An excellent article by ROBIN SHIELDS, (University of California, Los Angeles, USA) and JEREMY RAPPLEYE, (University of Oxford, United Kingdom)
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A violent conflict between Maoist insurgents and the national government has engulfed Nepal for most of the last decade, a situation that has been complicated by deep-seated instability at the highest levels of the government itself. Even with the declaration of a ceasefire in 2006, violence endures in pockets of lawless banditry and unrest at the hands of separatist groups. During the conflict, education and schools played a central role, with issues such as the neglect of rural schools, the right to mother tongue education, and the expansion of private schooling figuring prominently in the Maoists’ list of grievances. Both sides used intimidation and violence to gain support from rural schools, which acted as one of the lone advocates of community interests during the upheaval. This article argues that throughout the conflict formal education in Nepal has simultaneously presented many faces: on one hand it contributed to the conflict by reinforcing social inequalities while on the other it mitigated the effects of the conflict by maintaining social cohesion and mediating between opposing sides. In other cases it seemingly did both at once: acting as an egalitarian force by expanding basic education and literacy at an astounding rate while simultaneously excluding certain groups from sharing the benefits of the country’s development. Building upon the work of Bush & Salterelli, the article shows that in the case of Nepal education presents not two but many faces that are highly contextual and remain relevant in the post-conflict environment.
ROBIN SHIELDS, JEREMY RAPPLEYE (2008) Differentiation, Development, (Dis)Integration: education in Nepal’s ‘People’s War’, Research in Comparative and International Education, 3(1), pp. 91-102 http://dx.doi.org/10.2304/rcie.2008.3.1.91
“There are over 20,000 indentured domestic workers in Nepal. The ‘Kamlari’ system originated nearly 50 years ago when poor families provided daughters as domestic servants in exchange for cash. The practice is still prevalent and most of the girls are brought to households in Nepal’s cities and towns where employers include politicians, bureaucrats, teachers, etc.
Besides the labor exploitation, the girls also suffer from sexual abuse, rape, physical torture, starvation and neglect of education, and there are also many cases of the girls being trafficked for prostitution both in Nepal and to India.”
Full story: http://www.irinnews.org/Report.aspx?ReportId=76543
Filed under Labour, Nepal
Source: Hindustan Times
“Illegal organ trafficking accounts for as much as 10 percent of all transplants worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. In the last two decades, Asia had made up a large share of this flourishing black market. Promising quick, easy and cheap procurement of life-saving organs to foreigners who see it as their last hope, the region witnesses billions of dollars changing hands every month among iniquitous brokers, desperate patients, poverty-stricken donors and dishonest doctors.
In fact, 90 percent of the donors in the region come from below the poverty line and 90 percent of these donors agree to donate only to ease their financial troubles. Until 2006, China was the top host country for transplants. However, recently tightened regulations may change this. In the absence of less developed medical facilities and the presence of a porous Indo-Nepal border, many Nepalese people come to India to score a better deal for their kidney or liver.”
Full story here
Filed under Asia, Poverty
February 16, 2008
Nepal has just started recovering from the devastation of a civil conflict which in the past decade killed nearly 13,600 lives. The other big conflict that now occupies the mind of the donor community helping Nepal at large is AIDS which is expected to take away 15,000 Nepali lives each year for the next decade, which in ratio roughly comes to an alarming 11 people dying for every person killed in the civil conflict. According to the UNDP website You and AIDS, Nepal hardly has the resources to fight the disease. International aid agencies such as USAID which have contributed tremendously to the efforts of the Nepal Government since 1993, sometimes feel the resource crunch even though American funding has been generous amounting to roughly US $ 20 million a year to the poor Himalayan Kingdom. The sad part of the story is that the larger percentage of deaths in future is going to be Nepali women, who account for nearly 60% of Nepal´s labour force in the agricultural sector.In South Asia, Nepal certainly tops in the number of returning commercial female sex workers infected with AIDS in 2008. Of nearly 45% of 100,000 back from Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Bangalore Madras, various Nepali INGOs have estimated that 30% have already died, about half are married to Nepali husbands, and the remaining are working in the Kathmandu and city concentric commercial sex business in the form of massage parlours, cabin restaurants, lodges, hotels, dance restaurants, bhattis (drinking spots) and road side restaurants on highways. The total number of Nepali commercial sex workers, all of them female, is nearly 250,000 in India´s major cities. Commercial sex is easily available in Nepal, in a country which has a shortage of condoms. In the rest of South Asia too, the growing and continuing challenge of defeating AIDS has become more concentrated in women where increasing rates of infection have shown more women innocently succumbing to infections due to a lack of effective strategic and behavioral change communications interventions, weak national HIV/AIDS prevention and control strategies, porous commitment among donors and inability to concentrate on the problem as a sectoral priority which needs to be tackled with financial and AIDS prevention knowledge bank resources.
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