right of persons to participate in their own culture is well-established under international law.  The UDHR, recognized as customary international law, states in article 22 that "Everyone, as a member of society … is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality"; and in article 27, that: "Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community…."  The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD) recognizes the "right to equal participation in cultural activities."  CERD, 660 U.N.T.S. 195, entered into force Jan. 4, 1969, art. 5(e)(6).  Bhutan signed the CERD in 1973. Under article 18 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, a state that has signed but not yet ratified a treaty is obliged to refrain from acts that would defeat the object and purpose of a treaty.  See also, International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), G.A. Res. 2200 (XXI), 21 U.N. GAOR Supp. (no. 16), U.N. Doc. A/6316, entered into force January 3, 1976, art.15 and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), 999 U.N.T.S. 171, entered into force March 23, 1976, art. 27.

[38] Human Rights Watch, Rape for Profit:  Trafficking of Nepali Girls and Women for India's Brothels, (New York:  Human Rights Watch, 1995); United States Department of State, "2002 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices:  Nepal," March 31, 2003 [online], http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2002/18313pf.htm (retrieved on May 30, 2003).  No reliable data exists on the magnitude of trafficking in Nepal, but local NGOs estimate 5,000 to 12,000 girls and women are trafficked each year, primarily to India for sex work.

[39] Polygyny refers to men having more than one wife and polyandry refers to women having more than one husband.  Polygamy encompasses both.  The Country Code states, "No male shall, except in the following circumstances, marry another female or keep a woman as an additional wife during the lifetime of his wife or where the conjugal relation with his first wife has not been dissolved under the law:  [i] If his wife has any contagious venereal disease and has become incurable; [ii] If his wife has become incurably insane; [iii] If no child has been born or remained alive within ten years of the marriage; [iv] If his wife has become lame and unable to walk; [v] If his wife has become blind of both eyes; [vi] If his wife has lived separately after obtaining her partition share under No. 10 or No. 10A of the Chapter on Partition."  Muluki Ain 2020 [Country Code 1963], chapter on Marriage, no. 9.  The Country Code also stipulates a woman may only have custody of her children older than five years if she has not "eloped" (remarried).  Muluki Ain 2020 [Country Code 1963], chapter on Husband and Wife, no. 3(2).

[40] Nepal Civil Code Act, 2059 (Eleventh Amendment, 2002).  The eleventh amendment to the Civil Code changed Nepal's 1963 Country Code (Mulaki Ain 2020) to protect the inheritance rights of daughters and widows; the property rights of divorced women; and the unrestricted right to an abortion up to the twelfth week of pregnancy.  The eleventh amendment also increased the punishment for rape up to fifteen years and removed several provisions discriminatory toward women from the Country Code.  

[41] Center for Reproductive Rights, "Nepal's King Urged to Continue Commitment to Human Rights by Releasing Women Imprisoned for Abortion," New York, July 1, 2003 [online], http://www.reproductiverights.org/pr_03_0701Nepal.html (retrieved July 17, 2003); The Center for Reproductive Law and Policy and Forum for Women, Law and Development, Abortion in Nepal, Women Imprisoned (New York and Kathmandu:  CRLP and FWLD, 2002).  Some women who were convicted of infanticide had still births or induced abortions.  E-mail message from Sapana Pradhan-Malla, president, FWLD, Kathmandu, Nepal, to Human Rights Watch, August 15, 2003.

[42] This report does not discuss the plight of non-registered women.  In some cases, refugee women failed the refugee status determination interview at the screening post at Kakarbhitta on the India-Nepal border, possibly because of their unfamiliarity with and fear about the screening procedures.  In other cases, they arrived after the screening post closed in January 2001 (screening resumed in September 2003).  Some women from the local Nepalese community have also married into the camps.  None of these women or their children are able to access aid packages, and it is unclear whether they will have a chance to accompany their families to Bhutan.  Human Rights Watch interviewed several Nepalese women who had married into the camps, and who experienced psychological and physical abuse from their husband's families because they were seen as burdens on the household's resources.

[43] CRC, art. 2(1).

[44] CRC, art. 7.  UNHCR guidelines on the protection of refugee children outline its responsibilities to prevent statelessness among refugee children and to protect stateless persons, in part by ensuring that the births of all refugee children are registered.  UNHCR, Refugee Children:  Guidelines for Protection and Care (Geneva:  UNHCR, 1995), p. 104.  ExCom Conclusion No. 47 (1987) urges States to "take appropriate measures to register the births of refugee children born in countries of asylum," and ExCom Conclusion No. 85 (1998) affirms this guideline, drawing particular attention to "children of refugees and asylum-seekers born in asylum countries who could be stateless unless appropriate legislation and registration procedures are in place and are followed."

[45] Chandragadhi is the town where the district offices of the RCU and police are headquartered in Jhapa district.

