Intersectionality as Locality: Children and Transitional Justice in Nepal

Intersectionality as Locality: Children and Transitional Justice in Nepal Abstract∞ Transitional justice policy, although predicated on an ideology of transition, often homogenizes victims and fails to respond to victims’ diverse and dynamic needs during the ‘transitional period.’ In this article, based on 14 months of ethnographic research in Nepal, I examine the perceptions and experiences of adults who were children when their fathers were killed or disappeared during the decade-long internal armed conflict between the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoists and the Nepali government. Through their varied experiences and ongoing transitions, I challenge homogeneous and fixed conceptualizations of ‘children’ and ‘the local’ and argue for greater attention to the intersectional experiences of victims and the redress of entrenched systems of domination and inequality. INTRODUCTION Children are often cited as particularly vulnerable to, and, along with women, the most affected by armed conflict.1 Yet, despite the emphasis in international law, reports and resolutions2 on their vulnerability and need for special protection during wartime, people who experienced gross violations of human rights as children are rarely included in scholarly literature on transitional justice. When children are included in scholarship on transitional justice, discourses typically surround the reintegration and accountability of child soldiers.3 Further, within conceptualizations of children and armed conflict, children within a nation-state, and often globally, are frequently homogenized. This homogenization risks overlooking which children are particularly vulnerable, in what context their vulnerability exposes them to gross violations of human rights, and how their diverse positionality impacts their lives after an armed conflict. Further, ‘childhood’ is treated as a temporary vulnerability within international law that presumably passes when a person reaches the age of 18. From birth until the age of 18, international law4 codifies humans’ special entitlements and additional protection during armed conflict. Yet, transitional justice processes typically happen after an armed conflict has ended, and, in many cases, several years after its cessation. Drawing from 14 months of ethnographic research with people who experienced gross violations of human rights as children during Nepal’s internal armed conflict, this article contributes to the underresearched topic of children and transitional justice. Although children in Nepal were victims of direct violence during the armed conflict, including forced recruitment, abduction, torture, killing, maiming, disappearance and sexual violence,5 this article focuses on children of the unlawfully killed and forcibly disappeared. Of the more than 12,000 people who were killed and 1,300 missing,6 the majority were men, and many of those men were fathers with multiple children. In Nepal, the loss of a father carries severe and irreparable consequences for his children and entire family throughout their lives. To date, no scholarly research has examined the perceptions and lived experiences of the children of the unlawfully killed or disappeared during Nepal’s armed conflict. Focusing on the loss of a father illuminates how even for people who experience a similar violation of human rights as children, their lives are dynamic and diverse. Victims’ diversity and their ongoing transitions are often overlooked in transitional justice discourses. In Nepal, the peace agreement was signed in 2006. Yet, during my fieldwork in 2016, processes of transitional justice were ongoing, and, in some ways, only beginning. This article examines the perceptions of child victims of Nepal’s armed conflict who have since transitioned out of what is recognized as a temporary phase in human lives known as ‘childhood’ and are now, according to international law, adults. Through examining their perceptions as adults, I argue singling out biological age or any other singular characteristic or subjectivity as the critical determinant of why and how a conflict victim experiences vulnerability risks ignoring how their intersectional positionality correlates with differential experiences of both armed conflict and the transitional period. Although rarely applied in scholarship on transitional justice, intersectionality theory provides an illuminating framework for conceptualizing ‘the local’ and moving beyond imagined homogeneous and static ‘children’ affected by armed conflict. I begin with a review of scholarly literature examining children and armed conflict and ‘local justice.’ I contend homogeneous and fixed notions of ‘children’ within discourses on transitional justice fail to emphasize the transitions experienced in people’s everyday lives. Then, I discuss scholarship on intersectionality and transitional justice, briefly review aspects of Nepal’s history of systemic exclusion and marginalization, and outline my methodology. Next, I highlight children’s intersectional experiences during Nepal’s armed conflict and explore the perceptions of Nepalis who were children when their fathers were killed or disappeared during the armed conflict. Through examining their experiences and ongoing transitions, I challenge homogeneous and fixed conceptualizations of ‘children’ and ‘the local’ within the context of Nepal and argue for greater attention to victims’ intersectionality, victim-led processes of transitional justice and the redress of structural inequality. CHILDREN AND ARMED CONFLICT Overwhelmingly, scholarly literature posits that people who have experienced armed conflict as children are traumatized and developmentally impaired.7 Further, UN agencies and international nongovernmental organizations (INGOs) defining and assisting in the implementation of transitional justice measures often treat the constructed categories of ‘childhood’ and ‘children’ as static and universal. Thus, it is commonly taken for granted that people who have grown up during armed conflict may respond and adapt to the experience of political violence in a variety of ways.8 The complexity of their experiences may be overlooked when a singular focus is placed upon the violations children have faced during armed conflict. Jo Boyden and Joanna de Berry contend, ‘The suffering of war is not contained in a single traumatic episode, or even a multiplicity of such episodes, but in a complex interplay of detrimental circumstances that endure and change over time.’9 This complexity is important to analyze within the context of transitional justice as scholars argue the varied experiences and positionalities of people affected by armed conflict as children impact their perceptions of and adaptation to postconflict environments throughout their lives.10 The environment in which children live, as well as their families, identities, communities, relationships and access to resources are all significant to understanding their experiences of both wartime violations and processes of transitional justice. Homogenizing children affected by armed conflict overshadows the ways in which their prewar positionality creates conditions of vulnerability during armed conflict and differential lived experiences during processes of transitional justice. Further, this homogenization fails to highlight their resilience or ability to function despite having experienced gross violations of human rights and their capability to actively participate in the design and implementation of processes of transitional justice implemented on their behalf. Also often overlooked in transitional justice discourses are how child victims survive and cope with the resources available to them, how access to such resources is gendered or otherwise exclusive based on social distinctions, and whether such conditions predate the transitional period and are pervasive throughout its tenure. ‘LOCAL JUSTICE?’ Based in international law and often implemented with the insistence of the UN and international donors and diplomats, scholars examining transitional justice have critiqued normative assumptions and emphasized the importance of understanding ‘local justice,’ or the ways in which justice is understood, produced, experienced and perceived in specific localities.11 Particular attention has been given to how transitional justice mechanisms are implemented in ways that are considered ‘top-down’ or ‘elite-led’ as opposed to ‘bottom-up’ and ‘victim-centric.’12 Within dialogues on the global/local in transitional justice, encounters between ‘global mechanisms’ and ‘local realities’ are often understood as ones of ‘friction.’13 As scholars and practitioners have challenged global assumptions regarding transitional justice processes, ‘locality’ has often been conflated with nationality and presented as opposed to ‘the global.’14 For example, in a report to the UN Security Council, Kofi Annan contends: ‘We must learn to eschew one-size-fits-all formulas and the importation of foreign models, and, instead, base our support on national assessments, national participation and national needs and aspirations.’15 In Annan’s report, attention is drawn to the importance of a national context but not the diversity of experiences within a nation-state. The conflation of the nation-state with ‘the local’ ignores historical and existing power structures and ongoing marginalization within a nation-state. This conflation can reinforce homogeneous and exclusionary nationalist rhetoric and practices. Processes of transitional justice are often combined with liberal peacebuilding, and significant financial and logistical support from international donors is utilized for the transition of a nation-state from its previous form of government to a liberal democracy. The pervasive liberal peace model focuses on individual citizens rather than communities and systemically ignores structural causes of armed conflict and ongoing structural violence.16 Within these contexts, support is state-centric and focused on rebuilding the nation through constitution writing, elections and empowering national leaders, without challenging existing hierarchies of power and inequality.17 Existing scholarship has illuminated how international influence over transitional justice processes imports and reinforces unequal systems of power and marginalizes the voices of conflict victims.18 Further, scholars have drawn attention to how processes of transitional justice are inescapably political19 and highlighted how they are utilized or eschewed by national governments as a nation-building project20 and a geopolitical strategy.21 Within this model of postconflict transition, the homogenization of victims serves to reinforce the nation-building project without addressing ongoing structural violence. As greater attention has been paid to the importance of the context in which mechanisms of transitional justice are implemented, scholars have challenged conceptualizations of ‘the local’ in human rights and transitional justice discourses. This scholarship has illuminated how the binary global/local model can be teleological and analytically confusing,22 emphasized that ‘the local’ is always part of national and global processes,23 and indicated how conflating ‘the local’ with ‘tradition’ or ‘culture’ can exclude the knowledge, experiences and priorities of people in particular localities.24 Further, interpretations of ‘the local’ by those designing and implementing transitional justice mechanisms are deeply embedded in existing structures of power and inequality. Scholars and practitioners emphasizing attention to ‘the local’ within processes of transitional justice often fail to examine how experiences of armed conflict and transitional justice differ within a nation-state. Ironically, while transitional justice is normatively understood as a time of transition, or a liminal state for governments and societies, conceptualizations of ‘the local’ are often centered on customary law, rituals and cultural practices presented as ‘traditional’25 or primordial and ‘static.’26 HOMOGENEOUS AND STATIC ‘CHILDREN’ Likewise, ‘children’ are often presented as static in discourses on transitional justice. The importance of children within processes of transitional justice is emphasized in scholarship and policy, but people who have aged out of this category of vulnerability are frequently subsequently disregarded. Does their experience of armed conflict as children influence their lives as adults or does their vulnerability end when they age out of the internationally defined category of childhood? Transitional justice policy, although predicated on an ideology of transition, often homogenizes victims and fails to respond to victims’ dynamic needs during the ‘transitional period.’ When policies are focused primarily on state institutions, such policies present a singular and solipsistic set of criteria for understanding ‘transition’ and ignore other kinds of transitions at work in people’s everyday lives. In Nepal, understandings of childhood are dynamic, diverse and not based solely on biological age.27 Existing research has illustrated how children are often perceived as transitioning into adulthood when they ‘become responsible’ and ‘mature’ by getting a job, becoming physically developed, focusing on their studies and understanding appropriate behavior.28 Further, conceptualizations of childhood differ within Nepal and are perceived differently according to gender and caste,29 and understandings of childhood were challenged during Nepal’s internal armed conflict.30 Children accepted the responsibilities of older family members who had died or been conscripted as Maoist cadres, and children were feared as possible Maoist informants.31 Nepal’s internal armed conflict, between the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoists and the Nepali government, lasted a decade (from 1996 until 2006), and more than a decade has passed since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2006. Yet, in 2016, most of my interviewees with access to knowledge of transitional justice processes perceived them as just beginning. Ten years after the signing of the peace agreement, most Nepalis who experienced gross violations of human rights as ‘children’ (as defined in international law) had since transitioned out of that category. Further, the homogenization of children during Nepal’s armed conflict ignores their diversity, dynamism and the systemic marginalization and exclusion of certain groups based on their gender, religion, language, ethnicity, caste and region of residence. If and how these identities and subjectivities intersect in victims’ lives must be examined. INTERSECTIONALITY AND TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE ‘Intersectionality,’ a term coined in 1989 by Kimberlé Crenshaw, a legal scholar in the field of critical race theory, examines the relationship and ‘multidimensionality’ among various identities, social relations and subject formations and how those identities are connected to structures of oppression.32 Black feminist scholars in the US have drawn attention to how dominant narratives of gender and race are exclusionary and fail to capture intragroup differences and the intersections of various positionalities.33 More specifically, these scholars have aptly illustrated how, in the US, Black women experience racism differently due to their gender, and patriarchy differently due to their race.34 Transnational researchers have called for greater attention to the experiences of women outside the US and argue that singularly focusing on ‘Euro-American centered’35 conceptualizations of gender fails to capture simultaneous and interconnected subjectivities in people’s lives, such as caste, ethnicity, religion, class and the role of nation-states, neoliberalism and western imperialism.36 In Nepal, research has illuminated how caste, class and gender intersect to create varied subjectivities and positions of power and also highlighted how inequalities are reproduced, contested and transformed through labor, the sharing of space and the consumption of alcohol and food.37 As scholarship on intersectionality has proliferated, greater attention has been given to intersections of age, caste, class, disability, religion, sexuality, transnational contexts, understandings of gender beyond binary constructs, and other intersections of oppression and privilege. Further, research has drawn attention to how these ‘distinctive systems of oppression…[are] part of one overarching structure of domination.’38 Transitional justice processes always take place within politicized structures and can reproduce systems of power and privilege.39 Scholars have demonstrated how mechanisms of transitional justice can be exclusionary and emphasized a need for attention to intersectionality.40 For example, processes of transitional justice often fail to examine patriarchy and gendered experiences.41 When gender is included in dialogues surrounding transitional justice, descriptions easily slip from gender to women.42 Further, women who live through war and conflict cannot easily be homogenized.43 Consequently, scholars have called for greater attention to the concrete ways in which multiple inequalities are manifested simultaneously during armed conflict and in everyday life rather than reducing women to a single story of victimhood,44 and have argued the interests of the most marginalized should be prioritized.45 Christiane Wilke, advocating for the consideration of intersectionality within processes of transitional justice, contends Complex identities matter not only because we need to represent identities more carefully, or because current concepts of discrimination might be insufficient, but also because they are targeted and mobilized in state violence.46 This was certainly the case during Nepal’s armed conflict, where civilians were targeted and mobilized based on intersecting facets of their identities. Both the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoists and the Nepali government targeted people based on their age, gender, caste, ethnicity, access to resources and region of residence. During my fieldwork, I heard many stories of hardship and barriers due to structures of power and inequality. As I listened to people’s stories and witnessed their lives, the complexity of the experiences and positionalities of people who were children during the armed conflict was evidenced, as was their resilience. Their stories of Nepal’s armed conflict and its aftermath cannot be reduced to one story of victimhood, and the ‘local’ in Nepal cannot be conflated with the entire nation-state. My research revealed victims perceive their positionality as a primary cause of their experiences of human rights violations. Scholars and practitioners of transitional justice must question why certain children within a nation-state experience gross violations of human rights and others do not. As Paul Farmer has argued, Human rights violations are not accidents; they are not random in distribution or effect. Rights violations, are, rather, symptoms of deeper pathologies of power and are linked intimately to the social conditions that so often determine who will suffer abuse and who will be shielded from harm.47 Likewise, Fionnuala Ní Aoláin and Eilish Rooney contend ‘gendered, social patterns of suffering are linked to patterns of inequality that preceded conflicts.’48 In Nepal, social patterns of suffering are linked to deeply entrenched patterns of inequality existent long before the armed conflict. NEPAL’S INTERNAL ARMED CONFLICT AND HISTORY OF INEQUALITY AND EXCLUSION Since the inception of the Nepali state in 1768, males from certain caste groups have been politically and economically dominant.49 As Arjun Guneratne argues, from the perspective of interethnic relations in Nepal, what is salient is that the landowning nobility, the bureaucracy, and the higher ranks of the military were all drawn from the dominant Brahmin, Chhetri, and Thakuri castes of the hills.50 Despite numerous changes in political power, Nepalis outside of dominant groups have continued to experience widespread political exclusion and economic inequality. Political power and wealth are concentrated in Kathmandu, and people living outside Nepal’s capital city have been consistently ignored by those in power and excluded from access