Kathmandu, October 11:

A host of non-governmental organisations working for child rights today submitted a memorandum to the coordinator of the Peace Committee, Ram Chandra Paudel, urging him to consider the issue of child rights in the summit talks tomorrow. The memorandum has appealed to the government, political parties and the Maoists to include children’s issues in the peace process to maintain social harmony, rehabilitate the children and reintegrate and reunite them with their families and communities.

Representatives of the Institute of Human Rights Communication, Nepal, Save the Children Norway, National Coalition for Children as Zones of Peace, Women Security Pressure Group, INSEC are among the organisations that submitted the memorandum. Keeping in mind the international recognition that children are zone of peace, both the government and the political parties should declare that children below the age of 18 years are banned in armed activities.

The memorandum further demanded that sentry posts set up in educational institutions be immediately removed. “All the political parties should set up an organisational mechanism to rehabilitate children from the district to the central level. Political parties and their sister organisations should not force children to attend conferences,” it added.

It further said that the authorities should allow children involved in the armed conflict to return to their families and communities. Shantimalika (Women for Peace) also submitted a memorandum to the Peace Committee urging it to implement the United Nations Security Council’s decision 1,325 that provides for women’s representation in the peace talks and

the code of conduct monitoring committees.