More kids in child care homes

Number of needy children is on the rise while the number of care homes remains constant

Kathmandu, February 2

The number of children ending up in child care homes is on the rise, according to Status Report of Children in Nepal-2019, published by the Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizens.

There were a total of 14,864 children, including 7,194 boys and 7,670 girls in child care homes throughout the country in 2017-2018, compared to 15,565 children in 2018-19.

According to the report, number of boys and girls in child care homes increased by 298 and 37 respectively, in 2018-19. However, the number of child care homes has remained constant. Article 39 of the constitution states that any child who is helpless, orphan, disabled, conflict victim, displaced or vulnerable shall have the right to special protection and facilities from the state. The Children’s Act stipulates a provision of keeping abandoned or lost child in welfare homes until s/he is reunited with family.

As many as 46 districts have 533 child care homes. As per the report 880 children, including 249 girls, were rescued from 64 child care homes in 2018- 2019, after they were found to be operating without meeting minimum standards prescribed by the existing law. The authorities scrapped the operating licences of such child care homes and took action against the operators as per the act.

Majority of the children rescued by the National Child Rights Council from illegal child care homes were from Humla, Mugu, Nuwakot, Dolpa, Surkhet, Rasuwa, Jajarkot, Dang, Parsa, Dolakha, Dhading and Kalikot districts.

The rescued children were either reunited with their families or rehabilitated.

The NCRC inspects and monitors child care homes and rescues children from those facilities that are not in compliance with the existing law. It also makes recommendations for reform or closure of child care homes, if required.

According to the report, the NRCC has started using a special software to maintain and update data of children living in child care homes for more effective information management system.

Information about daily activities and functioning of child care homes are also fed to the software. The government has implemented Standards for Operation and Management of Residential Child Care Homes-2012. It covers several areas such as process of admission of children, residential facilities, infrastructure, child protection and minimum condition to operate residential child care homes.