to resources. Access to landownership and management is deeply tied to power and social relations. Nepal’s 10-year internal armed conflict ignited days after the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoists sent a list of 40 demands to the government of Nepal, calling for an end to inequality perpetuated through existing power structures. Among other demands were calls for an end to feudalism as perpetuated by the Nepali state. The Maoist leaders argued ‘land should belong to “tenants”’ and ‘land under the control of the feudal system should be confiscated and distributed to the landless and the homeless.’51 In Bardiya district, one of only two districts in Nepal where a majority of the population identifies as Tharu, many conflict victims viewed the armed conflict as a continuation of the struggle over land.52 Additionally, many victims perceived soldiers in the Nepal Army to be enforcers of the power arrangements that left the majority of people from the indigenous Tharu community without access to resources, especially land, or political representation.53 Guneratne, based on his longitudinal research in Nepal, draws attention to the dynamism of Tharu identity and the heterogeneity, specifically regarding access to power and resources, language and religion, among people who identify as Tharu.54 Yet, he indicates that Tharu identity is intimately tied to a shared history of discrimination, exclusion and, as a result of national and international policies, the loss of land.55 In the 1950s, with the encouragement of the leaders of the Nepali government and funded by international aid, the Malaria Eradication Program was implemented in the Terai.56 Following this program, ‘high’-caste Nepalis from the hills were encouraged to move into the Terai, which ultimately resulted in the loss of land for members of the Tharu community.57 Some ‘high’-caste migrants exploited the existing kamaiya labor system, resulting in extended bonded labor practices, increased indebtedness and marginalization for members from the Tharu community.58 Tharu resistance to such labor practices was curtailed by violence perpetrated by landlords and the police,59 and, regarding the situation in Dang district, a report issued by a member of the Land Reform Commission in 1954 argued ‘the Government Offices meant for providing Justice take the side of the rich people and thus encourage further suppression of the poor.’60 More people were forcibly disappeared from Bardiya than any other district in Nepal during the armed conflict. What was previously defined as the Mid-Western Region of Nepal,61 where Bardiya is located, is commonly recognized as the region most affected by the conflict in terms of gross violations of human rights. A 2008 publication by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) describes how members of the Tharu community were targeted during the armed conflict: Members of the Tharu indigenous group, who make up 52% of the population in Bardiya District, account for over 85% of the persons disappeared by the State authorities in cases documented by OHCHR. Among the victims [documented by OHCHR] were 123 men (including 102 Tharus), 12 women and 21 children. All the women and children [disappeared] were of Tharu origin. Information provided to OHCHR leads to the conclusion the majority of the disappeared were civilian villagers who were not CPN-M [Communist Party of Nepal-Maoists] members at the time of arrest. Most of the victims were farmers and others were labourers, students, teachers and carpenters. In addition to their occupations, several were prominent Tharu activists. The Tharus constitute one of the several indigenous groups that are historically marginalized and discriminated in Nepal. Many of the disappeared that were not Tharu were also from economically disadvantaged sectors of the population.62 In the 2008 report, the OHCHR investigated 156 of the 200 reported cases of enforced disappearances in Bardiya district, of which 14 cases were attributed to the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoists. State security forces were found responsible for the remainder of cases of enforced disappearances. The report recognizes ‘the root of the conflict’ and the high number of enforced disappearances in Bardiya as connected to ‘issues of land distribution and lack of access to economic resources for marginalized groups, as well as discrimination, lack of political representation and lack of access to state services and protection.’63 The Maoists built the insurgency on the promise of uplifting marginalized groups in Nepal, including ‘lower’-caste groups, indigenous people, poor people, women and children; the peace agreement calls for social and economic justice for these groups specifically. However, Nepalis targeted for Maoist support cannot easily be homogenized,64 and the lived experience of armed conflict in Nepal was affected by numerous factors, including the geographic location in which people found themselves, their age, caste or ethnic group, gender, access to resources, political affiliation and their family’s historical ties and relationships. Further, hierarchical expectations of social relations stratified by age, gender and caste were transformed by Nepal’s conflict.65 For example, the practice of intercaste marriage was encouraged by the Maoists, and Maoist cadres from the Dalit community, considered ‘untouchables’ within the caste system in Nepal, entered ‘high’-caste households, led fighting units and eschewed traditional restrictions regarding the sharing of food and water.66 Yet, Judith Pettigrew notes how during the armed conflict some villagers in a Tamu-mai village in Nepal perceived the entry of people from the Dalit community into their homes as a serious violation of caste norms and considered the practice the cause of unfortunate events.67 Moreover, gender norms were simultaneously challenged and reinforced through the Maoist insurgency.68 The 40 demands submitted to the Nepali government by the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoists also included the demand that ‘patriarchal exploitation and discrimination against women should be stopped.’69 Females served in leadership positions in the Maoist hierarchy, as section commanders and vice commanders, and in all-female platoons.70 However, regarding women’s leadership in the Maoists, Comrade Paravati, the Central Committee member and head of the Women’s Department of the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoists, argued that male cadres resisted surrendering ‘the privileged position bestowed on them by the patriarchal structure.’71 Likewise, Pettigrew draws attention to how Maoist cadres’ demands to stay in the homes of female villagers placed women in disempowered positions.72 Further, conceptualizations of women’s empowerment by the Maoists are rooted in homogenizing rhetoric that does not accurately define all Nepali women, particularly those outside of politically and economically dominant groups.73 METHODOLOGY Building on a preliminary study initiated in May 2013, I conducted ethnographic research on transitional justice in Nepal from January until December 2016. Specifically, I examined the perceptions and lived experiences of people who experienced gross violations of human rights as children. Because transitional justice processes aim to redress violations of human rights law and humanitarian law, my research focused on interviewees’ experiences as ‘children’ as codified in international law, where a child is defined as someone younger than 18 years of age. This focus is not meant to represent a particularly Nepali conceptualization of childhood. Although all of my interviewees were children according to international law when they experienced a gross violation of human rights, they were all older than 18 years of age in 2016. My research primarily focused on two districts, Kathmandu and Bardiya.74 Thus, the analysis in this article is based on these field sites and, in many ways, does not even begin to examine the diverse experiences of children during Nepal’s armed conflict. Despite its small size (an area of 56,827 miles) and population (less than 30 million), Nepal is an extremely diverse country in terms of both geography and people. Identity in Nepal is often tied to geography and is dynamic and overlapping. The most recent census (2011) lists 125 castes and ethnic groups, 123 languages and 10 religions.75 Not one of the recognized caste or ethnic groups comprises a majority of Nepal’s population, and Nepal’s census data only begin to illustrate the diversity of its residents. Smaller caste and ethnic groups are recognized within these categories, and the census fails to include how these categories overlap or are conflated. While violent conflict was rare in Kathmandu, Bardiya is recognized as one of Nepal’s most severely conflict-affected districts. During the armed conflict, many Nepalis from various subjectivities fled to Kathmandu, the capital, to flee violence in rural villages. In both districts, I conducted varying degrees of participant observation and observation at key events, including meetings of victims’ groups, memorials, demonstrations regarding transitional justice, conferences, meetings hosted at the Transitional Justice Resource Center, and events hosted by the UN and embassies. Informal interviews and conversations with stakeholders affecting and influenced by transitional justice mechanisms were conducted at key events, and at restaurants and residences. I conducted 28 semi-structured interviews with Nepalis who experienced gross violations of human rights as children. All interviewees self-identified as either male or female, and, in both Kathmandu and Bardiya, I interviewed seven males (14 in total) and seven females (14 in total). All interviews were coded by age, gender, caste, ethnic group, access to resources, region of residence, education, occupation, religious affiliation and political affiliation. Research was conducted with attention to the inclusion of people from various identities and positionalities. Field notes were taken throughout the research and primary documents, such as press releases issued by victims’ groups and reports by the UN, INGOs and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) were analyzed. CHILDREN’S INTERSECTIONAL EXPERIENCES DURING NEPAL’S ARMED CONFLICT Scholarly literature and reports issued by NGOs, INGOs and the UN emphasize children’s unique vulnerability during Nepal’s decade-long internal armed conflict.76 Yet, in Nepal, age alone did not determine the vulnerability of children during the war. Many Nepalis who were children during the armed conflict did not experience or even witness political violence; others were raped, tortured, abducted by the Maoists, or arrested by state security forces; some endured the loss of multiple family members.77 Both the Maoists and the state security forces targeted and mobilized children and their families based on their identities and subjectivities. In the context of Nepal, family dynamics, geography, gender, ethnicity, caste, access to resources and political connections all determined which children suffered abuse or were shielded from harm. Children in rural areas were more likely to witness and be affected by political violence than children in Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu.78 Dalits and members of indigenous communities were disproportionately victimized and harassed by both government forces and the Maoists.79 Conversely, civilians with greater access to resources and from ‘higher’-caste groups historically associated with positions of privilege and power were also particularly vulnerable during the war due to their positionality.80 From the first day of the armed conflict, not only did the Maoists violently target buildings and people associated with the state,81 they also attacked wealthy landowners, who were declared enemies of the party.82 Judith Pettigrew and Kamal Adhikari, based on ethnographic research in Nepal during the armed conflict, found the Maoists targeted villagers who were better resourced (‘people with large houses, guns, money, and gold’) when asking for food and accommodations.83 This, in turn, placed those villagers at an increased risk of being targeted by the Nepal Army (perceived as ‘trigger happy’).84 Interviews and conversations with people from marginalized caste and ethnic groups who had access to resources and fled to Kathmandu during the armed conflict revealed how money and political connections to various political parties, including both sides to the conflict, also shielded some children and entire families from harm. Males were more likely to be killed or disappeared during the conflict.85 Yet, when women and girls were killed, particularly by the Nepal Army, they were often raped first.86 There are discernible patterns of victimhood based on longstanding marginalization and inequality revealed through the analysis of reports on Nepal’s armed conflict,87 further affirming the experience of armed conflict was not homogeneous for children in Nepal. For example, poor girls from rural areas who were members of ‘low’-caste or indigenous communities were more likely to be raped, killed or lose their fathers to enforced disappearance or murder than ‘high’-caste boys living in Kathmandu.88 However, Nepalis were not immune to harm perpetrated by either side to the conflict based solely on their positionality. Being ‘high’ caste or wealthy did not always protect Nepalis from state violence. Likewise, although the Maoists claimed to be fighting on behalf of women, children, indigenous groups, ‘low’-caste groups and the poor, those subjectivities did not protect Nepalis belonging to these categories from violence perpetrated by the Maoists. Thus, attention to victims’ intersectionality is particularly important in Nepal. In the next section, I examine the experiences and perceptions of Nepalis who were children (according to international law) when their fathers were unlawfully killed or forcibly disappeared during the armed conflict. Although they were younger than 18 years of age when they lost their father, more than a decade has passed since the official end to the armed conflict. Their narratives reveal commonalities and differences, demonstrating the incongruity of conflating ‘the local’ or ‘children affected by armed conflict’ with the entire diverse nation of Nepal. CHILDREN WHOSE FATHERS WERE KILLED OR DISAPPEARED Regardless of their positionality, children whose fathers were killed or disappeared during Nepal’s armed conflict faced considerable hardships. All the interviewees whose father was killed or disappeared lived with their father’s natal family during the armed conflict, as is the dominant practice in Nepal.89 While broad generalizations about Nepali children are inappropriate due to their tremendous diversity, regardless of their positionality, my interviewees consistently mentioned the stigmatization of children who lost their fathers during the armed conflict. The absence of their fathers forced them to endure stigmatization within their families, communities and/or schools. Although all of the interviewees were part of family units that consisted of siblings and a mother, they discussed being called ‘orphan’ and ‘fatherless’ by teachers and fellow students at school and when walking in their villages. Gender norms vary in Nepal, particularly by ethnic group. Yet, predominant patriarchal norms in Nepal dictate that belonging, both to the nation-state and the family, is determined by a child’s father. The Citizenship Act of 1964 linked citizenship by descent solely to a child’s father. This gendered notion of national belonging was reinforced through Nepal’s 2015 constitution, which limits a mother’s ability to independently bestow citizenship to her children. For example, the child of a Nepali mother and non-Nepali father can only acquire citizenship through naturalization. Nepal’s constitution also stipulates that the child of a Nepali mother can obtain citizenship by descent only if the child’s father cannot be traced. Thus, being Nepali is legally tied to having a Nepali father. Although male and female children were equally likely to lose their father during the armed conflict, their postwar experiences were highly gendered and the impact of the loss of their father exacerbated by gender norms. In Nepal, dominant norms dictate that men are the financial caretakers of their wives, children and elderly parents. The birth of a son is recognized as a permanent family member within their natal household. Conversely, dominant norms dictate that a daughter will reside with and take a dowry to her husband’s natal family. Although there are multiple and complex variations on these practices throughout Nepal, the postwar experiences of my interviewees were impacted by dominant gender norms predating the armed conflict. Children’s experiences of losing their fathers during the conflict subsequently became another aspect of their identities. Likewise, interviewees discussed the stigmatization of their mothers who, following the loss of their husbands, were harassed by the Maoists and/or state security forces, refused assistance by government officials, stigmatized and called ‘widows,’ ‘whores’ and ‘old women,’ viewed as polluted in their communities, and treated as burdens by their in-laws. Wives of the disappeared experienced additional distress and stigmatization due to their ambiguous identities as neither wife nor widow.90 Within these contexts, I heard numerous stories of and witnessed everyday resistance to the stigmatization faced by the interviewees and their mothers. Some interviewees’ mothers joined victims’ organizations, rejected the label of ‘widow’ and lived outside of their in-laws’ homes. As children, some interviewees refused to stop attending school regardless of the stigmatization they faced by fellow students and teachers. The stigmatization faced by conflict victims during and after the armed conflict demonstrates how systems of patriarchy, caste-based and gender-based discrimination, and other forms of systemic oppression and structural inequality, are reinforced and contested in everyday life in Nepal. For better-resourced interviewees who were able to relocate to Kathmandu, life in Nepal’s urban center offered them an opportunity to escape the stigma they endured in their villages. The urban space served, at times, to give them a sense of anonymity and separation from reminders of the loss of their father. All interviewees perceived the loss of their father as the cause of their inability to obtain greater access to education and financial resources, and they associated their father’s death with different aspects of his positionality, including his caste or ethnic group, access to resources, residence and gender. The Transitional Justice Reference Archive (TJRA), which documented violations of international law during Nepal’s armed conflict, and the 2012 OHCHR Nepal Conflict Report (citing the TJRA), attribute the majority of ‘unlawful killings’ to the Maoists and the majority of ‘enforced disappearances’ to the government of Nepal.91 While some interviewees whose fathers were disappeared clearly communicated distress due to their father’s ambiguous status and expressed desires for a funeral ceremony and greater knowledge about the events related to his disappearance, most interviewees stated they were certain their fathers had died during the armed conflict. Despite this certainty, children of the disappeared faced additional difficulties. They lamented their inability to acquire a death certificate and thus the necessary documentation to receive citizenship and their father’s financial assets. In conversations and semi-structured interviews with children of the disappeared from the Tharu community in Bardiya, respondents expressed feeling that the state was anti-Tharu and their ethnicity was the reason for their parent being targeted during the armed conflict. After the conflict, females and males expressed their hardships as directly related to their own age and gender, access to resources, and the difficulties associated with the loss of the male head of household and primary breadwinner. Reema,92 a female member of the Tharu community, described in the Tharu language the night her father was disappeared: The police arrested my father when he was asleep. At midnight, I think it was 12 