[46] Human Rights Watch interview with Rita D., Bhutanese refugee camps, Nepal, March 28, 2003.

[47] Human Rights Watch interview with Ratna G., Bhutanese refugee camps, Nepal, April 3, 2003.

[48] The JVT does not set camp registration or ration distribution policies.  The reason for the RCU administrator's reference to the JVT is unclear, but he gave Maya S. incorrect information about how to pursue registration for her children and eventually rejected her application.

[49] Human Rights Watch interview with Maya S., Khudanabari camp, Nepal, March 24, 2003.

[50] Human Rights Watch interview with camp-level RCU administrator, Bhutanese refugee camps, Nepal, March 27, 2003.

[51] Human Rights Watch interview with camp-level RCU administrator, Bhutanese refugee camps, Nepal, April 1, 2003.  In an e-mail message to Human Rights Watch, a protection officer with the UNHCR Sub-Office in Damak said that UNHCR does not agree with the current policy.  E-mail message from Douglass Cubie, UNV associate protection officer, UNHCR Sub-Office, Damak, Nepal to Human Rights Watch, September 1, 2003.

[52] Nepal Const, arts. 9(1) and 9(2).

[53] Human Rights Watch interview with Tara D., Bhutanese refugee camps, Nepal, April 1, 2003.

[54] This practice partly stems from concerns of "double registration" in which members of one household apply for separate ration cards and then pool the rations, effectively doubling their aid package.  However, this policy fails to acknowledge the legal and social barriers that women must consider before filing for divorce.  This policy is also discriminatory against women because men are listed as the household heads on the ration cards and it is generally women who must find alternative housing and aid if they separate.  

[55] Nepal Country Code, No. 3(2) of the Chapter on Husband and Wife.

[56] See Human Rights Watch, Seeking Protection:  Addressing Sexual and Domestic Violence in Tanzania's Refugee Camps (New York:  Human Rights Watch, 2000), p. 33.

[57] UNHCR, Guidelines on the Protection of Refugee Women (Geneva:  UNHCR, 1991); UNHCR, Sexual Violence Against Refugees (Geneva:  UNHCR, 1995); and UNHCR Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Against Refugees, Returnees, and Internally Displaced Persons:  Guidelines for Prevention and Response (Geneva:  UNHCR, 2003). 

[58] UNHCR, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, p. 25.

[59] UNHCR, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, p. 51.  ExCom Conclusion No. 64 (1990) calls upon States to "[i]ssue individual identification and/or registration documents to all refugee women; [and] provide all refugee women and girls with effective and equitable access to basic services…."

[60] Human Rights Watch interview with Courtney Mitchell, programme officer, World Food Programme, Kathmandu, Nepal, March 18, 2003.

[61] Human Rights Watch interview with camp-level RCU administrator, Bhutanese refugee camps, Nepal, April 1, 2003.

[62] Human Rights Watch interview with Geeta M., Bhutanese refugee camps, Nepal, March 26, 2003.

[63] Most women moved into other relatives' huts, added a partition to a relatives' hut, or built a separate dwelling from materials they independently purchased.

[64] Human Rights Watch interview with Ganga P., Bhutanese refugee camps, Nepal, March 26, 2003.

[65] Throughout this report, the exchange rate used is 78 Nepalese Rupees to the U.S. dollar, the rate on July 31, 2003.

[66] Human Rights Watch interview with Maya N., Bhutanese refugee camps, Nepal, March 26, 2003. 

[67] Beth Vann, Gender-Based Violence, Emerging Issues in Programs Serving Displaced Populations (Arlington, VA:  Reproductive Health for Refugees Consortium, 2002); Jeanne Ward, If Not Now, When?  Addressing Gender-based Violence in Refugee, Internally Displaced, and Post-conflict Settings, A Global Overview (New York City:  Reproductive Health for Refugees Consortium, 2002).

[68] Human Rights Watch, Seeking Protection, p. 45.

[69] UNHCR and Save the Children-UK.  Sexual Violence and Exploitation:  The Experience of Refugee Children in Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone (Geneva/London:  UNHCR/SC-UK, 2002).

[70] Ibid.  Sexual exploitation refers to "any abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust for sexual purposes; this includes profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another."  Inter-Agency Standing Committee, "Report of the Task Force on Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in Humanitarian Crises," June 13, 2002 [online],  http://www.unicef.org/emerg/IASCTFReport.pdf (retrieved March 18, 2003).

[71] The IASC includes several United Nations agencies and voluntary organizations that provide humanitarian assistance.  A full list of members and standing invitees can be found at http://www.humanitarianinfo.org/iasc/membership.asp.

[72] IASC, "Report of the Task Force," p. 1. 

