Protect children during demonstrations: UNICEF

Kathmandu, August 26

UNICEF said today that it is shocked by reports of the death of a child due to gunshot in Kailali district on August 24.

“The death of a child under any circumstances is unpardonable and we are extremely saddened by this incident,” said UNICEF Representative Tomoo Hozumi. “Tek Bahadur was just two years old. He was barely a toddler, yet his innocent young life was snuffed out in the violence in Tikapur on Monday. This is an extremely troubling incident.”

“Nepal has been promoting children as ‘zones of peace’ since the days of armed conflict. But time and again, young lives have fallen in the crossfire of violence by adults. During a tragic incident in the summer of 2005, another one-year-old child was killed along with his family in Kailali district. That was when the country was in the throes of armed conflict,” he recalled. According to Hozumi, it has been nearly a decade now since Nepal has been transitioning to peace. Monday’s incident is a grim reminder that children’s basic right to survival and protection continue to be seriously violated.

“We appeal to all to keep children protected at all costs. All the concerned parties and organisations in the country, regardless of their social, political and cultural backgrounds have agreed that children, their homes, and their study, play and recreational areas must be zones of peace and free from violence,” he said in a press release.

“Words cannot express enough the terrible feelings on death of the child in Kailali. This incident epitomises the growing vulnerability of children in the face of violence,” he said.

“Their right to live and study in a violence-free environment should once again be recognised and respected by all,” he added.