o’clock, they arrested him and took him away…They [Nepal’s security forces and Nepalis who are not members of the Tharu community] treat Tharu people bad wherever they go. Speaking of the impact of her father’s disappearance, Reema continued, It had a huge impact. We were small, and my mom was alone. The other family members [paternal grandfather, paternal uncle and his wife] would not love us, since we were all girls. [Because my father was disappeared,] the police also tortured my family…Sometimes, when money is scarce, I remember my father. Since father is not there, people scold me. So, I feel sad. There is no male member, so they scold. Reema, who was 19 at the time of the interview, spent her days helping her mother with household chores and working outside the house. On a typical day, she cooked food, cut grass and fed the goats her family received from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Reema said she was unable to complete her education due to the lack of resources at her school. Because she was unable to educate her, Reema’s mother told me she planned to get Reema married in the next year. Male children faced other barriers, with the eldest son sometimes being expected to take on the role of the primary breadwinner. Juktilal,93 a male member of the Tharu community, explained in the Tharu language: He [my father] was arrested and then killed by the police. I was 10 or 11. My father was the one who used to earn…So, on the one side, I had to earn, and on the other side, I had to study. I had to look after the house. The eldest son had to bear the responsibility, so I had to bear it…The responsibility of agriculture was on me. The responsibility to educate my sister was on me, and all the responsibility to go to the field was on me. My mom used to sell vegetables, and we used to raise goats and chickens and sell them. Rather than viewed as a financial burden, his new positionality placed him in a crucial and respected position in terms of his family’s survival. Juktilal told me that his father was Tharu and killed by the police while he was traveling in a neighboring district. Juktilal said he had heard from eyewitnesses that the police asked his father where he was from, and, after responding that he was from a village in Bardiya, they killed him. The police, Juktilal assumed, killed his father because he was a member of the Tharu community from Bardiya, and he believed his father’s remains were in the jungle of a neighboring district. Both Reema’s and Juktilal’s fathers are listed as missing by the ICRC. Female interviewees, including Reema, commonly expressed feelings of physical and financial insecurity due to the loss of their fathers. Reema and Juktilal were noticeably thin and expressed ongoing distress regarding their lack of access to education and basic resources, including food. Further, they both expressed feeling as if they were doubly stigmatized for being Tharu and viewed as fatherless. Although state security forces targeted members of the Tharu community due to their ethnicity, they were not excluded from violence perpetrated by the Maoists. Sumitra,94 a 21-year-old female interviewee from the Tharu community in Bardiya, described the day her father was abducted and killed by the Maoists. Sumitra’s father supported the Nepali Congress party, a political party associated with the Nepali government during the armed conflict, and opposed the Maoist insurgency. She expounded in the Tharu language, [The Maoists came in our house at night and] took my father saying, ‘we have some work.’ Immediately after that, they locked the door and said, ‘we will cut you, kill you.’ They locked the door, so that we could not go outside. They turned off the lights, and at that time, there was no light. After ten or fifteen minutes, [upon mom’s insistence], we came out breaking the door. We all started to search for my father walking in different directions, but he was taken away from the main road. We asked for help, but nobody came. Later, we knew the Maoists had threatened the villagers that if they helped, they would be shot and killed. We searched but could not find my father. Five minutes after we reached our home, we heard the gun shot. Then, we started crying thinking that our father is no more. Where to go for searching my father? Even then, we started to search…After the murder, we searched but could not find him…My father’s sister came to our house and informed us [he was dead], and we all started crying. We left for the place where the dead body was placed, and we saw blood spots on the road. Then we knew my father was killed. We ourselves carried him. Nobody helped. Sumitra’s mother said when she attempted to receive help from the Nepal Army after her husband’s death, she was turned away, ‘kicked’ and ‘scolded.’95 Despite her husband’s opposition to the Maoist insurgency, Sumitra’s mother’s gender and ethnicity delayed her ability to acquire assistance from state forces. Sumitra described being called an orphan at school by students and teachers and detailed how fellow villagers refused to let her mother touch their food for fear of bad luck. When I interviewed Sumitra, she and her mother continued to face stigmatization as members of the Tharu community, as females in a home without male members, and as victims of the Maoists in a majority Tharu village where most victims of Nepal’s armed conflict were victims of state security forces. As a result, Sumitra lamented how other victims in the village failed to communicate information about any programs implemented to assist conflict victims due to their perceptions of her. Although he had left the village, Sumitra’s brother sent money to their mother. In addition, Sumitra and her mother received a small income from their occasional work in the village and harvested their own food. People who are considered privileged by Nepali standards were also targeted during the armed conflict based on their positionality. The Maoists targeted civilians based on their above-average access to resources, education level and associations with people in positions of influence and power.96 The leader of a national victims’ group suggested I talk to Sunil.97 I called him, and he asked me to meet him at a popular bus park in Kathmandu. Sunil arrived on his motorcycle, and we went to a restaurant nearby. As I sat across from him at the restaurant, I noted his appearance. I guessed Sunil was around 5’10” and weighed about 200 pounds. He wore what looked like new clothes: a plaid button-up shirt, blue jeans and black tennis shoes with a large silver watch. As we waited for momos (dumplings), drinking Sprites, I asked him to tell me about his family. He said in English, I am born in a middle class family, me, myself, brothers and two sisters. When I was 12, I lived in [a district outside of Kathmandu]. My father was a teacher and master of a government school. My mother was a housewife. She is a social worker, too, an educated woman in my village. In our village, my family is educated in comparison with other families, because it is a rural area. As we continued talking, he also said his family was very respected in their village due to their ‘high’-caste status as Brahmins and level of education. Sunil explained that his family had greater access to financial resources than other families in his village. He believed his father was targeted due to these factors. The terrorists98 of the Nepal Government (Maoists) killed my father when I was 12. My brother was in Kathmandu at that time. Mother had made food for us that night, and we had guests in our home. We were having dinner when two people called my father. They said they had some work with him. I said, ‘I want to come with father,’ but they said, ‘you are too small, you cannot come,’ and I cried. My mother was awake, waiting for him the whole night, but he did not come back. I also did not sleep till 11 or 12. My mother, early in the morning the next day, went to another village searching for my father, but she did not find him. Then me, my father’s brother, and [my] sister went near from our land, and I saw my father’s dead body, and I cried, and the villagers came. They killed my father because he was educated. Villagers used to follow what he said and respected him. So, the Maoists might have thought if they kill my father, everyone will be in their power. As Sunil and I continued to talk, he described aspects of his life after his father’s death. Like Reema, Juktilal and Sumitra, he and his family began to face stigmatization in their village. Yet, unlike Reema’s, Juktilal’s and Sumitra’s families, Sunil’s family had access to resources to leave the village. Because Sunil was male, he was sent out of the village within a year for better educational opportunities while his sisters remained in the village. When Sunil was 13, he moved to Kathmandu, lived with his maternal uncle and attended private school. His entire nuclear family eventually left the village, with one brother working in the US, another brother and his mother living together in Kathmandu, and his sisters living with their husbands in other cities in Nepal. His family, he said, continues to own land and a house in his natal village. Like many conflict victims who relocated to Kathmandu during the armed conflict, Sunil utilized his change of residence as a means to escape the social stigma related to his father’s death and took advantage of the increased educational and employment opportunities available in the capital. Sunil was 28 at the time of the interview and had just completed the coursework for his bachelor’s degree in management. He is currently running his own NGO in Kathmandu. Other interviews with Nepalis whose fathers were killed or disappeared complicated common narratives of the armed conflict and further emphasized the need for attention to intersectionality in processes of transitional justice. Sumedh,99 who was 25 years old and residing in Kathmandu at the time of the interview, described his family’s positionality within their village (in a district outside of Kathmandu) and how he thought it was related to his father’s disappearance by the Nepal Army. He specified in Nepali, Our family was rich at that time [during the conflict], because we are Brahmin caste. In Brahmin caste, all people respect us. My grandfather was a landlord and was an intellectual person in the village. My father was also an intellectual person. We owned lots of land. In the village, we were rich among other people. Then that was good. At that time [during the conflict], my father and my brother were taking a bus to Kathmandu. I was 12 years old and studying in class 6, and my brother was studying in 8 class. At that time, the Army force was searching buses and people’s bags on the way to the next district. In my father’s bag, he had lots of documents and money. He had around 50,000 to 80,000 rupees [US$500–$800], and they [the Army] asked him why he had lots of money. They arrested him. They said to my brother, ‘in the evening, we will return your father.’ They said that, but they didn’t return him. My father was a normal person. He was not involved in any political party. When my mother, brother, and grandmother went to the Army barracks and asked why he was arrested, a person came out and scolded my family and beat them with pipes. Although they had greater access to resources and were ‘high’ caste, the positionality of Sumedh’s family did not protect them from state violence during the armed conflict. Yet, his family’s wealth provided him with the resources to complete his master’s degree after the disappearance of his father. Although the data presented in this article correlate caste status and access to financial resources, they cannot be conflated. In Nepal, being higher caste does not necessarily mean having greater access to resources. Likewise, belonging to the Tharu community does not necessarily indicate a family’s financial standing. However, access to resources in Nepal is correlated with historical patterns of exclusion and marginalization. All the interviewees in this article perceived the loss of their father as connected to their family’s positionality and described similar experiences of stigmatization. Most interviewees’ access to education and basic resources following the loss of their fathers depended on preexisting conditions of hierarchy, marginalization and their families’ access to resources. Reema, Juktilal, Sumitra, Sunil and Sumedh all emphasized that continuing their education was very important. In Nepal, the School Leaving Certificate (SLC) is known as ‘the iron gate.’ Failing the SLC prevents many students from advancing from grade 10 to what is referred to in Nepal as ‘plus two’ (grades 11 and 12). Completing ‘plus two’ is a necessary step to go on to postsecondary education in Nepal. The disparity in the SLC pass rate between students who attend public school and those who attend private school is remarkable. According to the District Education Office in Bardiya, the SLC pass rate for children attending public schools is 22 percent, while children in private schools have an 85 percent pass rate. Nepal’s national discrepancy in the SLC pass rate for public and private school attendees is almost identical to the situation in Bardiya district, with slight annual variations.100 Reema, Juktilal and Sumitra all attended public school in Bardiya. Sunil and Sumedh attended private school in Kathmandu. Despite Juktilal’s increased responsibilities as the eldest male in his family, he passed his SLC and was able to complete his ‘plus two.’ Juktilal was among a minority of students, regardless of the experience of losing his father, who attended public school and passed the SLC. Yet, Juktilal, 27 at the time of the interview, was, at that point, unable to continue to postsecondary education due to family obligations and a lack of financial resources. Sumitra also passed her SLC and started pursuing her bachelor’s degree. However, poor health and lack of access to sufficient resources, including healthcare, prevented her from attending classes. Education was prioritized by all the interviewees, but their varied positionalities determined their access and ability to pursue educational opportunities. Although they were all under the age of 18 and considered ‘children’ according to international law when they experienced a gross violation of human rights, their age at the time of the violation, gender, education level, access to resources, birth order, family support (or lack thereof) and caste or ethnic group have affected their lives during the ‘transitional period.’ Reema was not opposed to prosecutions. Juktilal stated explicitly he would like the police who killed his father to be prosecuted. However, in their interviews, they both prioritized access to education and basic resources. Sumitra said the most important needs of conflict victims were education and access to jobs and also expressed an explicit desire to see the people responsible for her father’s death punished. Conversely, Sunil emphasized a desire to receive ‘firstly, the reason of my father’s murder and punishment of the wrong doer [who killed my father], and secondly, support for my family and my further studies.’ Yet, processes of transitional justice often fail to acknowledge victims’ differential experiences, needs and perceptions within a nation-state. When I asked him how he felt when his family received money from the Nepal government as relief for his father’s disappearance, Sumedh said, ‘We are not happy. We don’t need money. We need our father.’ As Tazreena Sajjad has argued, ‘identification of the homogeneous victim in need of salvation primarily through financial assistance has been a consistent but oversimplified theme in Nepal.’101 Despite Simon Robins’ argument that ‘the needs of victims’ families are not static’ and his finding of ‘dramatic differences’ in victims’ perceptions of justice based on their positionality,102 transitional justice policies in Nepal have not focused on intersectional approaches. Reema, Juktilal and Sumitra all viewed the postconflict national government as anti-Tharu. While caste and class cannot be conflated, government-supported suppression of the Tharu community is linked to their significantly lower access to resources, particularly land. After the loss of their fathers, Reema, Juktilal and Sumitra were all expelled from their father’s natal home. This was due not only to entrenched systems of patriarchy where a child’s father marks their own familial belonging but also to their paternal family’s lack of access to resources. Conversely, Sumedh’s paternal grandparents had acquired sufficient wealth before his father’s disappearance to maintain their survival in his absence, and it was Sunil’s maternal family that ensured his access to higher education in Kathmandu. For Sunil and Sumedh, leaving their villages and residing in the nation’s capital also provided them the anonymity to escape social stigma. Although Sunil and Sumedh benefited from existing hierarchies, they both explicitly indicated their desires for, and were actively working towards, more equitable access to resources for marginalized populations. While being male, ‘high’ caste and having access to resources could not mitigate the emotional or financial impact of losing their fathers, their prewar positionality determined their access to resources after the war. Even within the same nuclear family, gender norms determined access to education. Additionally, despite their positionality, Sunil and Sumedh expressed feeling marginalized and disconnected from the national and international political elites determining transitional justice policies and implementation. The postwar differential experiences between victims are microcosms of larger systems of structural inequality. Although victims in Nepal come from diverse positionalities, the vast majority lack access to political power and are excluded from decisions about processes of transitional justice implemented on their behalf. Since the signing of the peace agreement, international and national elites have dominated transitional justice processes and privileged the promulgation of the constitution and national elections over redressing conflict-era violations and ongoing structural violence. The peace agreement called for social and economic justice after the war. Yet, structural violence continues to impact the lives of children throughout Nepal, who face inequitable access to education, healthcare and food. Higher education was a key concern and desire for all of my interviewees. Yet, structures of inequality systemically prevented some victims from continuing their education. When I asked interviewees why they wanted to pursue higher education, they linked education to dignity, jobs and greater access to resources. Regardless of their positionality, they felt disempowered by the loss of their fathers and excluded from what they viewed as elite-led processes of transitional justice. Activists and scholars have argued for greater inclusion of victims in processes of transitional justice in Nepal and spoken out against the orchestrated dependence of victims on elite-led national and international agencies to speak on their behalf.103 Examining child victims’ diverse and dynamic experiences reveals the need for the transformation of hierarchies of power, domination and exclusion. CONCLUSION The narratives of people who lost their fathers during Nepal’s armed conflict suggest locality cannot be conflated with nationality. Rather, intersectional analyses of victims’ perceptions and everyday lives illuminate the complexity and dynamism of the experience of victimhood for children. All victims of Nepal’s armed conflict, regardless of positionality, deserve equal access to justice (however they conceptualize and prioritize the concept). It is important to examine what actually changes through processes of transitional justice. In this article, I argue for greater attention to the transitions occurring in people’s everyday lives. Yet, also unexamined or redressed through transitional justice processes are entrenched systems of power and inequality. The homogenization of victims suppresses attention to and the redress of the structural inequalities intimately tied to Nepal’s armed conflict. So long as powerful elite actors drive transitional justice processes without prioritizing victims’ inclusion, acknowledging victims’ diversity and redressing structural inequality, what meaningful transition will occur? Hierarchies of power can be shifted to empower conflict victims. Recognizing hierarchies between victims does not preclude their ability to design inclusive victim-centric processes of transitional justice. As Paul Gready and Simon Robins argue,104 scholars and practitioners must ask how they can create space for locally led solutions and then provide the requested resources to aid and empower conflict victims to implement their own processes. ‘Local justice’ must include intersectional analyses, and, further, redress entrenched systems of domination and inequality. When oppression, marginalization and deep-seated inequality are recognized as significant factors to an armed conflict, failure to redress such conditions is sure to entrench them. Footnotes 1 See, ‘Guidance Note of the Secretary-General: United Nations Approach to Transitional Justice’ (2010); ‘Impact of Armed Conflict on Children,’ UN Doc. A/51/306 (26 August 1996) [hereinafter ‘Impact of Armed Conflict on Children’]; Sharanjeet Parmar, Mindy Jane Roseman, Saudamini Siegrist and Theo Sowa, eds., Children and Transitional Justice: Truth-Telling, Accountability and Reconciliation (Florence: UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre, 2010). 