Regional meet on child rights kicks off in capital

Kathmandu, November 30:

A two-day South Asian Regional Consultation Meeting, jointly organised by National Human Rights Commission and Save the Children, begun in the capital today. The meet is expected to pressure policy-makers to address the rights of children living in South Asia.

“The children in the region are extremely vulnerable, mainly due to the conflict,” said Turid Heiberg, regional director of Save the Children. She said all the rights organisations should make a united effort to advocate child rights. Heiberg said the recommendations made by the meeting would guide lawmakers to safeguard children’s rights in the new constitution.

“The state must ratify all the conventions that are in favour of children’s development,” argued Heiberg. She expressed the need for developing an understanding between civil society and human rights organisations in order to yield fruitful results.

Akhmal Sharef, regional thematic manager of Save the Children, said it was high time that the effect of the region’s armed conflict on children was assessed. Kedar Nath Upadhyaya, NHRC chairman, stated that children in South Asia are suffering from malnutrition. He hoped that the meet would be crucial in creating an environment conducive for safeguarding the children’s rights.

“Government alone cannot deal with all the issues concerning children. INGOs and NGOs should extend their help,” added Upadhyaya.

“The CA should draft a child-friendly constitution,” said Gauri Pradhan, spokesperson, NHRC. He added that realisation of a new Nepal would be possible only after responding to the

children’s issues.