Political parties warned against using kids in any election-related activity

Kathmandu, April 19

The Kathmandu District Administration Office has warned political parties against using children for any election related activity.

“Political parties cannot use children for any activity related to elections,” said Chief District Officer Him Nath Dawadi, adding that children should not even be made to distribute pamphlets or collect information.

Speaking at a function organised by Central Child Welfare Board, Dawadi said children were used during previous elections. “During the last election, more than 1,247 children were used in election campaigns. One child died during the process.”

CCWB has formed a committee to check use of children for poll related activities. Ravi Gautam, source person at CCWB, informed that child right activists, non-government organisations and local bodies have been given responsibility to monitor the use of children in election campaign. The data recorded will be handed over to the Election Commission.

A report released by District Child Welfare Committee shows that 3,264 children are employed in brick kilns in the Valley.

Meanwhile, leaders of major political parties have expressed commitment not to use children in the local level elections slated for May 14 and also to include issues of child rights in their election manifestos.

CPN-UML Secretary Pradip Gyawali vowed that his party would not use children in the elections and prioritise child protection and child rights.

Nepali Congress leader and lawmaker Bhimsen Das Pradhan said the Nepali Congress would not enlist persons below 16 years as party members and stressed that his party was serious regarding children’s rights. He said the party would also prioritise issues of children in the elections.

CPN-Maoist Centre leader Lilamani Pokharel said although his party used children in past elections it would not do so henceforth.

Spokesperson for Rastriya Prajatantra Party Roshan Karki urged parties to refrain from using children in the elections.