2 See, Convention on the Rights of the Child (1990); Geneva Conventions (1949) and two Additional Protocols (1977); Impact of Armed Conflict on Children; ‘Annual Report of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Radhika Coomaraswamy,’ UN Doc. A/HRC/21/38 (28 June 2012); ‘Security Council Resolution 1882,’ UN Doc. S/RES/1882 (4 August 2009); ‘Security Council Resolution 1612,’ UN Doc. S/RES/1612 (26 July 2005). 3 Parmar et al., supra n 1, is the sole book dedicated to broadly examining children and transitional justice. 4 Convention on the Rights of the Child; Geneva Conventions and two Additional Protocols. 5 UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), ‘Nepal Conflict Report,’ 2012, http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Countries/NP/OHCHR_Nepal_Conflict_Report2012.pdf (accessed 29 October 2017). 6 Ibid. 7 Brian K. Barber, ‘Glimpsing the Complexity of Youth and Political Violence,’ in Adolescents and War: How Youth Deal with Political Violence, ed. Brian K. Barber (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009); Jo Boyden and Joanna de Berry, ‘Introduction,’ in Children and Youth on the Front Line: Ethnography, Armed Conflict and Displacement, ed. Jo Boyden and Joanna de Berry (New York: Berghahn Books, 2004). 8 Jo Boyden ‘Children under Fire: Challenging Assumptions about Children’s Resilience,’ Children, Youth and Environments 13(1) (2003): 1–29; Brandon A. Kohrt and Sujen M. Maharjan ‘When a Child Is No Longer a Child: Nepali Ethnopsychology of Child Development and Violence,’ Studies in Nepali History and Society 14(1) (2009): 107–142; Carolyn Nordstrom, ‘The Jagged Edge of Peace: The Creation of Culture and War Orphans in Angola,’ in Troublemakers or Peacemakers? Youth and Post-Accord Peace Building, ed. Siobhán McEvoy-Levy (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2006). 9 Boyden and de Berry, supra n 7 at xv–xvi. 10 Ibid.; Barber, supra n 7. 11 For example, Alexander Laban Hinton, ‘Introduction: Toward an Anthropology of Transitional Justice,’ in Transitional Justice: Global Mechanisms and Local Realities after Genocide and Mass Violence, ed. Alexander Laban Hinton (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2010); Rosalind Shaw and Lars Waldorf, ‘Introduction: Localizing Transitional Justice,’ in Localizing Transitional Justice: Interventions and Priorities after Mass Violence, ed. Rosalind Shaw and Lars Waldorf, with Pierre Hazan (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2010). 12 Lisa J. Laplante and Kimberly Theidon ‘Truth with Consequences: Justice and Reparations in Post-Truth Commission Peru,’ Human Rights Quarterly 29(1) (2007): 231; Patricia Lundy and Mark McGovern, ‘Whose Justice? Rethinking Transitional Justice from the Bottom Up,’ Journal of Law and Society 35(2) (2008): 265–292; Kieran McEvoy and Lorna McGregor, ‘Transitional Justice from Below: An Agenda for Research, Policy and Praxis,’ in Transitional Justice from Below: Grassroots Activism and the Struggle for Change, ed. Kieran McEvoy and Lorna McGregor (Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2008); Simon Robins, ‘Towards Victim-Centred Transitional Justice: Understanding the Needs of Families of the Disappeared in Postconflict Nepal,’ International Journal of Transitional Justice 5(1) (2011): 75–98; Simon Robins, ‘Transitional Justice as an Elite Discourse: Human Rights Practice Where the Global Meets the Local in Post-Conflict Nepal,’ Critical Asian Studies 44(1) (2012): 3–30; Richard Wilson, The Politics of Truth and Reconciliation in South Africa: Legitimizing the Post-Apartheid State (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001). 13 Hinton, supra n 11; Anna Tsing, Friction: An Ethnography of Global Connection (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005). 14 Shaw and Waldorf, supra n 11. 15 ‘The Rule of Law and Transitional Justice in Conflict and Post-Conflict Societies: Report of the Secretary-General,’ UN Doc S/2004/616 (2004), 1. 16 Current theories of structural violence originated from Johan Galtung, ‘Violence, Peace, and Peace Research,’ Journal of Peace Research 6(3) (1969): 167–191. 17 See, e.g., Oliver Richmond, Maintaining Order, Making Peace (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002); Simon Robins, Families of the Missing: A Test for Contemporary Approaches to Transitional Justice (London: Routledge, 2013). 18 Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, ‘Women, Security, and the Patriarchy of Internationalized Transitional Justice,’ Human Rights Quarterly 31(4) (2009): 1055–1085; Wilson, supra n 12. 19 Pierre Hazan, ‘Beyond Borders: The New Architecture of Transitional Justice?’ International Journal of Transitional Justice 11(1) (2017): 1–8. 20 Wilson, supra n 12. 21 Franziska Boehme, ‘“We Chose Africa”: South Africa and the Regional Politics of Cooperation with the International Criminal Court,’ International Journal of Transitional Justice 11(1) (2017): 50–70; Ian Rowen and Jamie Rowen, ‘Taiwan’s Truth and Reconciliation Committee: The Geopolitics of Transitional Justice in a Contested State,’ International Journal of Transitional Justice 11(1) (2017): 92–112. 22 Mark Goodale, ‘Introduction: Locating Rights, Envisioning Law between the Global and the Local,’ in The Practice of Human Rights: Tracking Law between the Global and the Local, ed. Mark Goodale and Sally Engle Merry (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007). 23 For example, Alexander Betts, ‘Should Approaches to Post-Conflict Justice and Reconciliation be Determined Globally, Nationally or Locally?’ European Journal of Developmental Research 17(4) (2005): 735–752; Hinton, supra n 11. 24 For example, Shaw and Waldorf, supra n 11. 25 Jennie E. Burnet, ‘(In)justice: Truth, Reconciliation, and Revenge in Rwanda’s Gacaca,’ in Transitional Justice: Global Mechanisms and Local Realities after Genocide and Mass Violence, ed. Alexander Laban Hinton (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2010); Wilson, supra n 12. 26 Tazreena Sajjad, Transitional Justice in South Asia: A Study of Afghanistan and Nepal (New York: Routledge, 2013). 27 See, e.g., Kohrt and Maharjan, supra n 8; Amanda Snellinger, ‘Shaping a Livable Present and Future: A Review of Youth Studies in Nepal,’ European Bulletin of Himalayan Research 42 (2013): 75–103. For an analysis of how conceptualizations of youth are dynamic and have been contested, influenced and manipulated in Nepal, see, Amanda Snellinger, ‘Yuba, Hamro Pusta: Youth and Generational Politics in Nepali Political Culture,’ Studies in Nepali History and Society 14(1) (2009): 39–66. 28 Kohrt and Maharjan, supra n 8. 29 Ibid. 30 Personal interview, interviewee 16, Kathmandu, Nepal, April 2016; personal interview, interviewee 7, Bardiya, Nepal, February 2016. Also see, Judith Pettigrew, ‘Learning to Be Silent: Change, Childhood and Mental Health in the Maoist Insurgency in Nepal,’ in Social Dynamics in Northern South Asia, Vol. 1: Nepalis Inside and Outside Nepal, ed. Hiroshi Ishii, David N. Gellner and Katsuo Nawa (Delhi: Manohar, 2007). 31 Ibid. 32 Kimberlé Crenshaw, ‘Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics,’ University of Chicago Legal Forum 1 (1989): 139–167; Kimberlé Crenshaw, ‘Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence against Women of Color,’ Stanford Law Review 43(6) (1991): 1241–1299; Leslie McCall, ‘The Complexity of Intersectionality,’ Signs: Journal of Women in Culture in Society 30(3) (2005): 1771–1800. 33 For example, Crenshaw, 1989, 1991, supra n 32; Patricia Hill Collins, Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness and the Politics of Empowerment (New York: Routledge, 2000); bell hooks, Ain’t I a Woman? Black Women and Feminism (Boston, MA: South End Press, 1982); McCall, supra n 32. 34 For example, Crenshaw, 1989, 1991, supra n 32; Collins, supra n 33; Patricia Hill Collins and Sirma Bilge, Intersectionality (Key Concepts) (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2016). 35 Hyun Sook Kim and Jyoti Puri, ‘Conceptualizing Gender-Sexuality-State-Nation: An Introduction,’ Gender and Society 19(2) (2007): 142. 36 For example, Myra Marx Ferree and Aili Mari Tripp, eds., Global Feminism: Transnational Women’s Activism, Organizing, and Human Rights (New York: NYU Press, 2006); Chandra Talpade Mohanty, Feminism without Borders: Decolonizing Theory, Practicing Solidarity (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2003); Chandra Talpade Mohanty, ‘Transnational Feminist Crossings: On Neoliberalism and Radical Critique,’ Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 38(4) (2013): 967–991; Vrushali Patil, ‘From Patriarchy to Intersectionality: A Transnational Feminist Assessment of How Far We’ve Really Come,’ Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 38(4) (2013): 847–867. 37 Andrea J. Nightingale, ‘Bounding Difference: Intersectionality and the Material Production of Gender, Caste, Class, and Environment in Nepal,’ Geoforum 42(2) (2011): 153–162. 38 Collins, supra n 33 at 222. 39 Catherine O’Rourke, ‘Feminist Scholarship in Transitional Justice: A De-Politicizing Impulse?’ Women’s Studies International Forum 51 (2015): 118–127; Eilish Rooney, ‘Women’s Equality in Northern Ireland’s Transition: Intersectionality in Theory and Place,’ Feminist Legal Studies 14(3) (2006): 353–375; Nandini Sundar, ‘Toward an Anthropology of Culpability,’ American Ethnologist 31(2) (2004): 145–163; Wilson, supra n 12. 40 Fionnuala Ní Aoláin and Eilish Rooney, ‘Underenforcement and Intersectionality: Gendered Aspects of Transition for Women,’ International Journal of Transitional Justice 1(3) (2007): 338–354; Christiane Wilke, ‘Remembering Complexity? Memorials for Nazi Victims in Berlin,’ International Journal of Transitional Justice 7(1) (2013): 136–156. 41 Daniel Aguirre and Irene Pietropaoli, ‘Gender Equality, Development and Transitional Justice: The Case of Nepal,’ International Journal of Transitional Justice 2(3) (2008): 356–377; Ní Aoláin, supra n 18; Ní Aoláin and Rooney, supra n 40. 42 Elisabeth Porter, ‘Gendered Narratives: Stories and Silences in Transitional Justice,’ Human Rights Review 17(1) (2016): 35–50. See also, Brandon Hamber, ‘Masculinity and Transitional Justice: An Exploratory Essay,’ International Journal of Transitional Justice 1(3) (2007): 375–390. 43 Olivera Simic, ‘Engendering Transitional Justice: Silence, Absence and Repair,’ Human Rights Review 17(1) (2016): 1–8; Sheila Meintjes, Anu Pillay and Meredith Turshen, eds., The Aftermath: Women in Post-Conflict Transformation (London: Zed Books, 2002). 44 Pascha Bueno-Hansen, ‘Engendering Transitional Justice: Reflections on the Case of Peru,’ Journal of Peacebuilding and Development 5(3) (2010): 61–74; Eilish Rooney, ‘Engendering Transitional Justice: Questions of Absence and Silence,’ International Journal of Law in Context 3(2) (2007): 93–108. 45 Ní Aoláin, supra n 18. 46 Wilke, supra n 40 at 137. 47 Paul Farmer, Pathologies of Power: Health, Human Rights and the New War on the Poor (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2004), 7. 48 Ní Aoláin and Rooney, supra n 40 at 347. 49 John Whelpton, A History of Nepal (New Delhi: Cambridge University Press, 2005). 50 Arjun Guneratne, Many Tongues, One People: The Making of Tharu Identity in Nepal (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2002), 72. 51 The 40 demands, as cited in Deepak Thapa with Bandita Sijapati, A Kingdom under Siege: Nepal’s Maoist Insurgency, 1996 to 2004 (London: Zed Books, 2004), 211. 52 Robins, 2012, supra n 12. 53 Ibid. 54 Guneratne, supra n 50. 55 Ibid. 56 Nepal is divided geographically by the Terai (plains along the southern border with India), hills in the center and mountains along Nepal’s northern border. Bardiya is located in the Terai in what was (before the promulgation of the 2015 constitution) previously identified as the Mid-Western Region. 57 Guneratne, supra n 50. 58 Within the Kamaiya labor system, a cultivator offers food, clothing and shelter to a laborer (kamaiya) in exchange for labor. See, Guneratne, supra n 50. 59 Ibid. 60 Ibid., 98. 61 When Nepal’s latest constitution was passed in September 2015, the country was divided into seven states, eliminating previous boundary demarcations based on regions. 62 UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Conflict-Related Disappearances in Bardiya District (2008), 6. 63 Ibid., 7. 64 Alpa Shah and Judith Pettigrew, eds., Windows into a Revolution: Ethnographies of Maoism in India and Nepal (New Delhi: Social Science Press, 2012). 65 See, e.g. Judith Pettigrew, ‘Guns, Kinship and Fear: Maoists among the Tamu-Mai (Gurungs),’ in Resistance and the State: Nepalese Experiences, ed. David Gellner (New Delhi: Social Science Press, 2001); Shah and Pettigrew, supra n 64; Sara Shneiderman and Judith Pettigrew, ‘Women and the Maobadi: Ideology and Agency in Nepal’s Maoist Movement,’ Himal Southasian 17(1) (2004): 19–29. 66 See, e.g., Laurent Gayer, ‘“Love-Marriage-Sex” in the People’s Liberation Army of Nepal: The Libidinal Economy of a Greedy Institution,’ in Revolution in Nepal: An Anthropological and Historical Approach to the People’s War, ed. M. Lecomte-Tilouine (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2013). 67 Judith Pettigrew, Maoists at the Hearth: Everyday Life in Nepal’s Civil War (Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013). 68 See, e.g., Lauren G. Leve, ‘Women’s Empowerment and Rural Revolution: Rethinking “Failed Development”,’ in Shah and Pettigrew, supra n 64; Comrade Parvati, ‘The Question of Women’s Leadership in People’s War in Nepal,’ Worker, 8 January 2003a; Comrade Parvati, ‘Women’s Participation in the People’s War,’ in The People’s War in Nepal: Left Perspectives, ed. Arjun Karki and David Seddon (New Delhi: Social Science Press, 2003b); Shneiderman and Pettigrew, supra n 65. 69 Cited in Thapa with Sijapati, supra n 51 at 211. 70 Shneiderman and Pettigrew, supra n 65. 71 Parvati, 2003a, supra n 68, as cited in Shneiderman and Pettigrew, supra n 65 at 6. 72 Pettigrew, supra n 67. 73 Shneiderman and Pettigrew, supra n 65; Seira Tamang, ‘The Politics of “Developing Nepali Women”,’ in State of Nepal, ed. Kanak Mani Dixit and Shastri Ramachandaran (Kathmandu: Himal Books, 2002). 74 I am intentionally vague about exactly where in each district I conducted research in an effort to protect the confidentiality of my informants. 75 ‘National Population and Housing Census 2011 (National Report),’ https://unstats.un.org/unsD/demographic/sources/census/wphc/Nepal/Nepal-Census-2011-Vol1.pdf (accessed 29 October 2017). 76 See, e.g., Jason Hart, ‘Conflict in Nepal and Its Impact on Children,’ Discussion Document prepared for UNICEF Regional Office South Asia, Refugee Studies Centre, Oxford University; Human Rights Watch, Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Civilians Struggle to Survive in Nepal’s Civil War (2004); Tejendra Pherali, ‘Education and Conflict in Nepal: Possibilities for Reconstruction,’ Globalisation, Societies and Education 9(1) (2011): 135–154; D.B. Subedi, ‘From Civilian to Combatant: Armed Recruitment and Participation in the Maoist Conflict in Nepal,’ Contemporary South Asia 21(4) (2013): 429–443; ‘Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the Situation of Human Rights and the Activities of Her Office, Including Technical Cooperation, in Nepal,’ UN Doc. E/CN.4/2006/107 (16 February 2006) [hereinafter ‘Report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights’]. 77 Personal interviews, conflict victims, Kathmandu and Bardiya, Nepal, January–December 2016; OHCHR, supra n 5. 78 OHCHR, supra n 62; OHCHR, supra n 5. 79 Rajeev Goyal, Puja Dhawan and Smita Narula, The Missing Piece of the Puzzle: Caste Discrimination and the Conflict in Nepal (New York: Center for Human Rights and Global Justice, 2005); OHCHR, supra n 5; Report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. 80 Amnesty International, Human Rights Violations in the Context of a Maoist ‘People’s War’ (March 1997); OHCHR, supra n 5; Pettigrew, supra n 67. 81 For example, the Maoists attacked police posts and administrative offices and destroyed loan documents in the office of the Small Farmer’s Development Program of the government-owned Agriculture Development Bank. 82 OHCHR, supra n 5. 83 Judith Pettigrew and Kamal Adhikari, ‘Fear and Everyday Life in Rural Nepal,’ Dialectical Anthropology 33(3–4) (2009): 407. 84 Ibid. 85 OHCHR, supra n 5. 86 Ibid. 87 Ibid.; Goyal et al., supra n 79; OHCHR, supra n 62. 88 OHCHR, supra n 5; OHCHR, supra n 62. 89 See, e.g., Tamang, supra n 73, on the diversity of women’s experiences in Nepal outside of dominant practices. 90 Robins, 2011, 2012, supra n 12. 91 TJRA, as cited in OHCHR, supra n 5. Also see, OHCHR, supra n 62. 92 All names have been changed to protect the confidentiality of interviewees. Personal interview, interviewee 4, Bardiya, Nepal, February 2016. 93 Personal interview, interviewee 3, Bardiya, Nepal, February 2016. 94 Personal interview, interviewee 14, Bardiya, Nepal, February 2016. 95 Conversation, interviewee 15, Bardiya, Nepal, February 2016. 96 OHCHR, supra n 5; Pettigrew, supra n 67. 97 Personal interview, interviewee 12, Kathmandu, Nepal, April 2016. 98 His reference to the Maoists as ‘terrorists’ is reminiscent of the Nepali government naming the Maoists ‘terrorists,’ enacting antiterrorist legislation and declaring a state of emergency in November 2001. After that, the Nepali government gained significant financial and logistical support from the US, India and the United Kingdom to violently oppose the Maoists. See, Human Rights Watch, supra n 76. It was after this that most people were forcibly disappeared by state security forces in Bardiya. See, e.g., OHCHR, supra n 5. 99 Personal interview, interviewee 18, Kathmandu, Nepal, June 2016. 100 During Nepal’s armed conflict, the Maoists demanded, among other education reforms, the closure of private schools. See, Martha Caddell, ‘Private Schools as Battlefields: Contested Visions of Learning and Livelihood in Nepal,’ Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education 36(4) (2006): 463–479. In 2016, Nepal’s Education Act was amended. As a result, Nepali students now take the SLC in grade 12. The examination that students take in grade 10 is now called the Secondary Education Examination. 101 Tazreena Sajjad, ‘Heavy Hands, Helping Hands, Holding Hands: The Politics of Exclusion in Victims’ Networks in Nepal,’ International Journal of Transitional Justice 10(1) (2016): 30. 102 Robins, 2011, supra n 12 at 85–86. 103 Simon Robins and Ram Kumar Bhandari, From Victims to Actors: Mobilising Victims to Drive Transitional Justice Process (Kathmandu: NEFAD, 2012). 104 Paul Gready and Simon Robins, ‘From Transitional to Transformative Justice: A New Agenda for Practice,’ International Journal of Transitional Justice 8(3) (2014): 339–361. © The Author (2017). Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email journals.permissions@oup.com http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Transitional Justice Oxford University Press

Intersectionality as Locality: Children and Transitional Justice in Nepal

Loading next page...
