Tag: nepal

Mass rapes to mass protests: violence against women in 2016

Impunity for violence against women remains a massive problem. Donald Trump hasn’t helped.

From historic convictions to impunity for gang rapes, 2016 has been a year of highs and lows when it comes to efforts to stem violence against women.

The annual 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence (November 25-December 10) are a time to take stock of progress and failings in combatting this pervasive human rights abuse.

In March, the International Criminal Court (ICC) reached its first conviction for sexual violence. It found a former Democratic Republic of Congo vice president, Jean-Pierre Bemba, guilty of rape, murder, and pillage in neighbouring Central African Republic. Bemba was found guilty under the concept of “command responsibility,” in which civilian and military superiors can be held criminally liable for crimes committed by troops under their control.

Asian infrastructure boom could be end of the road for tigers

With massive infrastructure plans threatening all tiger landscapes and risking recent gains in tiger conservation, Asian governments must adopt a sustainable approach to infrastructure planning and construction or drive tigers toward extinction, according to a new analysis by WWF.

Released at the halfway point of an ambitious global effort to double the number of wild tigers between 2010 and 2022, The Road Ahead: Protecting Tigers from Asia’s Infrastructure Development Boom highlights the unprecedented threat posed by a vast network of planned infrastructure across the continent.

Nepal’s Child ‘Love Marriages’ Need Regulation Too

Ramita married when she was 12 years old and her husband was 15. She describes it as a “love marriage” – she chose her husband and decided to marry him. But it’s not a simple romance.

Ramita’s choice is a reflection of how marriage-related decisions are changing in South Asia. Although arranged matches are still the norm for many, young adults are increasingly likely to choose their own spouse. For some, this is a welcome break with tradition. Research shows that as women gain more education, their control over their choice of husband also increases – and more girls are going to school across the region.

But in the villages of Nepal, where I investigated early marriage for a new Human Rights Watch report, increasing numbers of children are choosing to wed. Arranged child marriages may be declining, but this achievement is threatened by a rise in “love marriages” by children. Though in these cases a girl may be choosing to get married, these child marriages can still come with their own devastating consequences, including leaving school early, poverty, health risks and an elevated threat of domestic violence.

A Flurry of Poaching Cases Casts a Cloud Over Nepal’s Tiger Conservation Efforts

More than a dozen tigers killed in a year – that’s grave news for a country which was hailed for its record third “zero poaching year” for rhinos.

Most of them were poached in and around the Bardia National Park, reported the daily Annapurna Post. Not long ago, the country was celebrating the fact that not a single tiger was killed during the one-year period between February 2013 and February 2014.

Since the poachers take the animal carcass with them, cases of poaching are difficult to track. The whole body of a tiger – from toe nails, skin and bones to the meat – is put up for sale on the international market by the poachers. Only when the petty traders are caught with tiger skins and bones in their possession do the authorities learn that the animals were killed by the gangs behind the illegal trade.

Last year, police caught poachers with tiger skins and bones at different places in the country. Thanks to the concern of authorities, a poacher who was on a run for years after killing Nepal’s first GPS (Global Positioning System)-collared tiger Namo Buddha was arrested. However, the frequent sighting of nomadic Banjara people in western Nepal is a reason for worry for conservationists and security agencies as they have in the past been involved in poaching and illegal trade of tiger parts.