Nepal yet to ratify third optional protocol to CRC

Kathmandu, January 1

It is necessary to address cases of child rights violation and other issues related to children not only at the national level but also in the international arena. However, the Government of Nepal has yet to ratify the third optional protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Children on communication procedure.

The CRC provides final justice and overviews child rights violation if a government fails to address  such cases.

According to Tarak Dhital, director at the Central Child Welfare Board for the protection and promotion of child rights, which also provides them justice nationally and internationally, CCWB has been working to approve the CRC Protocol through the Parliament.

“For ratifying the Protocol, the government needs to be prepared to provide justice through its policy as well as structures. The government is depriving children of their rights by delaying the process of ratification of the protocol,” he said. “Children should the get opportunity to avail international help to get justice. The government needs to open the door for their rights.”

According to the Nepal Treaty Act 1990, Section 9 (1), “In case of the provisions of a treaty to which the government is a party upon its ratification accession, acceptance or approval by the Parliament, inconsistent with the provisions of prevailing laws, the inconsistent provision of the law shall be void for the purpose of that treaty, and the provisions of the treaty shall be enforceable as good as Nepali law.”

Similarly, Section 9 (2) defines, any treaty which has not been ratified, approved by the Parliament, though to which the Government of Nepal is a party, imposes any additional obligation or burden upon the Government of Nepal, and in case legal arrangements need to be made for its enforcement, the government shall initiate action as soon as possible to enact laws for its enforcement.

As per the report of CCWB, 235 cases of child rights violation were filed with the Supreme Court in 2017. Among them, the court has given verdict on 71.4 per cent of the cases, while proceedings are under way in 28.6 per cent cases.

Rajan Bhattrai, a former lawmaker and member of foreign department of the CPN-UML, said the cases of child rights violation should be addressed within the country. Commitment of every political party and concerned stakeholder is required to ensure child rights. “Only ratifying the international law will not bring about changes. We need to make the internal mechanism strong to address cases of child rights violation,” he said.

Similarly, Anita Adhikari, the chief officer at Women Children Office, Kathmandu, said it was very necessary to ratify the CRC protocol. “Now the political system of the nation has changed and it is very necessary for local level authorities to make people aware of the child rights and the justice system,” she added.