 
/lp/ou_press/intersectionality-as-locality-children-and-transitional-justice-in-3JZgEedGgo
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Copyright
© The Author (2017). Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email journals.permissions@oup.com
ISSN
1752-7716
eISSN
1752-7724
D.O.I.
10.1093/ijtj/ijx032
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract∞ Transitional justice policy, although predicated on an ideology of transition, often homogenizes victims and fails to respond to victims’ diverse and dynamic needs during the ‘transitional period.’ In this article, based on 14 months of ethnographic research in Nepal, I examine the perceptions and experiences of adults who were children when their fathers were killed or disappeared during the decade-long internal armed conflict between the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoists and the Nepali government. Through their varied experiences and ongoing transitions, I challenge homogeneous and fixed conceptualizations of ‘children’ and ‘the local’ and argue for greater attention to the intersectional experiences of victims and the redress of entrenched systems of domination and inequality. INTRODUCTION Children are often cited as particularly vulnerable to, and, along with women, the most affected by armed conflict.1 Yet, despite the emphasis in international law, reports and resolutions2 on their vulnerability and need for special protection during wartime, people who experienced gross violations of human rights as children are rarely included in scholarly literature on transitional justice. When children are included in scholarship on transitional justice, discourses typically surround the reintegration and accountability of child soldiers.3 Further, within conceptualizations of children and armed conflict, children within a nation-state, and often globally, are frequently homogenized. This homogenization risks overlooking which children are particularly vulnerable, in what context their vulnerability exposes them to gross violations of human rights, and how their diverse positionality impacts their lives after an armed conflict. Further, ‘childhood’ is treated as a temporary vulnerability within international law that presumably passes when a person reaches the age of 18. From birth until the age of 18, international law4 codifies humans’ special entitlements and additional protection during armed conflict. Yet, transitional justice processes typically happen after an armed conflict has ended, and, in many cases, several years after its cessation. Drawing from 14 months of ethnographic research with people who experienced gross violations of human rights as children during Nepal’s internal armed conflict, this article contributes to the underresearched topic of children and transitional justice. Although children in Nepal were victims of direct violence during the armed conflict, including forced recruitment, abduction, torture, killing, maiming, disappearance and sexual violence,5 this article focuses on children of the unlawfully killed and forcibly disappeared. Of the more than 12,000 people who were killed and 1,300 missing,6 the majority were men, and many of those men were fathers with multiple children. In Nepal, the loss of a father carries severe and irreparable consequences for his children and entire family throughout their lives. To date, no scholarly research has examined the perceptions and lived experiences of the children of the unlawfully killed or disappeared during Nepal’s armed conflict. Focusing on the loss of a father illuminates how even for people who experience a similar violation of human rights as children, their lives are dynamic and diverse. Victims’ diversity and their ongoing transitions are often overlooked in transitional justice discourses. In Nepal, the peace agreement was signed in 2006. Yet, during my fieldwork in 2016, processes of transitional justice were ongoing, and, in some ways, only beginning. This article examines the perceptions of child victims of Nepal’s armed conflict who have since transitioned out of what is recognized as a temporary phase in human lives known as ‘childhood’ and are now, according to international law, adults. Through examining their perceptions as adults, I argue singling out biological age or any other singular characteristic or subjectivity as the critical determinant of why and how a conflict victim experiences vulnerability risks ignoring how their intersectional positionality correlates with differential experiences of both armed conflict and the transitional period. Although rarely applied in scholarship on transitional justice, intersectionality theory provides an illuminating framework for conceptualizing ‘the local’ and moving beyond imagined homogeneous and static ‘children’ affected by armed conflict. I begin with a review of scholarly literature examining children and armed conflict and ‘local justice.’ I contend homogeneous and fixed notions of ‘children’ within discourses on transitional justice fail to emphasize the transitions experienced in people’s everyday lives. Then, I discuss scholarship on intersectionality and transitional justice, briefly review aspects of Nepal’s history of systemic exclusion and marginalization, and outline my methodology. Next, I highlight children’s intersectional experiences during Nepal’s armed conflict and explore the perceptions of Nepalis who were children when their fathers were killed or disappeared during the armed conflict. Through examining their experiences and ongoing transitions, I challenge homogeneous and fixed conceptualizations of ‘children’ and ‘the local’ within the context of Nepal and argue for greater attention to victims’ intersectionality, victim-led processes of transitional justice and the redress of structural inequality. CHILDREN AND ARMED CONFLICT Overwhelmingly, scholarly literature posits that people who have experienced armed conflict as children are traumatized and developmentally impaired.7 Further, UN agencies and international nongovernmental organizations (INGOs) defining and assisting in the implementation of transitional justice measures often treat the constructed categories of ‘childhood’ and ‘children’ as static and universal. Thus, it is commonly taken for granted that people who have grown up during armed conflict may respond and adapt to the experience of political violence in a variety of ways.8 The complexity of their experiences may be overlooked when a singular focus is placed upon the violations children have faced during armed conflict. Jo Boyden and Joanna de Berry contend, ‘The suffering of war is not contained in a single traumatic episode, or even a multiplicity of such episodes, but in a complex interplay of detrimental circumstances that endure and change over time.’9 This complexity is important to analyze within the context of transitional justice as scholars argue the varied experiences and positionalities of people affected by armed conflict as children impact their perceptions of and adaptation to postconflict environments throughout their lives.10 The environment in which children live, as well as their families, identities, communities, relationships and access to resources are all significant to understanding their experiences of both wartime violations and processes of transitional justice. Homogenizing children affected by armed conflict overshadows the ways in which their prewar positionality creates conditions of vulnerability during armed conflict and differential lived experiences during processes of transitional justice. Further, this homogenization fails to highlight their resilience or ability to function despite having experienced gross violations of human rights and their capability to actively participate in the design and implementation of processes of transitional justice implemented on their behalf. Also often overlooked in transitional justice discourses are how child victims survive and cope with the resources available to them, how access to such resources is gendered or otherwise exclusive based on social distinctions, and whether such conditions predate the transitional period and are pervasive throughout its tenure. ‘LOCAL JUSTICE?’ Based in international law and often implemented with the insistence of the UN and international donors and diplomats, scholars examining transitional justice have critiqued normative assumptions and emphasized the importance of understanding ‘local justice,’ or the ways in which justice is understood, produced, experienced and perceived in specific localities.11 Particular attention has been given to how transitional justice mechanisms are implemented in ways that are considered ‘top-down’ or ‘elite-led’ as opposed to ‘bottom-up’ and ‘victim-centric.’12 Within dialogues on the global/local in transitional justice, encounters between ‘global mechanisms’ and ‘local realities’ are often understood as ones of ‘friction.’13 As scholars and practitioners have challenged global assumptions regarding transitional justice processes, ‘locality’ has often been conflated with nationality and presented as opposed to ‘the global.’14 For example, in a report to the UN Security Council, Kofi Annan contends: ‘We must learn to eschew one-size-fits-all formulas and the importation of foreign models, and, instead, base our support on national assessments, national participation and national needs and aspirations.’15 In Annan’s report, attention is drawn to the importance of a national context but not the diversity of experiences within a nation-state. The conflation of the nation-state with ‘the local’ ignores historical and existing power structures and ongoing marginalization within a nation-state. This conflation can reinforce homogeneous and exclusionary nationalist rhetoric and practices. Processes of transitional justice are often combined with liberal peacebuilding, and significant financial and logistical support from international donors is utilized for the transition of a nation-state from its previous form of government to a liberal democracy. The pervasive liberal peace model focuses on individual citizens rather than communities and systemically ignores structural causes of armed conflict and ongoing structural violence.16 Within these contexts, support is state-centric and focused on rebuilding the nation through constitution writing, elections and empowering national leaders, without challenging existing hierarchies of power and inequality.17 Existing scholarship has illuminated how international influence over transitional justice processes imports and reinforces unequal systems of power and marginalizes the voices of conflict victims.18 Further, scholars have drawn attention to how processes of transitional justice are inescapably political19 and highlighted how they are utilized or eschewed by national governments as a nation-building project20 and a geopolitical strategy.21 Within this model of postconflict transition, the homogenization of victims serves to reinforce the nation-building project without addressing ongoing structural violence. As greater attention has been paid to the importance of the context in which mechanisms of transitional justice are implemented, scholars have challenged conceptualizations of ‘the local’ in human rights and transitional justice discourses. This scholarship has illuminated how the binary global/local model can be teleological and analytically confusing,22 emphasized that ‘the local’ is always part of national and global processes,23 and indicated how conflating ‘the local’ with ‘tradition’ or ‘culture’ can exclude the knowledge, experiences and priorities of people in particular localities.24 Further, interpretations of ‘the local’ by those designing and implementing transitional justice mechanisms are deeply embedded in existing structures of power and inequality. Scholars and practitioners emphasizing attention to ‘the local’ within processes of transitional justice often fail to examine how experiences of armed conflict and transitional justice differ within a nation-state. Ironically, while transitional justice is normatively understood as a time of transition, or a liminal state for governments and societies, conceptualizations of ‘the local’ are often centered on customary law, rituals and cultural practices presented as ‘traditional’25 or primordial and ‘static.’26 HOMOGENEOUS AND STATIC ‘CHILDREN’ Likewise, ‘children’ are often presented as static in discourses on transitional justice. The importance of children within processes of transitional justice is emphasized in scholarship and policy, but people who have aged out of this category of vulnerability are frequently subsequently disregarded. Does their experience of armed conflict as children influence their lives as adults or does their vulnerability end when they age out of the internationally defined category of childhood? Transitional justice policy, although predicated on an ideology of transition, often homogenizes victims and fails to respond to victims’ dynamic needs during the ‘transitional period.’ When policies are focused primarily on state institutions, such policies present a singular and solipsistic set of criteria for understanding ‘transition’ and ignore other kinds of transitions at work in people’s everyday lives. In Nepal, understandings of childhood are dynamic, diverse and not based solely on biological age.27 Existing research has illustrated how children are often perceived as transitioning into adulthood when they ‘become responsible’ and ‘mature’ by getting a job, becoming physically developed, focusing on their studies and understanding appropriate behavior.28 Further, conceptualizations of childhood differ within Nepal and are perceived differently according to gender and caste,29 and understandings of childhood were challenged during Nepal’s internal armed conflict.30 Children accepted the responsibilities of older family members who had died or been conscripted as Maoist cadres, and children were feared as possible Maoist informants.31 Nepal’s internal armed conflict, between the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoists and the Nepali government, lasted a decade (from 1996 until 2006), and more than a decade has passed since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2006. Yet, in 2016, most of my interviewees with access to knowledge of transitional justice processes perceived them as just beginning. Ten years after the signing of the peace agreement, most Nepalis who experienced gross violations of human rights as ‘children’ (as defined in international law) had since transitioned out of that category. Further, the homogenization of children during Nepal’s armed conflict ignores their diversity, dynamism and the systemic marginalization and exclusion of certain groups based on their gender, religion, language, ethnicity, caste and region of residence. If and how these identities and subjectivities intersect in victims’ lives must be examined. INTERSECTIONALITY AND TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE ‘Intersectionality,’ a term coined in 1989 by Kimberlé Crenshaw, a legal scholar in the field of critical race theory, examines the relationship and ‘multidimensionality’ among various identities, social relations and subject formations and how those identities are connected to structures of oppression.32 Black feminist scholars in the US have drawn attention to how dominant narratives of gender and race are exclusionary and fail to capture intragroup differences and the intersections of various positionalities.33 More specifically, these scholars have aptly illustrated how, in the US, Black women experience racism differently due to their gender, and patriarchy differently due to their race.34 Transnational researchers have called for greater attention to the experiences of women outside the US and argue that singularly focusing on ‘Euro-American centered’35 conceptualizations of gender fails to capture simultaneous and interconnected subjectivities in people’s lives, such as caste, ethnicity, religion, class and the role of nation-states, neoliberalism and western imperialism.36 In Nepal, research has illuminated how caste, class and gender intersect to create varied subjectivities and positions of power and also highlighted how inequalities are reproduced, contested and transformed through labor, the sharing of space and the consumption of alcohol and food.37 As scholarship on intersectionality has proliferated, greater attention has been given to intersections of age, caste, class, disability, religion, sexuality, transnational contexts, understandings of gender beyond binary constructs, and other intersections of oppression and privilege. Further, research has drawn attention to how these ‘distinctive systems of oppression…[are] part of one overarching structure of domination.’38 Transitional justice processes always take place within politicized structures and can reproduce systems of power and privilege.39 Scholars have demonstrated how mechanisms of transitional justice can be exclusionary and emphasized a need for attention to intersectionality.40 For example, processes of transitional justice often fail to examine patriarchy and gendered experiences.41 When gender is included in dialogues surrounding transitional justice, descriptions easily slip from gender to women.42 Further, women who live through war and conflict cannot easily be homogenized.43 Consequently, scholars have called for greater attention to the concrete ways in which multiple inequalities are manifested simultaneously during armed conflict and in everyday life rather than reducing women to a single story of victimhood,44 and have argued the interests of the most marginalized should be prioritized.45 Christiane Wilke, advocating for the consideration of intersectionality within processes of transitional justice, contends Complex identities matter not only because we need to represent identities more carefully, or because current concepts of discrimination might be insufficient, but also because they are targeted and mobilized in state violence.46 This was certainly the case during Nepal’s armed conflict, where civilians were targeted and mobilized based on intersecting facets of their identities. Both the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoists and the Nepali government targeted people based on their age, gender, caste, ethnicity, access to resources and region of residence. During my fieldwork, I heard many stories of hardship and barriers due to structures of power and inequality. As I listened to people’s stories and witnessed their lives, the complexity of the experiences and positionalities of people who were children during the armed conflict was evidenced, as was their resilience. Their stories of Nepal’s armed conflict and its aftermath cannot be reduced to one story of victimhood, and the ‘local’ in Nepal cannot be conflated with the entire nation-state. My research revealed victims perceive their positionality as a primary cause of their experiences of human rights violations. Scholars and practitioners of transitional justice must question why certain children within a nation-state experience gross violations of human rights and others do not. As Paul Farmer has argued, Human rights violations are not accidents; they are not random in distribution or effect. Rights violations, are, rather, symptoms of deeper pathologies of power and are linked intimately to the social conditions that so often determine who will suffer abuse and who will be shielded from harm.47 Likewise, Fionnuala Ní Aoláin and Eilish Rooney contend ‘gendered, social patterns of suffering are linked to patterns of inequality that preceded conflicts.’48 In Nepal, social patterns of suffering are linked to deeply entrenched patterns of inequality existent long before the armed conflict. NEPAL’S INTERNAL ARMED CONFLICT AND HISTORY OF INEQUALITY AND EXCLUSION Since the inception of the Nepali state in 1768, males from certain caste groups have been politically and economically dominant.49 As Arjun Guneratne argues, from the perspective of interethnic relations in Nepal, what is salient is that the landowning nobility, the bureaucracy, and the higher ranks of the military were all drawn from the dominant Brahmin, Chhetri, and Thakuri castes of the hills.50 Despite numerous changes in political power, Nepalis outside of dominant groups have continued to experience widespread political exclusion and economic inequality. Political power and wealth are concentrated