[73] IASC Task Force, "Plan of Action," June 13, 2002, p. 1 [online] http://www.humanitarianinfo.org/iasc/poasexualexploitation.doc (retrieved March 18, 2003).  The six core principles are (1) sexual exploitation and abuse are grounds for termination of employment; (2) sexual activity with children is prohibited regardless of age of majority or local age of consent; (3) exchange of money, services or other goods for sex is prohibited; (4) sexual relationships between humanitarian workers and beneficiaries are strongly discouraged as they are based on unequal power dynamics and undermine the integrity of humanitarian aid work; (5) aid workers must report concerns regarding sexual abuse by a fellow worker via established agency mechanisms; and (6) humanitarian workers and agencies are obliged to create and maintain an environment that prevents sexual exploitation and abuse and promotes the code of conduct. 

[74] In 2002, UNHCR and states adopted a joint "Agenda for Protection" after the Global Consultations on International Protection, eighteen months of discussion among governments, NGOs, refugee experts, and UNHCR.  The Agenda for Protection is a program of action for improving the protection of refugees and asylum-seekers around the world.  Two of its six goals address finding durable solutions for refugees and meeting the protection needs of refugee women and children.  Although it is not a legally binding document, the Agenda for Protection carries political weight and reflects a broad consensus on actions that can and should be taken to achieve agreed goals in refugee protection.  UNHCR, Agenda for Protection (Geneva:  UNHCR, 2003).

[75] There are several other UNHCR manuals which address gender-based protection issues, including UNHCR, Handbook for Emergencies (Geneva:  UNHCR, 2000); UNHCR, Refugee Children:  Guidelines on Protection and Care (Geneva:  UNHCR, 1994); and UNHCR, Reproductive Health in Refugee Situations:  Interagency Field Manual (Geneva:  UNHCR, 1999).

[76] The UNHCR Code of Conduct may be found in the 2003 Guidelines.

[77] UNHCR, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, p. 11.  Emphasis in original.

[78] UNHCR, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, p. 22.  For more information on gender-based violence in refugee settings, see Appendix B.

[79]The Inspector General's Office conducts investigations of alleged misconduct by UNHCR staff.  The IGO undertook two field investigations to Nepal between October 2002 and January 2003.

[80] Binaj Gurubacharya, "U.N. investigates reports of sexual abuse by aid workers in Bhutanese refugee camps in Nepal," The Associated Press, November 19, 2002.

[81] Ibid.  UNHCR, "Information Note," December 6, 2002.

[82] UNHCR, "Information Note," December 6, 2002.  UNHCR, "Information Note," December 24, 2002.  Human Rights Watch interview with a humanitarian aid worker who wished to remain anonymous, August 2003.

[83] Human Rights Watch interview with a humanitarian aid worker who wished to remain anonymous, June 2003.

[84] Human Rights Watch interview with Sabitra B., Bhutanese refugee camps, Nepal, March 31, 2003.

[85] This bureaucratic process is outlined in the Camp Rules which state, "Any minor dispute among refugees will first be referred to the subsector head, sector head, camp management committee, camp secretary or counseling board in that order.  In case of violation of Nepalese law, the case will be referred to the camp supervisor or to the police in-charge."  Refugee Coordination Unit, Government of Nepal, "Camp Rules," March 1995, no. 13.  The camp management committees addressed most cases of gender-based violence even if they violated Nepalese law.

[86] Human Rights Watch interviews with refugees in Beldangi I, Beldangi II, Sanischare, Timai, Khudanabari, and Goldhap camps, March and April 2003.

[87] Human Rights Watch interview with Radhika S., Bhutanese refugee camps, Nepal, March 26, 2003.

[88] Human Rights Watch interview with a humanitarian aid worker who wished to remain anonymous, June 2003.  UNHCR stated that as of June 30, 2003, there were four reported cases of gender-based violence survivors who had married their assailant.  However, they note this does not include cases of child marriage.  E-mail message from UNHCR Branch Office, Kathmandu, Nepal to Human Rights Watch, July 22, 2003.

[89] Human Rights Watch interview with a humanitarian aid worker who wished to remain anonymous, August 2003.

[90] Ibid.  The woman's husband once fractured her wrist and inserted a bamboo stick into her vagina.  UNHCR Nepal staff failed to meet with the victim soon after the occurrence of that round of violence.  According to UNHCR, field and protection staff have since met with the woman and are assisting her with splitting her ration card from that of her husband.  E-mail message from Giulia Ricciarelli-Ranawat, protection officer, UNHCR Branch Office, Kathmandu, Nepal, to Human Rights Watch, September 10, 2003.

[91] Human Rights Watch interview with a humanitarian aid worker who wished to remain anonymous, August 2003.

[92] Ibid.

[93] Human Rights Watch interviews with refugees in Beldangi I, Beldangi II, Sanischare, Timai, Khudanabari, and Goldhap camps, March and April 2003.

[94] Human Rights Watch interview with a humanitarian aid worker who wished to remain anonymous, June 2003.

[95] Meena Poudel, "Oxfam Bhutan Violence Report," Oxfam-GB in Nepal, December 2000.

