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Nepal army, rebels violating human rights laws: UN report

[JURIST] The Royal Nepalese Army (RNA) and Maoist rebels [BBC backgrounder] are violating international human rights laws [OHCHR press release, PDF], according to a new report [text] released by the UN's Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) [official website] Thursday. The OHCHR-Nepal report outlines the investigation of activities in Nepal since last April and reveals conflicts in populated areas that have posed dangers to civilians, particularly when combatants used local schools in their battles. Ian Martin, the OHCHR representative in Nepal [JURIST news archive], said that children, in particular, have been put at risk by being used as combatants within Maoist rebel movements and by indiscriminate bombings by security forces.

The report urges the United Nations [official website] to prevent any members of the RNA who have been involved in human rights violations from serving in UN peacekeeping missions around the globe. The new report will be a point of discussion next month during a meeting of the 62nd Session of the Commission on Human Rights [OHCHR backgrounder] in Geneva. Last month, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour, called [press release; JURIST report] for both sides in the ongoing conflict to respect international humanitarian and human rights law. Thursday's Financial Times has more.

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