in Kathmandu, and people living outside Nepal’s capital city have been consistently ignored by those in power and excluded from access to resources. Access to landownership and management is deeply tied to power and social relations. Nepal’s 10-year internal armed conflict ignited days after the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoists sent a list of 40 demands to the government of Nepal, calling for an end to inequality perpetuated through existing power structures. Among other demands were calls for an end to feudalism as perpetuated by the Nepali state. The Maoist leaders argued ‘land should belong to “tenants”’ and ‘land under the control of the feudal system should be confiscated and distributed to the landless and the homeless.’51 In Bardiya district, one of only two districts in Nepal where a majority of the population identifies as Tharu, many conflict victims viewed the armed conflict as a continuation of the struggle over land.52 Additionally, many victims perceived soldiers in the Nepal Army to be enforcers of the power arrangements that left the majority of people from the indigenous Tharu community without access to resources, especially land, or political representation.53 Guneratne, based on his longitudinal research in Nepal, draws attention to the dynamism of Tharu identity and the heterogeneity, specifically regarding access to power and resources, language and religion, among people who identify as Tharu.54 Yet, he indicates that Tharu identity is intimately tied to a shared history of discrimination, exclusion and, as a result of national and international policies, the loss of land.55 In the 1950s, with the encouragement of the leaders of the Nepali government and funded by international aid, the Malaria Eradication Program was implemented in the Terai.56 Following this program, ‘high’-caste Nepalis from the hills were encouraged to move into the Terai, which ultimately resulted in the loss of land for members of the Tharu community.57 Some ‘high’-caste migrants exploited the existing kamaiya labor system, resulting in extended bonded labor practices, increased indebtedness and marginalization for members from the Tharu community.58 Tharu resistance to such labor practices was curtailed by violence perpetrated by landlords and the police,59 and, regarding the situation in Dang district, a report issued by a member of the Land Reform Commission in 1954 argued ‘the Government Offices meant for providing Justice take the side of the rich people and thus encourage further suppression of the poor.’60 More people were forcibly disappeared from Bardiya than any other district in Nepal during the armed conflict. What was previously defined as the Mid-Western Region of Nepal,61 where Bardiya is located, is commonly recognized as the region most affected by the conflict in terms of gross violations of human rights. A 2008 publication by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) describes how members of the Tharu community were targeted during the armed conflict: Members of the Tharu indigenous group, who make up 52% of the population in Bardiya District, account for over 85% of the persons disappeared by the State authorities in cases documented by OHCHR. Among the victims [documented by OHCHR] were 123 men (including 102 Tharus), 12 women and 21 children. All the women and children [disappeared] were of Tharu origin. Information provided to OHCHR leads to the conclusion the majority of the disappeared were civilian villagers who were not CPN-M [Communist Party of Nepal-Maoists] members at the time of arrest. Most of the victims were farmers and others were labourers, students, teachers and carpenters. In addition to their occupations, several were prominent Tharu activists. The Tharus constitute one of the several indigenous groups that are historically marginalized and discriminated in Nepal. Many of the disappeared that were not Tharu were also from economically disadvantaged sectors of the population.62 In the 2008 report, the OHCHR investigated 156 of the 200 reported cases of enforced disappearances in Bardiya district, of which 14 cases were attributed to the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoists. State security forces were found responsible for the remainder of cases of enforced disappearances. The report recognizes ‘the root of the conflict’ and the high number of enforced disappearances in Bardiya as connected to ‘issues of land distribution and lack of access to economic resources for marginalized groups, as well as discrimination, lack of political representation and lack of access to state services and protection.’63 The Maoists built the insurgency on the promise of uplifting marginalized groups in Nepal, including ‘lower’-caste groups, indigenous people, poor people, women and children; the peace agreement calls for social and economic justice for these groups specifically. However, Nepalis targeted for Maoist support cannot easily be homogenized,64 and the lived experience of armed conflict in Nepal was affected by numerous factors, including the geographic location in which people found themselves, their age, caste or ethnic group, gender, access to resources, political affiliation and their family’s historical ties and relationships. Further, hierarchical expectations of social relations stratified by age, gender and caste were transformed by Nepal’s conflict.65 For example, the practice of intercaste marriage was encouraged by the Maoists, and Maoist cadres from the Dalit community, considered ‘untouchables’ within the caste system in Nepal, entered ‘high’-caste households, led fighting units and eschewed traditional restrictions regarding the sharing of food and water.66 Yet, Judith Pettigrew notes how during the armed conflict some villagers in a Tamu-mai village in Nepal perceived the entry of people from the Dalit community into their homes as a serious violation of caste norms and considered the practice the cause of unfortunate events.67 Moreover, gender norms were simultaneously challenged and reinforced through the Maoist insurgency.68 The 40 demands submitted to the Nepali government by the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoists also included the demand that ‘patriarchal exploitation and discrimination against women should be stopped.’69 Females served in leadership positions in the Maoist hierarchy, as section commanders and vice commanders, and in all-female platoons.70 However, regarding women’s leadership in the Maoists, Comrade Paravati, the Central Committee member and head of the Women’s Department of the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoists, argued that male cadres resisted surrendering ‘the privileged position bestowed on them by the patriarchal structure.’71 Likewise, Pettigrew draws attention to how Maoist cadres’ demands to stay in the homes of female villagers placed women in disempowered positions.72 Further, conceptualizations of women’s empowerment by the Maoists are rooted in homogenizing rhetoric that does not accurately define all Nepali women, particularly those outside of politically and economically dominant groups.73 METHODOLOGY Building on a preliminary study initiated in May 2013, I conducted ethnographic research on transitional justice in Nepal from January until December 2016. Specifically, I examined the perceptions and lived experiences of people who experienced gross violations of human rights as children. Because transitional justice processes aim to redress violations of human rights law and humanitarian law, my research focused on interviewees’ experiences as ‘children’ as codified in international law, where a child is defined as someone younger than 18 years of age. This focus is not meant to represent a particularly Nepali conceptualization of childhood. Although all of my interviewees were children according to international law when they experienced a gross violation of human rights, they were all older than 18 years of age in 2016. My research primarily focused on two districts, Kathmandu and Bardiya.74 Thus, the analysis in this article is based on these field sites and, in many ways, does not even begin to examine the diverse experiences of children during Nepal’s armed conflict. Despite its small size (an area of 56,827 miles) and population (less than 30 million), Nepal is an extremely diverse country in terms of both geography and people. Identity in Nepal is often tied to geography and is dynamic and overlapping. The most recent census (2011) lists 125 castes and ethnic groups, 123 languages and 10 religions.75 Not one of the recognized caste or ethnic groups comprises a majority of Nepal’s population, and Nepal’s census data only begin to illustrate the diversity of its residents. Smaller caste and ethnic groups are recognized within these categories, and the census fails to include how these categories overlap or are conflated. While violent conflict was rare in Kathmandu, Bardiya is recognized as one of Nepal’s most severely conflict-affected districts. During the armed conflict, many Nepalis from various subjectivities fled to Kathmandu, the capital, to flee violence in rural villages. In both districts, I conducted varying degrees of participant observation and observation at key events, including meetings of victims’ groups, memorials, demonstrations regarding transitional justice, conferences, meetings hosted at the Transitional Justice Resource Center, and events hosted by the UN and embassies. Informal interviews and conversations with stakeholders affecting and influenced by transitional justice mechanisms were conducted at key events, and at restaurants and residences. I conducted 28 semi-structured interviews with Nepalis who experienced gross violations of human rights as children. All interviewees self-identified as either male or female, and, in both Kathmandu and Bardiya, I interviewed seven males (14 in total) and seven females (14 in total). All interviews were coded by age, gender, caste, ethnic group, access to resources, region of residence, education, occupation, religious affiliation and political affiliation. Research was conducted with attention to the inclusion of people from various identities and positionalities. Field notes were taken throughout the research and primary documents, such as press releases issued by victims’ groups and reports by the UN, INGOs and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) were analyzed. CHILDREN’S INTERSECTIONAL EXPERIENCES DURING NEPAL’S ARMED CONFLICT Scholarly literature and reports issued by NGOs, INGOs and the UN emphasize children’s unique vulnerability during Nepal’s decade-long internal armed conflict.76 Yet, in Nepal, age alone did not determine the vulnerability of children during the war. Many Nepalis who were children during the armed conflict did not experience or even witness political violence; others were raped, tortured, abducted by the Maoists, or arrested by state security forces; some endured the loss of multiple family members.77 Both the Maoists and the state security forces targeted and mobilized children and their families based on their identities and subjectivities. In the context of Nepal, family dynamics, geography, gender, ethnicity, caste, access to resources and political connections all determined which children suffered abuse or were shielded from harm. Children in rural areas were more likely to witness and be affected by political violence than children in Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu.78 Dalits and members of indigenous communities were disproportionately victimized and harassed by both government forces and the Maoists.79 Conversely, civilians with greater access to resources and from ‘higher’-caste groups historically associated with positions of privilege and power were also particularly vulnerable during the war due to their positionality.80 From the first day of the armed conflict, not only did the Maoists violently target buildings and people associated with the state,81 they also attacked wealthy landowners, who were declared enemies of the party.82 Judith Pettigrew and Kamal Adhikari, based on ethnographic research in Nepal during the armed conflict, found the Maoists targeted villagers who were better resourced (‘people with large houses, guns, money, and gold’) when asking for food and accommodations.83 This, in turn, placed those villagers at an increased risk of being targeted by the Nepal Army (perceived as ‘trigger happy’).84 Interviews and conversations with people from marginalized caste and ethnic groups who had access to resources and fled to Kathmandu during the armed conflict revealed how money and political connections to various political parties, including both sides to the conflict, also shielded some children and entire families from harm. Males were more likely to be killed or disappeared during the conflict.85 Yet, when women and girls were killed, particularly by the Nepal Army, they were often raped first.86 There are discernible patterns of victimhood based on longstanding marginalization and inequality revealed through the analysis of reports on Nepal’s armed conflict,87 further affirming the experience of armed conflict was not homogeneous for children in Nepal. For example, poor girls from rural areas who were members of ‘low’-caste or indigenous communities were more likely to be raped, killed or lose their fathers to enforced disappearance or murder than ‘high’-caste boys living in Kathmandu.88 However, Nepalis were not immune to harm perpetrated by either side to the conflict based solely on their positionality. Being ‘high’ caste or wealthy did not always protect Nepalis from state violence. Likewise, although the Maoists claimed to be fighting on behalf of women, children, indigenous groups, ‘low’-caste groups and the poor, those subjectivities did not protect Nepalis belonging to these categories from violence perpetrated by the Maoists. Thus, attention to victims’ intersectionality is particularly important in Nepal. In the next section, I examine the experiences and perceptions of Nepalis who were children (according to international law) when their fathers were unlawfully killed or forcibly disappeared during the armed conflict. Although they were younger than 18 years of age when they lost their father, more than a decade has passed since the official end to the armed conflict. Their narratives reveal commonalities and differences, demonstrating the incongruity of conflating ‘the local’ or ‘children affected by armed conflict’ with the entire diverse nation of Nepal. CHILDREN WHOSE FATHERS WERE KILLED OR DISAPPEARED Regardless of their positionality, children whose fathers were killed or disappeared during Nepal’s armed conflict faced considerable hardships. All the interviewees whose father was killed or disappeared lived with their father’s natal family during the armed conflict, as is the dominant practice in Nepal.89 While broad generalizations about Nepali children are inappropriate due to their tremendous diversity, regardless of their positionality, my interviewees consistently mentioned the stigmatization of children who lost their fathers during the armed conflict. The absence of their fathers forced them to endure stigmatization within their families, communities and/or schools. Although all of the interviewees were part of family units that consisted of siblings and a mother, they discussed being called ‘orphan’ and ‘fatherless’ by teachers and fellow students at school and when walking in their villages. Gender norms vary in Nepal, particularly by ethnic group. Yet, predominant patriarchal norms in Nepal dictate that belonging, both to the nation-state and the family, is determined by a child’s father. The Citizenship Act of 1964 linked citizenship by descent solely to a child’s father. This gendered notion of national belonging was reinforced through Nepal’s 2015 constitution, which limits a mother’s ability to independently bestow citizenship to her children. For example, the child of a Nepali mother and non-Nepali father can only acquire citizenship through naturalization. Nepal’s constitution also stipulates that the child of a Nepali mother can obtain citizenship by descent only if the child’s father cannot be traced. Thus, being Nepali is legally tied to having a Nepali father. Although male and female children were equally likely to lose their father during the armed conflict, their postwar experiences were highly gendered and the impact of the loss of their father exacerbated by gender norms. In Nepal, dominant norms dictate that men are the financial caretakers of their wives, children and elderly parents. The birth of a son is recognized as a permanent family member within their natal household. Conversely, dominant norms dictate that a daughter will reside with and take a dowry to her husband’s natal family. Although there are multiple and complex variations on these practices throughout Nepal, the postwar experiences of my interviewees were impacted by dominant gender norms predating the armed conflict. Children’s experiences of losing their fathers during the conflict subsequently became another aspect of their identities. Likewise, interviewees discussed the stigmatization of their mothers who, following the loss of their husbands, were harassed by the Maoists and/or state security forces, refused assistance by government officials, stigmatized and called ‘widows,’ ‘whores’ and ‘old women,’ viewed as polluted in their communities, and treated as burdens by their in-laws. Wives of the disappeared experienced additional distress and stigmatization due to their ambiguous identities as neither wife nor widow.90 Within these contexts, I heard numerous stories of and witnessed everyday resistance to the stigmatization faced by the interviewees and their mothers. Some interviewees’ mothers joined victims’ organizations, rejected the label of ‘widow’ and lived outside of their in-laws’ homes. As children, some interviewees refused to stop attending school regardless of the stigmatization they faced by fellow students and teachers. The stigmatization faced by conflict victims during and after the armed conflict demonstrates how systems of patriarchy, caste-based and gender-based discrimination, and other forms of systemic oppression and structural inequality, are reinforced and contested in everyday life in Nepal. For better-resourced interviewees who were able to relocate to Kathmandu, life in Nepal’s urban center offered them an opportunity to escape the stigma they endured in their villages. The urban space served, at times, to give them a sense of anonymity and separation from reminders of the loss of their father. All interviewees perceived the loss of their father as the cause of their inability to obtain greater access to education and financial resources, and they associated their father’s death with different aspects of his positionality, including his caste or ethnic group, access to resources, residence and gender. The Transitional Justice Reference Archive (TJRA), which documented violations of international law during Nepal’s armed conflict, and the 2012 OHCHR Nepal Conflict Report (citing the TJRA), attribute the majority of ‘unlawful killings’ to the Maoists and the majority of ‘enforced disappearances’ to the government of Nepal.91 While some interviewees whose fathers were disappeared clearly communicated distress due to their father’s ambiguous status and expressed desires for a funeral ceremony and greater knowledge about the events related to his disappearance, most interviewees stated they were certain their fathers had died during the armed conflict. Despite this certainty, children of the disappeared faced additional difficulties. They lamented their inability to acquire a death certificate and thus the necessary documentation to receive citizenship and their father’s financial assets. In conversations and semi-structured interviews with children of the disappeared from the Tharu community in Bardiya, respondents expressed feeling that the state was anti-Tharu and their ethnicity was the reason for their parent being targeted during the armed conflict. After the conflict, females and males expressed their hardships as directly related to their own age and gender, access to resources, and the difficulties associated with the loss of the male head of household and primary breadwinner. Reema,92 a female member of the Tharu community, described in the Tharu language the night her father was disappeared: The police arrested my father