[96] Human Rights Watch interview with a humanitarian aid worker who wished to remain anonymous, June 2003.  The Center for Victims of Torture discussed these problems in a report in 2002; AMDA, in a reproductive health survey conducted in May 2002 discovered that 83 percent of refugees reported knowing about rape in their communities; and the Community Service Alliance (CASA) performed an evaluation raising concerns about the increasing incidence of child abuse and the disappearance of a child. 

[97] Human Rights Watch interview with a humanitarian aid worker who wished to remain anonymous, August 2003.

[98] Ibid.

[99] Ibid.

[100] Ibid.

[101] E-mail message from Giulia Ricciarelli-Ranawat, protection officer, UNHCR Branch Office, Kathmandu, Nepal, to Human Rights Watch, September 10, 2003.  UNHCR's agreement with the Nepalese government stipulates that UNHCR cannot financially support any organization not registered in Nepal. 

[102] Human Rights Watch interview with a humanitarian aid worker who wished to remain anonymous, August 2003.

[103] E-mail message from Giulia Ricciarelli-Ranawat, protection officer, UNHCR Branch Office, Kathmandu, Nepal to Human Rights Watch, August 18, 2003.

[104] Ibid.  The thirty-six rape cases include rape, gang rape, attempted rape, statutory rape, and marital rape.  UNHCR also documented three sexual harassment cases, two trafficking cases, two "inappropriate behavior" cases, two attempted sexual abuse cases, one molestation case, three cases of spouse abandonment, and two cases of alleged prostitution.

[105] E-mail message from Giulia Ricciarelli-Ranawat, protection officer, UNHCR Branch Office, Kathmandu, Nepal, to Human Rights Watch, September 10, 2003.

[106] Ibid.  In some cases, refugee families have refused to disclose the identity of child victims to UNHCR because of the social stigma associated with gender-based violence and with talking to UNHCR, who are seen as mainly working on gender-based violence cases.

[107] UNHCR has documented and is responding to additional cases involving family disputes, including those over rations, and polygamy-related disputes.  In an e-mail to Human Rights Watch, UNHCR clarified that these cases are classified as SGBV only if they involve violence.  E-mail message from UNHCR Branch Office, Kathmandu, Nepal to Human Rights Watch, August 18, 2003.  UNHCR did not explain what type of ration or polygamy-related dispute would not involve some form of economic or psychological violence.

[108] Human Rights Watch interview with Nepalese police officer, Beldangi II camp, April 8, 2003.

[109] E-mail message from Giulia Ricciarelli-Ranawat, protection officer, UNHCR Branch Office, Kathmandu, Nepal to Human Rights Watch, September 10, 2003.

[110] E-mail message from Douglass Cubie, UNV associate protection officer, UNHCR Sub-Office, Damak, Nepal to Human Rights Watch, September 1, 2003.

[111] The RCU issued instructions to enforce the no-alcohol policy in the camps in August 2003.  E-mail message from Douglass Cubie, UNV associate protection officer, UNHCR Sub-Office, Damak, Nepal to Human Rights Watch, September 1, 2003.  Human Rights Watch  lacks sufficient information to assess the impact of this directive.

[112] Human Rights Watch interview with Dilli T., Bhutanese refugee camps, Nepal, April 3, 2003.

[113] Human Rights Watch interview with Kalpana K., Bhutanese refugee camps, Nepal, March 28, 2003.

[114] Human Rights Watch interview with Sapana S., Bhutanese refugee camps, Nepal, March 28, 2003.

[115] Human Rights Watch interview with Shanti D., Bhutanese refugee camps, Nepal, March 28, 2003.

[116] The Manual on Inter-Agency Policies and Practices was first developed by UNHCR Tanzania.  UNHCR Nepal tailored the manual for Nepal with the assistance of Beth Vann, global GBV technical advisor, Reproductive Health for Refugees Consortium.  Vann spent one week in eastern Nepal in April 2003 to provide training and guidance to UNHCR and implementing partners.  E-mail message from Giulia Ricciarelli-Ranawat, protection officer, UNHCR Branch Office, Kathmandu, Nepal to Human Rights Watch, September 1, 2003.

[117] Human Rights Watch interview with UNHCR Branch Office, Kathmandu, Nepal, March 18, 2003.  Revised guidelines call for the dismissal of teachers who have relationships with students and for referral of their cases to the RCU and UNHCR.  Caritas Nepal, Guidelines for Bhutanese Refugee Camp Schools (Jhapa:  Caritas Nepal, 2003), p. 20.  Caritas Nepal had initially refused to dismiss teachers implicated in cases of inappropriate relationships with students, and instead gave them the opportunity to resign.  Only a few were dismissed upon UNHCR insistence.  Human Rights Watch interview with a humanitarian aid worker who wished to remain anonymous, August 2003.

