Jagriti Child and Youth Concern Nepal (JCYCN) and Good Neighbors International Nepal organized a
Stakeholders’ Dialogue on Contemporary Child Protection Concern in Nepal to mark the International
Children’s Day on November 16, 201, in Kathmandu.
The event was a continuation of their collaboration for protection and advocacy of child rights.
In the context that the country recently adopted a new federal model, the programme was organised
with objectives of bringing together all stakeholders working for children and to provide a platform
for exploring pathways for promoting child rights and child protection at the local level. Total 300
participants, including child club graduates, child club members, teachers, representatives of
UNICEF, 15 INGOs, 75 NGOs and mediaattended the programme.
The programme was graced by HonorableAnup Raj Sharma (Chairperson of National Human Rights
Commission) as the Chief Guest.Stakeholders, experts and children themselves had provided inputs to
TilottamPaudel (Chairperson of JCYCN) shared the objectives of the event and moderated entire
formal session. He was also the chair of the formal session.
On behalf of the organizers, Deepak Sharma (General Secretary of JCYCN) welcomed all the
participants. Mr. Sharma urged the stakeholders to disseminate information and issues raised in the
dialogue to the local level.
Sony Bhattarai (Secretary of District Child Club Network, Children’s Representative), Rabin Nepali
(Head of National Action and Coordinating Group, Civil Society Representative), KiranRupakheti
(Programme Director of National Planning Commission), and TarakDhital (Executive Director,
Central Child Welfare Board) made their presentation on various issues and concerns of child rights.
Sony Bhattarai, the child representative on behalf of all the children, requestedstakeholders, "Please
penalise those who violate laws made for protection of children or those who do not abide by other
rules, those who violate our rights, assault us, discriminate us and keep us in any unnecessary
Rabin Nepali, NACG Chairperson, stated that it is a time to think about not just participation of
children, but also of their protection. It is a time to redesign the programme and policy level dialogues
emphasising protection, according to him.
KiranRupakheti, NPC Programme Director, basically talked about the need of change in the
perception of public and on the prevention aspect of child protection. “Children must be able to grow
in a proper family environment. It is the duty of adults in the family, other organisations and the
TarakDhital, CCWB Executive Director, stated that Nepal’s constitution is remarkable in securing
child rights. Likewise, there are other laws and policies which are sufficient. The main challenge is in
implementing them. “We are going on the right track, but at a very slow pace.” The government is not
the sole side responsible for it; other stakeholders should also be equally serious about it."
Honorable Anup Raj Sharma, NHRC Chairperson emphasised that despite the constitutional guarantee
of gender equality, there is practice of discriminating between children on the basis of gender. He said
sons are taken as investment while daughters as a burden, who sometimes are killed before birth. “In
the discourse of child right protection, we have only focused about big things, but if we focus on little
things, maybe we can bring some practical changes. First of all, we should begin by changing those
kinds of mentalities.”
Experts who delivered presentation at the event were focused on protection of child rights in the new
federal system that Nepal has adopted. The presentations highlighted the existence of laws in place,
but the failure in their execution as the major challenge in achieving the objectives of ensuring
protection of child rights.
Further, societal challenges in ensuring child rights protection still persists although Nepal’s
commitment to Child Right Convention has exceeded a term of more than two decades, they stated,
adding, child abuse has taken new forms in recent years including organ extraction and trafficking to
and beyond India.
Key stakeholders participating in the discussion wereRadhika Aryal (Joint Secretary at the Ministry of
Children, Women and Social Welfare), BijayaSubedi (Under Secretary at the Ministry of Federal
Affairs and Development), Dr.Bhola Dahal (Director of Search for Common Ground) and Milan
Dharel (Asst. Professor of Kathmandu School of Law and Central Member of NGO Federation).
Gauri Pradhan (Former Member of National Human Rights Commission) moderated the Open
Aryal focused on the rise of child abuse, evolving into a greater problem with the use of various
newer means and destinations for trafficking. She also acknowledged the actions being carried out by
the Ministry of Children, Women and Social Welfare, legislature, child clubs and networks against
Subedi started with the introduction of constitutional provisions concerned with children and
highlighted the role of child clubs and their networks in bringing forward the issues of children.
Dahal presented some statistics of child labour and highlighted that the issue should be taken gravely.
He attributed the problem of child labour to leniency in school days and absenteeism on part of
teachers, and ended on a note that it rests on local bodies to promulgate laws to remedy the situation.
Dharel, agreeing to the majority of the previous presentations, added that the existence of corporal
punishment as well as sexual abuse in schools is often overlooked. He added that it is a responsibility
of the community to ensure protection of children primarily and mere promulgation of laws would not
merely improve the condition without the former.
Pradhan concluded the dialogue session requesting organizations working for children’ right to
increase the investment (Financial and Technical) on children as children are not only the future but
also the present of the nation.
Rupa Mishra (Program Director of Good Neighbors International Nepal) gave vote of thanks to all the
participants for making the event a success with their presence.
All the speakers, in their presentations, stressed on the need of shifting the focus of civil society
organizations (CSO) to strengthening the local government in terms of policy and its effective
implementation. Majority of the panellist also asserted that in order for children to have a safe
environment for exercising their rights, CSOs must collaborate with the local authorities to create
child friendly schools and communities.
Further, they pointed out on the need of establishing child protection information system. In addition,
a few speakers were of the opinion that the government and CSOs need to coordinate and collaborate
with public and private hospitals for getting information related to child protection issues.
Children from different schools and child clubs enthusiastically showcased their talent in the form of
drama, songs and dances on thematic issues of child right protection and their development. The event
also included the exhibition of top three arts of each school totalling around 80. The display of arts
shed light on burning child rights and child protection issues among the participating stakeholders.
Good Neighbors, started in South Korea in 1991, is an international humanitarian and development
NGO in general consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council
(ECOSOC). Good Neighbors which is known asGood NeighborsInternational Nepal in Nepal has
been working in this nation since 2002 with the objective of improving lives of poor people,
especially children through education, income generating activities, health services, water, sanitation
and hygiene (WASH), child protection, advocacy, network building, and disaster risk reduction.
Currently, we have operations in 20 districts.
Jagriti Child and Youth Concern Nepal (JCYCN) is a non-governmental organization established by
child club graduates (CCG) for the protection and promotion of child and youth rights in Nepal
through advocacy, research and campaigning. It was registered in the District Administration Office,
Nawalparasi on October 3rd 2004 and is affiliated with the Social Welfare Council in Kathmandu.