when he was asleep. At midnight, I think it was 12 o’clock, they arrested him and took him away…They [Nepal’s security forces and Nepalis who are not members of the Tharu community] treat Tharu people bad wherever they go. Speaking of the impact of her father’s disappearance, Reema continued, It had a huge impact. We were small, and my mom was alone. The other family members [paternal grandfather, paternal uncle and his wife] would not love us, since we were all girls. [Because my father was disappeared,] the police also tortured my family…Sometimes, when money is scarce, I remember my father. Since father is not there, people scold me. So, I feel sad. There is no male member, so they scold. Reema, who was 19 at the time of the interview, spent her days helping her mother with household chores and working outside the house. On a typical day, she cooked food, cut grass and fed the goats her family received from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Reema said she was unable to complete her education due to the lack of resources at her school. Because she was unable to educate her, Reema’s mother told me she planned to get Reema married in the next year. Male children faced other barriers, with the eldest son sometimes being expected to take on the role of the primary breadwinner. Juktilal,93 a male member of the Tharu community, explained in the Tharu language: He [my father] was arrested and then killed by the police. I was 10 or 11. My father was the one who used to earn…So, on the one side, I had to earn, and on the other side, I had to study. I had to look after the house. The eldest son had to bear the responsibility, so I had to bear it…The responsibility of agriculture was on me. The responsibility to educate my sister was on me, and all the responsibility to go to the field was on me. My mom used to sell vegetables, and we used to raise goats and chickens and sell them. Rather than viewed as a financial burden, his new positionality placed him in a crucial and respected position in terms of his family’s survival. Juktilal told me that his father was Tharu and killed by the police while he was traveling in a neighboring district. Juktilal said he had heard from eyewitnesses that the police asked his father where he was from, and, after responding that he was from a village in Bardiya, they killed him. The police, Juktilal assumed, killed his father because he was a member of the Tharu community from Bardiya, and he believed his father’s remains were in the jungle of a neighboring district. Both Reema’s and Juktilal’s fathers are listed as missing by the ICRC. Female interviewees, including Reema, commonly expressed feelings of physical and financial insecurity due to the loss of their fathers. Reema and Juktilal were noticeably thin and expressed ongoing distress regarding their lack of access to education and basic resources, including food. Further, they both expressed feeling as if they were doubly stigmatized for being Tharu and viewed as fatherless. Although state security forces targeted members of the Tharu community due to their ethnicity, they were not excluded from violence perpetrated by the Maoists. Sumitra,94 a 21-year-old female interviewee from the Tharu community in Bardiya, described the day her father was abducted and killed by the Maoists. Sumitra’s father supported the Nepali Congress party, a political party associated with the Nepali government during the armed conflict, and opposed the Maoist insurgency. She expounded in the Tharu language, [The Maoists came in our house at night and] took my father saying, ‘we have some work.’ Immediately after that, they locked the door and said, ‘we will cut you, kill you.’ They locked the door, so that we could not go outside. They turned off the lights, and at that time, there was no light. After ten or fifteen minutes, [upon mom’s insistence], we came out breaking the door. We all started to search for my father walking in different directions, but he was taken away from the main road. We asked for help, but nobody came. Later, we knew the Maoists had threatened the villagers that if they helped, they would be shot and killed. We searched but could not find my father. Five minutes after we reached our home, we heard the gun shot. Then, we started crying thinking that our father is no more. Where to go for searching my father? Even then, we started to search…After the murder, we searched but could not find him…My father’s sister came to our house and informed us [he was dead], and we all started crying. We left for the place where the dead body was placed, and we saw blood spots on the road. Then we knew my father was killed. We ourselves carried him. Nobody helped. Sumitra’s mother said when she attempted to receive help from the Nepal Army after her husband’s death, she was turned away, ‘kicked’ and ‘scolded.’95 Despite her husband’s opposition to the Maoist insurgency, Sumitra’s mother’s gender and ethnicity delayed her ability to acquire assistance from state forces. Sumitra described being called an orphan at school by students and teachers and detailed how fellow villagers refused to let her mother touch their food for fear of bad luck. When I interviewed Sumitra, she and her mother continued to face stigmatization as members of the Tharu community, as females in a home without male members, and as victims of the Maoists in a majority Tharu village where most victims of Nepal’s armed conflict were victims of state security forces. As a result, Sumitra lamented how other victims in the village failed to communicate information about any programs implemented to assist conflict victims due to their perceptions of her. Although he had left the village, Sumitra’s brother sent money to their mother. In addition, Sumitra and her mother received a small income from their occasional work in the village and harvested their own food. People who are considered privileged by Nepali standards were also targeted during the armed conflict based on their positionality. The Maoists targeted civilians based on their above-average access to resources, education level and associations with people in positions of influence and power.96 The leader of a national victims’ group suggested I talk to Sunil.97 I called him, and he asked me to meet him at a popular bus park in Kathmandu. Sunil arrived on his motorcycle, and we went to a restaurant nearby. As I sat across from him at the restaurant, I noted his appearance. I guessed Sunil was around 5’10” and weighed about 200 pounds. He wore what looked like new clothes: a plaid button-up shirt, blue jeans and black tennis shoes with a large silver watch. As we waited for momos (dumplings), drinking Sprites, I asked him to tell me about his family. He said in English, I am born in a middle class family, me, myself, brothers and two sisters. When I was 12, I lived in [a district outside of Kathmandu]. My father was a teacher and master of a government school. My mother was a housewife. She is a social worker, too, an educated woman in my village. In our village, my family is educated in comparison with other families, because it is a rural area. As we continued talking, he also said his family was very respected in their village due to their ‘high’-caste status as Brahmins and level of education. Sunil explained that his family had greater access to financial resources than other families in his village. He believed his father was targeted due to these factors. The terrorists98 of the Nepal Government (Maoists) killed my father when I was 12. My brother was in Kathmandu at that time. Mother had made food for us that night, and we had guests in our home. We were having dinner when two people called my father. They said they had some work with him. I said, ‘I want to come with father,’ but they said, ‘you are too small, you cannot come,’ and I cried. My mother was awake, waiting for him the whole night, but he did not come back. I also did not sleep till 11 or 12. My mother, early in the morning the next day, went to another village searching for my father, but she did not find him. Then me, my father’s brother, and [my] sister went near from our land, and I saw my father’s dead body, and I cried, and the villagers came. They killed my father because he was educated. Villagers used to follow what he said and respected him. So, the Maoists might have thought if they kill my father, everyone will be in their power. As Sunil and I continued to talk, he described aspects of his life after his father’s death. Like Reema, Juktilal and Sumitra, he and his family began to face stigmatization in their village. Yet, unlike Reema’s, Juktilal’s and Sumitra’s families, Sunil’s family had access to resources to leave the village. Because Sunil was male, he was sent out of the village within a year for better educational opportunities while his sisters remained in the village. When Sunil was 13, he moved to Kathmandu, lived with his maternal uncle and attended private school. His entire nuclear family eventually left the village, with one brother working in the US, another brother and his mother living together in Kathmandu, and his sisters living with their husbands in other cities in Nepal. His family, he said, continues to own land and a house in his natal village. Like many conflict victims who relocated to Kathmandu during the armed conflict, Sunil utilized his change of residence as a means to escape the social stigma related to his father’s death and took advantage of the increased educational and employment opportunities available in the capital. Sunil was 28 at the time of the interview and had just completed the coursework for his bachelor’s degree in management. He is currently running his own NGO in Kathmandu. Other interviews with Nepalis whose fathers were killed or disappeared complicated common narratives of the armed conflict and further emphasized the need for attention to intersectionality in processes of transitional justice. Sumedh,99 who was 25 years old and residing in Kathmandu at the time of the interview, described his family’s positionality within their village (in a district outside of Kathmandu) and how he thought it was related to his father’s disappearance by the Nepal Army. He specified in Nepali, Our family was rich at that time [during the conflict], because we are Brahmin caste. In Brahmin caste, all people respect us. My grandfather was a landlord and was an intellectual person in the village. My father was also an intellectual person. We owned lots of land. In the village, we were rich among other people. Then that was good. At that time [during the conflict], my father and my brother were taking a bus to Kathmandu. I was 12 years old and studying in class 6, and my brother was studying in 8 class. At that time, the Army force was searching buses and people’s bags on the way to the next district. In my father’s bag, he had lots of documents and money. He had around 50,000 to 80,000 rupees [US$500–$800], and they [the Army] asked him why he had lots of money. They arrested him. They said to my brother, ‘in the evening, we will return your father.’ They said that, but they didn’t return him. My father was a normal person. He was not involved in any political party. When my mother, brother, and grandmother went to the Army barracks and asked why he was arrested, a person came out and scolded my family and beat them with pipes. Although they had greater access to resources and were ‘high’ caste, the positionality of Sumedh’s family did not protect them from state violence during the armed conflict. Yet, his family’s wealth provided him with the resources to complete his master’s degree after the disappearance of his father. Although the data presented in this article correlate caste status and access to financial resources, they cannot be conflated. In Nepal, being higher caste does not necessarily mean having greater access to resources. Likewise, belonging to the Tharu community does not necessarily indicate a family’s financial standing. However, access to resources in Nepal is correlated with historical patterns of exclusion and marginalization. All the interviewees in this article perceived the loss of their father as connected to their family’s positionality and described similar experiences of stigmatization. Most interviewees’ access to education and basic resources following the loss of their fathers depended on preexisting conditions of hierarchy, marginalization and their families’ access to resources. Reema, Juktilal, Sumitra, Sunil and Sumedh all emphasized that continuing their education was very important. In Nepal, the School Leaving Certificate (SLC) is known as ‘the iron gate.’ Failing the SLC prevents many students from advancing from grade 10 to what is referred to in Nepal as ‘plus two’ (grades 11 and 12). Completing ‘plus two’ is a necessary step to go on to postsecondary education in Nepal. The disparity in the SLC pass rate between students who attend public school and those who attend private school is remarkable. According to the District Education Office in Bardiya, the SLC pass rate for children attending public schools is 22 percent, while children in private schools have an 85 percent pass rate. Nepal’s national discrepancy in the SLC pass rate for public and private school attendees is almost identical to the situation in Bardiya district, with slight annual variations.100 Reema, Juktilal and Sumitra all attended public school in Bardiya. Sunil and Sumedh attended private school in Kathmandu. Despite Juktilal’s increased responsibilities as the eldest male in his family, he passed his SLC and was able to complete his ‘plus two.’ Juktilal was among a minority of students, regardless of the experience of losing his father, who attended public school and passed the SLC. Yet, Juktilal, 27 at the time of the interview, was, at that point, unable to continue to postsecondary education due to family obligations and a lack of financial resources. Sumitra also passed her SLC and started pursuing her bachelor’s degree. However, poor health and lack of access to sufficient resources, including healthcare, prevented her from attending classes. Education was prioritized by all the interviewees, but their varied positionalities determined their access and ability to pursue educational opportunities. Although they were all under the age of 18 and considered ‘children’ according to international law when they experienced a gross violation of human rights, their age at the time of the violation, gender, education level, access to resources, birth order, family support (or lack thereof) and caste or ethnic group have affected their lives during the ‘transitional period.’ Reema was not opposed to prosecutions. Juktilal stated explicitly he would like the police who killed his father to be prosecuted. However, in their interviews, they both prioritized access to education and basic resources. Sumitra said the most important needs of conflict victims were education and access to jobs and also expressed an explicit desire to see the people responsible for her father’s death punished. Conversely, Sunil emphasized a desire to receive ‘firstly, the reason of my father’s murder and punishment of the wrong doer [who killed my father], and secondly, support for my family and my further studies.’ Yet, processes of transitional justice often fail to acknowledge victims’ differential experiences, needs and perceptions within a nation-state. When I asked him how he felt when his family received money from the Nepal government as relief for his father’s disappearance, Sumedh said, ‘We are not happy. We don’t need money. We need our father.’ As Tazreena Sajjad has argued, ‘identification of the homogeneous victim in need of salvation primarily through financial assistance has been a consistent but oversimplified theme in Nepal.’101 Despite Simon Robins’ argument that ‘the needs of victims’ families are not static’ and his finding of ‘dramatic differences’ in victims’ perceptions of justice based on their positionality,102 transitional justice policies in Nepal have not focused on intersectional approaches. Reema, Juktilal and Sumitra all viewed the postconflict national government as anti-Tharu. While caste and class cannot be conflated, government-supported suppression of the Tharu community is linked to their significantly lower access to resources, particularly land. After the loss of their fathers, Reema, Juktilal and Sumitra were all expelled from their father’s natal home. This was due not only to entrenched systems of patriarchy where a child’s father marks their own familial belonging but also to their paternal family’s lack of access to resources. Conversely, Sumedh’s paternal grandparents had acquired sufficient wealth before his father’s disappearance to maintain their survival in his absence, and it was Sunil’s maternal family that ensured his access to higher education in Kathmandu. For Sunil and Sumedh, leaving their villages and residing in the nation’s capital also provided them the anonymity to escape social stigma. Although Sunil and Sumedh benefited from existing hierarchies, they both explicitly indicated their desires for, and were actively working towards, more equitable access to resources for marginalized populations. While being male, ‘high’ caste and having access to resources could not mitigate the emotional or financial impact of losing their fathers, their prewar positionality determined their access to resources after the war. Even within the same nuclear family, gender norms determined access to education. Additionally, despite their positionality, Sunil and Sumedh expressed feeling marginalized and disconnected from the national and international political elites determining transitional justice policies and implementation. The postwar differential experiences between victims are microcosms of larger systems of structural inequality. Although victims in Nepal come from diverse positionalities, the vast majority lack access to political power and are excluded from decisions about processes of transitional justice implemented on their behalf. Since the signing of the peace agreement, international and national elites have dominated transitional justice processes and privileged the promulgation of the constitution and national elections over redressing conflict-era violations and ongoing structural violence. The peace agreement called for social and economic justice after the war. Yet, structural violence continues to impact the lives of children throughout Nepal, who face inequitable access to education, healthcare and food. Higher education was a key concern and desire for all of my interviewees. Yet, structures of inequality systemically prevented some victims from continuing their education. When I asked interviewees why they wanted to pursue higher education, they linked education to dignity, jobs and greater access to resources. Regardless of their positionality, they felt disempowered by the loss of their fathers and excluded from what they viewed as elite-led processes of transitional justice. Activists and scholars have argued for greater inclusion of victims in processes of transitional justice in Nepal and spoken out against the orchestrated dependence of victims on elite-led national and international agencies to speak on their behalf.103 Examining child victims’ diverse and dynamic experiences reveals the need for the transformation of hierarchies of power, domination and exclusion. CONCLUSION The narratives of people who lost their fathers during Nepal’s armed conflict suggest locality cannot be conflated with nationality. Rather, intersectional analyses of victims’ perceptions and everyday lives illuminate the complexity and dynamism of the experience of victimhood for children. All victims of Nepal’s armed conflict, regardless of positionality, deserve equal access to justice (however they conceptualize and prioritize the concept). It is important to examine what actually changes through processes of transitional justice. In this article, I argue for greater attention to the transitions occurring in people’s everyday lives. Yet, also unexamined or redressed through transitional justice processes are entrenched systems of power and inequality. The homogenization of victims suppresses attention to and the redress of the structural inequalities intimately tied to Nepal’s armed conflict. So long as powerful elite actors drive transitional justice processes without prioritizing victims’ inclusion, acknowledging victims’ diversity and redressing structural inequality, what meaningful transition will occur? Hierarchies of power can be shifted to empower conflict victims. Recognizing hierarchies between victims does not preclude their ability to design inclusive victim-centric processes of transitional justice. As Paul Gready and Simon Robins argue,104 scholars and practitioners must ask how they can create space for locally led solutions and then provide the requested resources to aid and empower conflict victims to implement their own processes. ‘Local justice’ must include intersectional analyses, and, further, redress entrenched systems of domination and inequality. When oppression, marginalization and deep-seated inequality are recognized as significant factors to an armed conflict, failure to redress such conditions is sure to entrench them. Footnotes 1 See, ‘Guidance Note of the Secretary-General: United Nations Approach to Transitional Justice’ (2010); ‘Impact of Armed Conflict on Children,’ UN Doc. A/51/306 (26 August 1996) [hereinafter ‘Impact of Armed Conflict on Children’]; Sharanjeet Parmar, Mindy Jane Roseman, Saudamini Siegrist and Theo Sowa, eds., Children and Transitional Justice: Truth-Telling, Accountability and Reconciliation (Florence: UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre, 2010). 