[118] Caritas Nepal, Guidelines for Bhutanese Refugee Camp Schools, p. 43.

[119] Caritas Nepal, Guidelines, p. 14.

[120] Human Rights Watch interview with a humanitarian aid worker who wished to remain anonymous, June 2003.

[121] Human Rights Watch interview with a senior manager from an implementing agency, Jhapa, Nepal, March 24, 2003.

[122] Human Rights Watch interview with a senior manager from an implementing agency, Jhapa, Nepal, March 25, 2003.  This attitude undermines the gravity of attempted rape.  In interviews with Human Rights Watch, staff from implementing partners, RCU administrators, and refugee leadership often made a significant distinction between "rape" and "attempted rape."  The way this distinction is made could lead to a trivialization of attempted rape and undermine how such cases are reported, referred, and addressed.

[123] Human Rights Watch interview with a senior manager from an implementing agency, Jhapa, Nepal, March 21, 2003.

[124] Human Rights Watch interview with Iain Levine, former co-chair of the IASC Task Force, New York City, September 10, 2003.

[125] Human Rights Watch interview with a senior manager from an implementing agency, Jhapa, Nepal, April 9, 2003.

[126] UNHCR, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, p. 13.

[127] IASC Task Force, "Plan of Action," p. 1.

[128] Human Rights Watch interview with a senior manager from an implementing agency, Jhapa, Nepal, April 9, 2003.

[129] A workshop on SGBV for implementing partners, Nepalese government officials, and refugee representatives took place in April 2003.  Trainers included UNICEF-New York, Beth Vann, global GBV technical advisor, and UNHCR Headquarters.  E-mail message from Giulia Ricciarelli-Ranawat, protection officer, UNHCR Branch Office, Kathmandu, Nepal, to Human Rights Watch, September 10, 2003.  Continuing opportunities for training are important as changing attitudes is a long-term process, as new challenges associated with implementation arise, and as new staff join.

[130] Human Rights Watch interview with Beena M., Bhutanese refugee camps, Nepal, April 2, 2003.

[131] Human Rights Watch interview with Kumari G., Bhutanese refugee camps, Nepal, March 26, 2003.

[132] Human Rights Watch interview with Saraswati D., Bhutanese refugee camps, Nepal, March 26, 2003.

[133] Human Rights Watch interview with Kamala S., BRWF Camp Secretary, Bhutanese refugee camps, Nepal, March 30, 2003.

[134] E-mail message from Douglass Cubie, UNV associate protection officer, UNHCR Sub-Office, Damak, Nepal to Human Rights Watch, September 1, 2003.

[135] Human Rights Watch interview with Ambika T., Bhutanese refugee camps, Nepal, April 4, 2003.

[136] Human Rights Watch interview with camp-level RCU administrator, Bhutanese refugee camps, Nepal, April 1, 2003.  See footnote 122 regarding attitudes about attempted rape.

[137] Counseling Boards often resolve cases by creating written agreements outlining behavior to which both parties must abide.

[138] Human Rights Watch interview with Pandu R., Bhutanese refugee camps, Nepal, March 31, 2003.

[139] Human Rights Watch interview with Dhan Maya S., Bhutanese refugee camps, Nepal, March 29, 2003.

[140] In September 2003, UNHCR stated that domestic violence cases are increasingly brought to their attention from different channels, in part due to their renewed daily presence in the camps.  E-mail message from Giulia Ricciarelli-Ranawat, protection officer, UNHCR Branch Office, Kathmandu, Nepal, to Human Rights Watch, September 10, 2003.

[141] Human Rights Watch interview with Nar Maya P., Bhutanese refugee camps, Nepal, March 29, 2003.  In this case, Nar Maya P.'s husband was asked to sign a piece of paper each day promising not to drink or to beat his wife.  When he failed to comply with this rule, no action was taken, including responding to Nar Maya P.'s application for separate rations.

[142] Human Rights Watch interview with Nar Maya P., Bhutanese refugee camps, Nepal, March 29, 2003.

[143] Human Rights Watch interview with Yasoda D., Bhutanese refugee camps, Nepal, March 31, 2003.

[144] Human Rights Watch interview with Kina R., Bhutanese refugee camps, Nepal, March 31, 2003.

[145] Ibid.

[146] Human Rights Watch interview with Sita L., BRWF camp secretary, Bhutanese refugee camps, Nepal, April 2, 2003.

[147] Human Rights Watch interview with Durga S., Bhutanese refugee camps, Nepal, March 31, 2003.

[148] E-mail message from UNHCR Branch Office, Kathmandu, Nepal to Human Rights Watch, August 15, 2003.

[149] Human Rights Watch interview with Sanchu B., Bhutanese refugee camps, Nepal, April 2, 2003.

[150] Human Rights Watch interview with Radhika S., Bhutanese refugee camps, Nepal, March 26, 2003.

