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Nisha Varia, Asia researcher for the Women’s Rights Division, authored this report based on research conducted in refugee camps in Nepal with Therese Caouette, consultant to the Women’s Rights Division. Janet Walsh, deputy director of the Women’s Rights Division; Alison Parker, acting director of Refugee Policy; Rory Mungoven, director of Global Advocacy; Zama Coursen-Neff, counsel to the Children’s Rights Division; James Ross, senior legal advisor; and Joseph Saunders, deputy director of the Program Office, reviewed the report. LaShawn R. Jefferson, executive director of the Women’s Rights Division, Therese Caouette; Iain Levine, director of the Program Office; and Shiva Eftekhari, Sandler Fellow to the Women’s Rights Division, also provided useful input. John Emerson formatted the maps and Erin Mahoney, Andrea Holley, Fitzroy Hepkins, and Veronica Matushej provided production assistance.

Thanks also go to several staff at UNHCR for their detailed comments on the report, particularly Giulia Ricciarelli-Ranawat, protection officer, UNHCR Branch Office, Kathmandu, Nepal, and Douglass Cubie, UNV associate protection officer, UNHCR Sub-Office, Damak, Nepal. We also appreciate the feedback provided by Sapana Pradhan-Malla, president, the Forum for Women, Law, and Development, Nepal; the Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Children, New York; and Beth Vann, global GBV technical advisor, Reproductive Health for Refugees Consortium. Human Rights Watch takes full responsibility for any errors or omissions in this report.

We are grateful to the many individuals and organizations that contributed to this research. UNHCR Nepal, Ratan Gazmere, the Bhutanese Refugee Women’s Forum, the women who served as women’s focal points in the camps we visited, and Rajkumar Khati all deserve special thanks for their support in Nepal. We greatly benefited by the translation assistance provided by Radha Adhikari, Dilu Khatiwoda, Nar Maya Monger, and Mohan Tamang. We would also like to acknowledge the permission granted by the government of Nepal to conduct research in the refugee camps.

Human Rights Watch sincerely thanks all the individuals who agreed to be interviewed for this report. Their willingness to spend time with us and share information and experiences made this report possible.

The Women’s Rights Division of Human Rights Watch gratefully acknowledges the support of the Dobkin Family Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Moriah Fund, the Oak Foundation, the Streisand Foundation, and the members of the Advisory Committee of the Women’s Rights Division.

Human Rights Watch

Women's Rights Division

Human Rights Watch is dedicated to protecting the human rights of people around the world.

We stand with victims and activists to bring offenders to justice, to prevent discrimination, to uphold political freedom and to protect people from inhumane conduct in wartime.

We investigate and expose human rights violations and hold abusers accountable.

We challenge governments and those holding power to end abusive practices and respect international human rights law.

We enlist the public and the international community to support the cause of human rights for all.

The staff includes Kenneth Roth, executive director; Michele Alexander, development director; Rory Mungoven, advocacy director; Carroll Bogert, associate director; Barbara Guglielmo, finance director; Lotte Leicht, Brussels office director; Steve Crawshaw, London office director; Maria Pignataro Nielsen, human resources director; Iain Levine, program director; Wilder Tayler, legal and policy director; and Joanna Weschler, United Nations representative. Jonathan Fanton is the chair of the board. Robert L. Bernstein is the founding chair.

Its Women's Rights Division was established in 1990 to monitor violence and discrimination against women throughout the world. LaShawn R. Jefferson is the executive director and Janet Walsh is the deputy director. Kathleen Peratis is chair of the advisory committee.

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September 2003