In a Weak State: Status and Reintegration of Children Associated with Armed forces and Armed Groups (CAAFAG) in Nepal
The Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed on 21 November 2006, made an unprecedented commitment to those children who had been involved in Nepal’s decade long civil war. It stipulated that those “children who have already been affected [who] shall be rescued immediately and adequate provisions shall be made for their rehabilitation.”
However, since the CPA was ratified, human rights and civil society groups have persistently castigated the government, and particular the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-M), for failing to implement a satisfactory disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) framework for CAAFAGs. Such accusations are particularly alarming given the impending release of 2,973 disqualified minors who are currently housed in seven different military cantonments.
Furthermore, while Nepal’s civil war has ended, low-intensity violence, perpetrated by a variety of political groups with competing ethnic, political and regional goals still plagues the country. Many of these groups, that predominantly affect and operate in the Terai region, are eager to recruit returning CAAFAGs into their armed forces To this end a review of the reintegration process thus far is an important exercise, as it will challenge the capacity and the claimed commitment of the government to stick to implementing the finer aspects of the peace process
I. CAFAAGs: An Introduction
II. Reintegrating CAFAAGs
III. Assessing Success
IV. Taking Stock: Key Issues for the Future