[151] Human Rights Watch interview with Sanchu B., Bhutanese refugee camps, Nepal, April 2, 2003.

[152] E-mail message from Giulia Ricciarelli-Ranawat, protection officer, UNHCR Branch Office, Kathmandu, Nepal, to Human Rights Watch, September 10, 2003.

[153] Human Rights Watch interview with a humanitarian aid worker who wished to remain anonymous, June 2003. and E-mail message from UNHCR Branch Office, Kathmandu, July 22, 2003.  Maiti-Nepal told UNHCR that it had intercepted twenty-five refugee women and girls over two years.  UNHCR has confirmed two trafficking cases.

[154] Kakarbhitta is an open border crossing between Nepal and India.

[155] Human Rights Watch interview with Lila B., Bhutanese refugee camps, Nepal, April 1, 2003.

[156] Human Rights Watch interview with Tila M., Bhutanese refugee camps, Nepal, March 24, 2003; Human Rights Watch telephone interview with UNHCR protection officer, UNHCR Sub-Office, Bhadrapur, Nepal, March 24, 2003.

[157] Human Rights Watch interview with Yasoda D., Bhutanese refugee camps, Nepal, March 31, 2003.

[158] Human Rights Watch interview with Rupa K., Bhutanese refugee camps, Nepal, March 27, 2003.

[159] Human Rights Watch interview with Kina R., Bhutanese refugee camps, Nepal, March 31, 2003.

[160] Human Rights Watch interview with Sanchu B., Bhutanese refugee camps, Nepal, April 2, 2003.

[161] Human Rights Watch interview with Ambika T., Bhutanese refugee camps, Nepal, April 4, 2003.

[162] Human Rights Watch interview with Kumari G., Bhutanese refugee camps, Nepal, March 27, 2003.

[163] According to Beth Vann, a GBV specialist who conducted a one-week training in the camps, the women's focal points should also receive more support and regular supervision.  Human Rights Watch interview with Beth Vann, global GBV technical advisor, Arlington, VA, August 29, 2003.

[164] Human Rights Watch interview with Renu M., Bhutanese refugee camps, Nepal, March 28, 2003.

[165] Muluki Ain 2020 [Country Code 1963], chapter on Rape, no. 1.  Rape is defined as "a sexual intercourse with any girl, widow or married woman, if below the age of sixteen, in any manner whether with or without consent, and if above the age of sixteen without her free will and consent in any manner with physical force, coercion or undue influence deemed to be a rape."  The rape laws do not protect boys or men.

[166] E-mail message from Douglass Cubie, UNV associate protection officer, UNHCR Sub-Office, Damak, Nepal to Human Rights Watch, September 1, 2003.  According to Cubie, all previous prosecutions relying upon the Children's Act relate to cases of child labor.

[167] E-mail message from Giulia Ricciarelli-Ranawat, protection officer, UNHCR Branch Office, Kathmandu, Nepal, September 10, 2003.  UNHCR has hired a female Nepalese lawyer and has implemented a subagreement with the Nepal Bar Association to provide refugees with legal representation.

[168] Human Rights Watch interview with a humanitarian aid worker who wished to remain anonymous, June 2003. The RCU administrator accused of sexually harassing refugee women was reassigned to another post-not because of the sexual exploitation allegations, but because he made eight fraudulent travel claims. 

[169] E-mail message from Giulia Ricciarelli-Ranawat, protection officer, UNHCR Branch Office, Kathmandu, Nepal, September 10, 2003.

[170] In three cases, UNHCR ensured the implementation of newly enacted provisions of Nepalese law regarding the holding of court hearings in camera. This was the first time in Nepal that these provisions were applied to a sexual offense case.  E-mail message from Douglass Cubie, UNV associate protection officer, UNHCR Sub-Office, Damak, Nepal, to Human Rights Watch, September 1, 2003 and e-mail message from Giulia Ricciarelli-Ranawat, protection officer, UNHCR Branch Office, Kathmandu, Nepal, to Human Rights Watch, September 10, 2003.

[171] Human Rights Watch interview with UNHCR official, UNHCR Sub-Office, Bhadrapur, Nepal, April 8, 2003.

[172] Ibid.

[173] Human Rights Watch interview with a humanitarian aid worker who wished to remain anonymous, June 2003.  The woman was hospitalized in Kathmandu for a month.  Despite this, the NGO Caritas initially refused to dismiss the teacher.

[174] Human Rights Watch interview with Giulia Ricciarelli-Ranawat, protection officer, UNHCR Branch Office, Kathmandu, Nepal, July 22, 2003.  UNHCR is currently conducting a mapping exercise of alleged perpetrators and victims to explore relocation within the same camp.  E-mail message from Giulia Ricciarelli-Ranawat to Human Rights Watch, September 10, 2003.

