KATHMANDU: Various international organisations working for rights of children have raised their concerns over the present living conditions of Nepali quake-affected children, as a year passed after the devastating earthquake in Nepal. Issuing a joint statement, five organisations – Plan International, Save the Children, Terre des hommes, UNICEF, and World Vision – underlined the need of child protection and safeguarding, along with psycho-social support in the reconstruction efforts. The statement further stated that 680 children from the quake-affected districts have the possibility of fear and trauma and requested stakeholders to provide educational services within their reach. Plan International Nepal’s Country Director Mattias Bryneson said, “All children have the right to grow up in a safe and protective environment. We hope the concerns of the children affected by this tragedy will be better taken care of in the recovery and reconstruction phase of the earthquake response." The organisations said around 50 per cent of children in their contact informed them of their fear of thieves and wild animals entering their houses, of sleeping outside and being trafficked or forced into labour. It has also been found that 23 per cent of children do not even sleep well suffering from post-traumatic stress. A consultation was held in collaboration with the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development and Central Child Welfare Board at the end of February 2016 to assess the post-earthquake situation of children. The statement additionally read that the children who participated in the consultation have expressed their desire to be consulted further. Meanwhile, a research paper titled “Children’s voices, children’s rights: one year after the Nepal earthquake” that outlines the situation of children in Nepal has been released today. “Time alone will not remove the children's fear. We need to make children feel safe again and find a positive way for them to live with their memories of destruction, insecurity and loss. Parents and teachers need to learn how to support traumatised children to help them regaining confidence for their future”, said Sebastian Zug, Country Representative of Terre des hommes in Nepal, in the statement. Though 98 per cent of children have received relief in one or the other ways, the social organisations have expected to see constructive development for the children to help them return to normalcy in every aspect.
Int'l bodies' concerns over Nepal quake-affected children
Published: 02:49 pm Apr 24, 2016