As reconstruction begins in Nepal after 2015 Earthquake, this paper looks at land rights and resettlement, and considers Nepal’s opportunity to ‘build back better’ and ensure greater land equality, especially for marginalized people, such as the Dalit caste, indigenous groups (Janajatis), many of whom are also landless, and women. It presents recommendations to help address historic social inequalities and rebuild a stronger more equal Nepal.
Key recommendations include:
- Additional financial support is needed from the Government and INGOs for reconstruction for the poorest and most vulnerable, especially female-headed families, single women, landless people and squatters.
- Government policies and plans, particularly the Land Use Bill, must include provisions for women and landless people.
- The Government of Nepal and its development partners should undertake geological surveys immediately to identify safe resettlement sites.
- The Government of Nepal and its development partners should ensure that resettlement policies and plans are integrated with agricultural land plans, including in the Land Use Bill.
- The Government and its development partners should ensure that reconstruction and resettlement is community-led with their full participation and free, informed and prior consent.
- The Government and development partners should ensure that women are named on victim ID cards and all landless people are provided with one.
- District Disaster Recovery Committees and other district actors should ensure that land documentation processes include female facilitators, separate meetings for women, and awareness-raising programmes.