2 See, Convention on the Rights of the Child (1990); Geneva Conventions (1949) and two Additional Protocols (1977); Impact of Armed Conflict on Children; ‘Annual Report of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Radhika Coomaraswamy,’ UN Doc. A/HRC/21/38 (28 June 2012); ‘Security Council Resolution 1882,’ UN Doc. S/RES/1882 (4 August 2009); ‘Security Council Resolution 1612,’ UN Doc. S/RES/1612 (26 July 2005). 3 Parmar et al., supra n 1, is the sole book dedicated to broadly examining children and transitional justice. 4 Convention on the Rights of the Child; Geneva Conventions and two Additional Protocols. 5 UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), ‘Nepal Conflict Report,’ 2012, http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Countries/NP/OHCHR_Nepal_Conflict_Report2012.pdf (accessed 29 October 2017). 6 Ibid. 7 Brian K. Barber, ‘Glimpsing the Complexity of Youth and Political Violence,’ in Adolescents and War: How Youth Deal with Political Violence, ed. Brian K. Barber (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009); Jo Boyden and Joanna de Berry, ‘Introduction,’ in Children and Youth on the Front Line: Ethnography, Armed Conflict and Displacement, ed. Jo Boyden and Joanna de Berry (New York: Berghahn Books, 2004). 8 Jo Boyden ‘Children under Fire: Challenging Assumptions about Children’s Resilience,’ Children, Youth and Environments 13(1) (2003): 1–29; Brandon A. Kohrt and Sujen M. Maharjan ‘When a Child Is No Longer a Child: Nepali Ethnopsychology of Child Development and Violence,’ Studies in Nepali History and Society 14(1) (2009): 107–142; Carolyn Nordstrom, ‘The Jagged Edge of Peace: The Creation of Culture and War Orphans in Angola,’ in Troublemakers or Peacemakers? Youth and Post-Accord Peace Building, ed. Siobhán McEvoy-Levy (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2006). 9 Boyden and de Berry, supra n 7 at xv–xvi. 10 Ibid.; Barber, supra n 7. 11 For example, Alexander Laban Hinton, ‘Introduction: Toward an Anthropology of Transitional Justice,’ in Transitional Justice: Global Mechanisms and Local Realities after Genocide and Mass Violence, ed. Alexander Laban Hinton (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2010); Rosalind Shaw and Lars Waldorf, ‘Introduction: Localizing Transitional Justice,’ in Localizing Transitional Justice: Interventions and Priorities after Mass Violence, ed. Rosalind Shaw and Lars Waldorf, with Pierre Hazan (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2010). 12 Lisa J. Laplante and Kimberly Theidon ‘Truth with Consequences: Justice and Reparations in Post-Truth Commission Peru,’ Human Rights Quarterly 29(1) (2007): 231; Patricia Lundy and Mark McGovern, ‘Whose Justice? Rethinking Transitional Justice from the Bottom Up,’ Journal of Law and Society 35(2) (2008): 265–292; Kieran McEvoy and Lorna McGregor, ‘Transitional Justice from Below: An Agenda for Research, Policy and Praxis,’ in Transitional Justice from Below: Grassroots Activism and the Struggle for Change, ed. Kieran McEvoy and Lorna McGregor (Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2008); Simon Robins, ‘Towards Victim-Centred Transitional Justice: Understanding the Needs of Families of the Disappeared in Postconflict Nepal,’ International Journal of Transitional Justice 5(1) (2011): 75–98; Simon Robins, ‘Transitional Justice as an Elite Discourse: Human Rights Practice Where the Global Meets the Local in Post-Conflict Nepal,’ Critical Asian Studies 44(1) (2012): 3–30; Richard Wilson, The Politics of Truth and Reconciliation in South Africa: Legitimizing the Post-Apartheid State (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001). 13 Hinton, supra n 11; Anna Tsing, Friction: An Ethnography of Global Connection (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005). 14 Shaw and Waldorf, supra n 11. 15 ‘The Rule of Law and Transitional Justice in Conflict and Post-Conflict Societies: Report of the Secretary-General,’ UN Doc S/2004/616 (2004), 1. 16 Current theories of structural violence originated from Johan Galtung, ‘Violence, Peace, and Peace Research,’ Journal of Peace Research 6(3) (1969): 167–191. 17 See, e.g., Oliver Richmond, Maintaining Order, Making Peace (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002); Simon Robins, Families of the Missing: A Test for Contemporary Approaches to Transitional Justice (London: Routledge, 2013). 18 Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, ‘Women, Security, and the Patriarchy of Internationalized Transitional Justice,’ Human Rights Quarterly 31(4) (2009): 1055–1085; Wilson, supra n 12. 19 Pierre Hazan, ‘Beyond Borders: The New Architecture of Transitional Justice?’ International Journal of Transitional Justice 11(1) (2017): 1–8. 20 Wilson, supra n 12. 21 Franziska Boehme, ‘“We Chose Africa”: South Africa and the Regional Politics of Cooperation with the International Criminal Court,’ International Journal of Transitional Justice 11(1) (2017): 50–70; Ian Rowen and Jamie Rowen, ‘Taiwan’s Truth and Reconciliation Committee: The Geopolitics of Transitional Justice in a Contested State,’ International Journal of Transitional Justice 11(1) (2017): 92–112. 22 Mark Goodale, ‘Introduction: Locating Rights, Envisioning Law between the Global and the Local,’ in The Practice of Human Rights: Tracking Law between the Global and the Local, ed. Mark Goodale and Sally Engle Merry (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007). 23 For example, Alexander Betts, ‘Should Approaches to Post-Conflict Justice and Reconciliation be Determined Globally, Nationally or Locally?’ European Journal of Developmental Research 17(4) (2005): 735–752; Hinton, supra n 11. 24 For example, Shaw and Waldorf, supra n 11. 25 Jennie E. Burnet, ‘(In)justice: Truth, Reconciliation, and Revenge in Rwanda’s Gacaca,’ in Transitional Justice: Global Mechanisms and Local Realities after Genocide and Mass Violence, ed. Alexander Laban Hinton (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2010); Wilson, supra n 12. 26 Tazreena Sajjad, Transitional Justice in South Asia: A Study of Afghanistan and Nepal (New York: Routledge, 2013). 27 See, e.g., Kohrt and Maharjan, supra n 8; Amanda Snellinger, ‘Shaping a Livable Present and Future: A Review of Youth Studies in Nepal,’ European Bulletin of Himalayan Research 42 (2013): 75–103. For an analysis of how conceptualizations of youth are dynamic and have been contested, influenced and manipulated in Nepal, see, Amanda Snellinger, ‘Yuba, Hamro Pusta: Youth and Generational Politics in Nepali Political Culture,’ Studies in Nepali History and Society 14(1) (2009): 39–66. 28 Kohrt and Maharjan, supra n 8. 29 Ibid. 30 Personal interview, interviewee 16, Kathmandu, Nepal, April 2016; personal interview, interviewee 7, Bardiya, Nepal, February 2016. Also see, Judith Pettigrew, ‘Learning to Be Silent: Change, Childhood and Mental Health in the Maoist Insurgency in Nepal,’ in Social Dynamics in Northern South Asia, Vol. 1: Nepalis Inside and Outside Nepal, ed. Hiroshi Ishii, David N. Gellner and Katsuo Nawa (Delhi: Manohar, 2007). 31 Ibid. 32 Kimberlé Crenshaw, ‘Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics,’ University of Chicago Legal Forum 1 (1989): 139–167; Kimberlé Crenshaw, ‘Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence against Women of Color,’ Stanford Law Review 43(6) (1991): 1241–1299; Leslie McCall, ‘The Complexity of Intersectionality,’ Signs: Journal of Women in Culture in Society 30(3) (2005): 1771–1800. 33 For example, Crenshaw, 1989, 1991, supra n 32; Patricia Hill Collins, Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness and the Politics of Empowerment (New York: Routledge, 2000); bell hooks, Ain’t I a Woman? Black Women and Feminism (Boston, MA: South End Press, 1982); McCall, supra n 32. 34 For example, Crenshaw, 1989, 1991, supra n 32; Collins, supra n 33; Patricia Hill Collins and Sirma Bilge, Intersectionality (Key Concepts) (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2016). 35 Hyun Sook Kim and Jyoti Puri, ‘Conceptualizing Gender-Sexuality-State-Nation: An Introduction,’ Gender and Society 19(2) (2007): 142. 36 For example, Myra Marx Ferree and Aili Mari Tripp, eds., Global Feminism: Transnational Women’s Activism, Organizing, and Human Rights (New York: NYU Press, 2006); Chandra Talpade Mohanty, Feminism without Borders: Decolonizing Theory, Practicing Solidarity (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2003); Chandra Talpade Mohanty, ‘Transnational Feminist Crossings: On Neoliberalism and Radical Critique,’ Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 38(4) (2013): 967–991; Vrushali Patil, ‘From Patriarchy to Intersectionality: A Transnational Feminist Assessment of How Far We’ve Really Come,’ Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 38(4) (2013): 847–867. 37 Andrea J. Nightingale, ‘Bounding Difference: Intersectionality and the Material Production of Gender, Caste, Class, and Environment in Nepal,’ Geoforum 42(2) (2011): 153–162. 38 Collins, supra n 33 at 222. 39 Catherine O’Rourke, ‘Feminist Scholarship in Transitional Justice: A De-Politicizing Impulse?’ Women’s Studies International Forum 51 (2015): 118–127; Eilish Rooney, ‘Women’s Equality in Northern Ireland’s Transition: Intersectionality in Theory and Place,’ Feminist Legal Studies 14(3) (2006): 353–375; Nandini Sundar, ‘Toward an Anthropology of Culpability,’ American Ethnologist 31(2) (2004): 145–163; Wilson, supra n 12. 40 Fionnuala Ní Aoláin and Eilish Rooney, ‘Underenforcement and Intersectionality: Gendered Aspects of Transition for Women,’ International Journal of Transitional Justice 1(3) (2007): 338–354; Christiane Wilke, ‘Remembering Complexity? Memorials for Nazi Victims in Berlin,’ International Journal of Transitional Justice 7(1) (2013): 136–156. 41 Daniel Aguirre and Irene Pietropaoli, ‘Gender Equality, Development and Transitional Justice: The Case of Nepal,’ International Journal of Transitional Justice 2(3) (2008): 356–377; Ní Aoláin, supra n 18; Ní Aoláin and Rooney, supra n 40. 42 Elisabeth Porter, ‘Gendered Narratives: Stories and Silences in Transitional Justice,’ Human Rights Review 17(1) (2016): 35–50. See also, Brandon Hamber, ‘Masculinity and Transitional Justice: An Exploratory Essay,’ International Journal of Transitional Justice 1(3) (2007): 375–390. 43 Olivera Simic, ‘Engendering Transitional Justice: Silence, Absence and Repair,’ Human Rights Review 17(1) (2016): 1–8; Sheila Meintjes, Anu Pillay and Meredith Turshen, eds., The Aftermath: Women in Post-Conflict Transformation (London: Zed Books, 2002). 44 Pascha Bueno-Hansen, ‘Engendering Transitional Justice: Reflections on the Case of Peru,’ Journal of Peacebuilding and Development 5(3) (2010): 61–74; Eilish Rooney, ‘Engendering Transitional Justice: Questions of Absence and Silence,’ International Journal of Law in Context 3(2) (2007): 93–108. 45 Ní Aoláin, supra n 18. 46 Wilke, supra n 40 at 137. 47 Paul Farmer, Pathologies of Power: Health, Human Rights and the New War on the Poor (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2004), 7. 48 Ní Aoláin and Rooney, supra n 40 at 347. 49 John Whelpton, A History of Nepal (New Delhi: Cambridge University Press, 2005). 50 Arjun Guneratne, Many Tongues, One People: The Making of Tharu Identity in Nepal (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2002), 72. 51 The 40 demands, as cited in Deepak Thapa with Bandita Sijapati, A Kingdom under Siege: Nepal’s Maoist Insurgency, 1996 to 2004 (London: Zed Books, 2004), 211. 52 Robins, 2012, supra n 12. 53 Ibid. 54 Guneratne, supra n 50. 55 Ibid. 56 Nepal is divided geographically by the Terai (plains along the southern border with India), hills in the center and mountains along Nepal’s northern border. Bardiya is located in the Terai in what was (before the promulgation of the 2015 constitution) previously identified as the Mid-Western Region. 57 Guneratne, supra n 50. 58 Within the Kamaiya labor system, a cultivator offers food, clothing and shelter to a laborer (kamaiya) in exchange for labor. See, Guneratne, supra n 50. 59 Ibid. 60 Ibid., 98. 61 When Nepal’s latest constitution was passed in September 2015, the country was divided into seven states, eliminating previous boundary demarcations based on regions. 62 UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Conflict-Related Disappearances in Bardiya District (2008), 6. 63 Ibid., 7. 64 Alpa Shah and Judith Pettigrew, eds., Windows into a Revolution: Ethnographies of Maoism in India and Nepal (New Delhi: Social Science Press, 2012). 65 See, e.g. Judith Pettigrew, ‘Guns, Kinship and Fear: Maoists among the Tamu-Mai (Gurungs),’ in Resistance and the State: Nepalese Experiences, ed. David Gellner (New Delhi: Social Science Press, 2001); Shah and Pettigrew, supra n 64; Sara Shneiderman and Judith Pettigrew, ‘Women and the Maobadi: Ideology and Agency in Nepal’s Maoist Movement,’ Himal Southasian 17(1) (2004): 19–29. 66 See, e.g., Laurent Gayer, ‘“Love-Marriage-Sex” in the People’s Liberation Army of Nepal: The Libidinal Economy of a Greedy Institution,’ in Revolution in Nepal: An Anthropological and Historical Approach to the People’s War, ed. M. Lecomte-Tilouine (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2013). 67 Judith Pettigrew, Maoists at the Hearth: Everyday Life in Nepal’s Civil War (Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013). 68 See, e.g., Lauren G. Leve, ‘Women’s Empowerment and Rural Revolution: Rethinking “Failed Development”,’ in Shah and Pettigrew, supra n 64; Comrade Parvati, ‘The Question of Women’s Leadership in People’s War in Nepal,’ Worker, 8 January 2003a; Comrade Parvati, ‘Women’s Participation in the People’s War,’ in The People’s War in Nepal: Left Perspectives, ed. Arjun Karki and David Seddon (New Delhi: Social Science Press, 2003b); Shneiderman and Pettigrew, supra n 65. 69 Cited in Thapa with Sijapati, supra n 51 at 211. 70 Shneiderman and Pettigrew, supra n 65. 71 Parvati, 2003a, supra n 68, as cited in Shneiderman and Pettigrew, supra n 65 at 6. 72 Pettigrew, supra n 67. 73 Shneiderman and Pettigrew, supra n 65; Seira Tamang, ‘The Politics of “Developing Nepali Women”,’ in State of Nepal, ed. Kanak Mani Dixit and Shastri Ramachandaran (Kathmandu: Himal Books, 2002). 74 I am intentionally vague about exactly where in each district I conducted research in an effort to protect the confidentiality of my informants. 75 ‘National Population and Housing Census 2011 (National Report),’ https://unstats.un.org/unsD/demographic/sources/census/wphc/Nepal/Nepal-Census-2011-Vol1.pdf (accessed 29 October 2017). 76 See, e.g., Jason Hart, ‘Conflict in Nepal and Its Impact on Children,’ Discussion Document prepared for UNICEF Regional Office South Asia, Refugee Studies Centre, Oxford University; Human Rights Watch, Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Civilians Struggle to Survive in Nepal’s Civil War (2004); Tejendra Pherali, ‘Education and Conflict in Nepal: Possibilities for Reconstruction,’ Globalisation, Societies and Education 9(1) (2011): 135–154; D.B. Subedi, ‘From Civilian to Combatant: Armed Recruitment and Participation in the Maoist Conflict in Nepal,’ Contemporary South Asia 21(4) (2013): 429–443; ‘Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the Situation of Human Rights and the Activities of Her Office, Including Technical Cooperation, in Nepal,’ UN Doc. E/CN.4/2006/107 (16 February 2006) [hereinafter ‘Report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights’]. 77 Personal interviews, conflict victims, Kathmandu and Bardiya, Nepal, January–December 2016; OHCHR, supra n 5. 78 OHCHR, supra n 62; OHCHR, supra n 5. 79 Rajeev Goyal, Puja Dhawan and Smita Narula, The Missing Piece of the Puzzle: Caste Discrimination and the Conflict in Nepal (New York: Center for Human Rights and Global Justice, 2005); OHCHR, supra n 5; Report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. 80 Amnesty International, Human Rights Violations in the Context of a Maoist ‘People’s War’ (March 1997); OHCHR, supra n 5; Pettigrew, supra n 67. 81 For example, the Maoists attacked police posts and administrative offices and destroyed loan documents in the office of the Small Farmer’s Development Program of the government-owned Agriculture Development Bank. 82 OHCHR, supra n 5. 83 Judith Pettigrew and Kamal Adhikari, ‘Fear and Everyday Life in Rural Nepal,’ Dialectical Anthropology 33(3–4) (2009): 407. 84 Ibid. 85 OHCHR, supra n 5. 86 Ibid. 87 Ibid.; Goyal et al., supra n 79; OHCHR, supra n 62. 88 OHCHR, supra n 5; OHCHR, supra n 62. 89 See, e.g., Tamang, supra n 73, on the diversity of women’s experiences in Nepal outside of dominant practices. 90 Robins, 2011, 2012, supra n 12. 91 TJRA, as cited in OHCHR, supra n 5. Also see, OHCHR, supra n 62. 92 All names have been changed to protect the confidentiality of interviewees. Personal interview, interviewee 4, Bardiya, Nepal, February 2016. 93 Personal interview, interviewee 3, Bardiya, Nepal, February 2016. 94 Personal interview, interviewee 14, Bardiya, Nepal, February 2016. 95 Conversation, interviewee 15, Bardiya, Nepal, February 2016. 96 OHCHR, supra n 5; Pettigrew, supra n 67. 97 Personal interview, interviewee 12, Kathmandu, Nepal, April 2016. 98 His reference to the Maoists as ‘terrorists’ is reminiscent of the Nepali government naming the Maoists ‘terrorists,’ enacting antiterrorist legislation and declaring a state of emergency in November 2001. After that, the Nepali government gained significant financial and logistical support from the US, India and the United Kingdom to violently oppose the Maoists. See, Human Rights Watch, supra n 76. It was after this that most people were forcibly disappeared by state security forces in Bardiya. See, e.g., OHCHR, supra n 5. 99 Personal interview, interviewee 18, Kathmandu, Nepal, June 2016. 100 During Nepal’s armed conflict, the Maoists demanded, among other education reforms, the closure of private schools. See, Martha Caddell, ‘Private Schools as Battlefields: Contested Visions of Learning and Livelihood in Nepal,’ Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education 36(4) (2006): 463–479. In 2016, Nepal’s Education Act was amended. As a result, Nepali students now take the SLC in grade 12. The examination that students take in grade 10 is now called the Secondary Education Examination. 101 Tazreena Sajjad, ‘Heavy Hands, Helping Hands, Holding Hands: The Politics of Exclusion in Victims’ Networks in Nepal,’ International Journal of Transitional Justice 10(1) (2016): 30. 102 Robins, 2011, supra n 12 at 85–86. 103 Simon Robins and Ram Kumar Bhandari, From Victims to Actors: Mobilising Victims to Drive Transitional Justice Process (Kathmandu: NEFAD, 2012). 104 Paul Gready and Simon Robins, ‘From Transitional to Transformative Justice: A New Agenda for Practice,’ International Journal of Transitional Justice 8(3) (2014): 339–361. © The Author (2017). Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email journals.permissions@oup.com

Journal

International Journal of Transitional JusticeOxford University Press

Published: Mar 1, 2018

There are no references for this article.

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create lists to
organize your research

Export lists, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off