[175] See ICCPR, art 2.  One of Nepal's obligations is not to send refugees to a place where their lives or freedom are under threat from persecution, or nonrefoulement, provided for in article 33 of the Refugee Convention. Nepal is not party to the Refugee Convention; however the government is still bound by nonrefoulement as an accepted principle of international customary law.  International customary law is defined as the general and consistent practice of states followed by them out of a sense of legal obligation.  That nonrefoulement is a norm of international customary law is well-established.  See, e.g., ExCom Conclusion No. 17, Problems of Extradition Affecting Refugees, 1980, and No. 25, General Conclusion on International Protection, 1982.

[176] The Preamble to the Refugee Convention underlines the "unduly heavy burdens" that sheltering refugees may place on certain countries and states "that a satisfactory solution of a problem of which the United Nations has recognized the international scope and nature cannot therefore be achieved without international cooperation." Numerous conclusions of UNHCR's Executive Committee also reiterate the need for international protection responsibility sharing, particularly to assist host countries in coping with large refugee influxes. Governments are also playing a critical protection and responsibility function when they agree to take in or "resettle" refugees.

[177] Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, U.N. G.A. Res. 39/46, 39 U.N. GAOR Supp. No. 51, p. 197, U.N. Doc. E/CN.4/1984/72, Annex, 1984, entered into force June 26, 1987, and acceded to by Nepal on March 1, 1971.

[178] Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), G.A. Res. 34/180, U.N. Doc. A/34/46, 1979, ratified by Nepal on May 22, 1991 and by Bhutan on September 30, 1981.

[179] See ICCPR, art. 2(1): "Each State Party to the Covenant undertakes to respect and to ensure to all individuals within its territory and subject to its jurisdiction the rights recognized in the present Covenant, without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status."  See also, CEDAW, art. 1; CRC, art. 2.

[180] See, e.g. ICCPR,  art. 6 (right to life), art. 7 (freedom from torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment).

[181] See ICCPR, art. 14(1). 

[182] The Human Rights Committee has broadly interpreted the phrase "suits at law" for which article 14(1) applies, in addition to criminal cases.  See, e.g. Yl. v. Canada, No. 112 (1981).

[183] Statute of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, GA Res. 428(V), December 14, 1950.

[184] "UNHCR's Protection Mandate," UNHCR 2002 Global Appeal, p. 21.

[185] UNHCR, Handbook for Emergencies.

[186] UNHCR, Guidelines on the Protection of Refugee Women.

[187] UNHCR, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence.

[188] UNHCR, Guidelines on Refugee Children.

[189] UNHCR, Guidelines on Policies and Procedures in Dealing with Unaccompanied Children Seeking Asylum (Geneva:  UNHCR,  1997).

[190]  In its General Recommendation 19 on violence against women and state obligations, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW Committee) emphasized: "States may also be responsible for private acts if they fail to act with due diligence to prevent violations of rights or to investigate and punish acts of violence." CEDAW Committee, General Recommendation No. 19, para. 9.

[191] Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, "Preliminary Report Submitted by the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy, in accordance with Commission on Human Rights resolution 1994/45," (Fiftieth Session), U.N Document E/CN.4/1995/42, November 22, 1994, para. 72.

[192] Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, G.A. res. 48/104, 48 U.N. GAOR Supp. (no. 49) at 217, U.N. Doc. A/48/49 (1993), art. 4.

[193] See CEDAW, art. 15, and ICCPR, art. 26. See also, Committee on the Elimination of Violence Against Women (CEDAW Committee), General Recommendation 19, Violence against women, (Eleventh session, 1992), Compilation of General Comments and General Recommendations Adopted by Human Rights Treaty Bodies, U.N. Doc. HRI\GEN\1\Rev.1 at 84 (1994) (contained in document A/47/38), para. 6.  For further discussions of international obligations with respect to violence against women by private actors, see Dorothy Q. Thomas and Michele Beasley, "Domestic Violence as a Human Rights Issue," Human Rights Quarterly, vol. 15, no. 1 (February 1993); Human Rights Watch, Global Report on Women's Human Rights (New York: Human Rights Watch, 1995), pp. 39-44, and Ken Roth; "Domestic Violence as an International Human Rights Issue," in Rebecca J. Cook, Human Rights of Women: National and International Perspectives (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1994), p. 326.

[194] United Nations, Programme of Action of the United Nations International Conference on Population and Development (New York:  United Nations Publications, 1994), A/CONF.171/13, 18 October, 1994 and United Nations, Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (New York:  United Nations Publications, 1995), A/CONF.177/20, 17 October 1995.

[195]United Nations, Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, paragraph 223.

[196] ICCPR, art. 23; and UDHR, arts. 3 and 16.

[197] Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, "Preliminary Report Submitted by the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy, in accordance with Commission on Human Rights resolution 1995/85," (Fifty-second Session), U.N Document E/CN.4/1996/53, February 6, 1996, para. 141.

[198] CEDAW Committee, General Recommendation 19, art. 24(i).

