19th Jan 2018

Orientation to Court Officials on Victims Witness Protection in Lalitpur

On January 22, 2016 half day orientation program was organized in Lalitpur for the court officials of Appellate Court Patan. To ensure that survivors/witnesses of human/kidney trafficking who come into contact with the criminal justice system are appropriately assisted and protected by criminal justice processes as they are particularly vulnerable and require special measures, the orientation on victims witness protection was organized. In the course of dealing with the court officials it is realized that such measures are lacking whereas victims and witnesses in most instances reluctant to provide information and evidence because of perceived or actual intimidation or threats to themselves or their family members. Keeping this is view the program was organized to orient the court officials on victim witness protection. Judge from Appellate Court Patan honorable Mr. Til Prasad Shrestha, judge from Lalitpur District Court honorable Mr. Rajendra Kharel, Ms. Nandita Baruah, Deputy Country Representative of The Asia Foundation, Mr. Russell Carlberg from Department of Justice, US Embassy and Mr. Aruna Thapa Rana, Chief of Party, CTIP of The Asia Foundation were the guests of the program. The program was participated by 30 court officials.

In the orientation three papers were presented- by honorable judge Mr. Rajendra Kharel; honorable judge Mr. Til Prasad Shrestha and Mr. Russell Carlberg from the US Embassy. The first presentation by Mr. Carlberg discussed about the provisions and practice of victim and witness protection in the US. The second presentation by honorable Til Prasad Shrestha discussed that to provide safety and security to the victims and witnesses they are provided new name with new identity and at times relocated to different places but in the context of Nepal nothing as such has happened. Honorable Shrestha further discussed that in spite of someone's criminal background that person is provided complete security during trial or testimony in the international level. The presentation discussed more about theoretical aspects with facilitator giving practical examples based on case studies. The second presentation by honorable Rajendra Kharel discussed about different aspects such as establishing victims friendly court environment, maintaining safety and security of the victims, addressing their needs and psycho-social well being, establishing victims friendly room within the court premises, provisions of closed hearing, confidentiality among others. After the presentations the participants acknowledged that they never thought the safety, security and confidentiality of the victim and witness would be so important and express commitment to implement the learning and assist the victims/witnesses according to what they have learnt from the orientation.

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