Call to make new statute child-friendly

Kathmandu, March 27:

Children as Zones of Peace (CZOP) and Consortium of Organisation Working for Child Participation (COWCP) appealed to Constitutional Assembly (CA) members to draft a child-friendly new constitution.

At a function organised here today, Purna Kumari Subedi, CA vice chairperson, said the recommendations of CZOP and COWCP would serve as an important guide while drafting the new constitution. She added that the state, families and the society should be able to create an environment wherein children are provided with equal opportunities.

Gillian Mellsop, UNICEF representative, stated Nepal had a historic opportunity to draft a constitution that would serve common people’s interests. She said almost 50 per cent of children in Nepal were suffering from malnutrition and more than 12,000 girls trafficked every year. Mellsop asked for provisions guaranteeing children’s right in the new constitution.

CA member Gagan Thapa said the recommendations should be submitted to the respective committees by April 23. He said securing good future for children would also secure a bright future of the nation.

Indu Tuladhar, advocacy manager of Save the Children, said approximately 44,000 children under five die in Nepal each year. She added that 2.6 million children aged 5-14 are forced into child labour and around 5000 children live on the streets. She said 2,973 PLA fighters have been identified as minors who have been residing in various cantonments with no access to education since November 2006.