[199] Ibid.

[200] Muluki Ain 2020 [Country Code 1963], chapter on Rape, no. 1.

[201] Ibid., art. 16(1).

[202] Ibid., art. 16(1)(b).

[203] Ibid., art. 16(1)(c). See the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, art. 16, for rights to marry, equal rights during marriage and at its dissolution, and requirement for free and full consent.

[204] CEDAW, art. 16(1)(d).

[205] Ibid., art. 16(1)(e).

[206] CEDAW, art. 5(a).

[207] Muluki Ain 2020 [Country Code 1963], chapter on Marriage, no. 9.  See footnote 39 for the text of the law.

[208] CEDAW Committee, Equality in marriage and family relations, General Recommendation 21, (thirteenth session, 1992), Compilation of General Comments and General Recommendations Adopted by Human Rights Treaty Bodies, U.N. Doc. HRI/GEN/1/Rev.1 at 90 (1994), no. 14.  The Human Rights Committee has said: "It should also be noted that equality of treatment with regard to the right to marry implies that polygamy is incompatible with this principle. Polygamy violates the dignity of women. It is an inadmissible discrimination against women. Consequently, it should be definitely abolished wherever it continues to exist."  Human Rights Committee, General Comment 28, Equality of rights between men and women, para. 24.

[209] Although the manuals are not binding law, they provide a set of guidelines by which the behavior of UNHCR and governments may be judged.  The U.N. General Assembly has endorsed the Guidelines on the Protection of Refugee Women and several ExCom conclusions related to the protection and participation of refugee women. U.N. G.A. Res. 43/117/OP8 (A/Res/43/117), G.A. Res. 44/137/OP9 (A/Res/44/137), G.A. Res. 45/140/OP6 (A/Res/45/140), and G.A. Res. 48/116/OP6 (A/Res/48/116).

[210] UNHCR, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, p. 30.  The other three commitments are to develop integrated country level strategies to address sexual and domestic violence, ensure 50 percent representation of women in all management committees, and the provision of sanitary materials to all women and girls of concern to UNHCR.

[211] U.N. Economic and Social Council Resolution 1991/23, OP5, May 30, 1991.  See also G.A. Res. 35/135 (A/Res/35/135), G.A. Res. 47/105 (A/Res/47/105), G.A. Res. 50/182 (A/Res/50/182), and G.A. Res. 52/132 (A/Res/52/132).  ExCom Conclusion No. 91 (2001) states "refugees should be registered on an individual basis," and several other conclusions provide specific protections for refugee women, including ExCom Conclusions No. 39 (1985), No. 64 (1990),  and No. 73 (1993).  

[212] CEDAW, art. 9(2) and art. 16(1).

[213] CRC, art. 2(1).

[214] Nepal Const, art. 9(1) and art. 9(2).  The constitution states that "a person…whose father is a citizen of Nepal at the birth of the child shall be a citizen of Nepal by descent" and that "[e]very child who is found within the Kingdom of Nepal and the whereabouts of whose parents are not known shall, until the father of the child is traced, be deemed to be a citizen of Nepal by descent."

[215] UDHR, art. 16(1); CEDAW, art. 16; and ICCPR, art. 23(4).

[216] Judgment of T.A. Aguda, Judge of Appeal in Attorney General of Botswana vs. Unity Dow, certified judgment of the Court of Appeal Civil Appeal, No. 4/91, Botswana, June 11, 1992, p. 60.  In the landmark Unity Dow vs. Attorney General case in Botswana, the High Court and Court of Appeal found elements of Botswana's 1982 Citizenship Act discriminatory because the courts restricted the right of Batswana women married to non-national men to pass their nationality to their children.  The Court of Appeal noted, "it is totally unrealistic to think that you could permanently keep the child out of Botswana and yet by that not interfere with the freedom of movement of the mother.  When the freedom of the mother to enter Botswana to live and to leave when she wishes is indirectly controlled by the location of the child, excluding the child from Botswana is in effect excluding the mother from Botswana."

[217] Article 13 of the UDHR states, "Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each State.  Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country."  Article 12(4) of the ICCPR states, "No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of the right to enter his own country."  In addition to its legal basis under treaty law, the right to return has increasingly been recognized as a norm of customary international law.  See"Current Trends in the Right to Leave and Return," U.N. Doc. E/CN.4/Sub.2/1985.

[218] UDHR, art. 15(1); ICCPR, art. 24(3); and CRC, art. 7(1).

[219] CRC, arts. 7 and 8(1).

[220] CEDAW, art. 2(d).

[221] CEDAW, art. 4(1).

[222] UNHCR, Guidelines on the Protection of Refugee Women, pp. 36-43.

[223] Executive Heads of Agencies (Governmental or NGO) may use their discretion in applying this standard where a staff member is legally married to someone under the age of eighteen but over the age of majority or consent in both their country of citizenship and the country in which they are stationed.