Leaders of major political parties have pledged to prioritised issues and concerns related to children and child rights in their manifesto for the local level elections.

The local level election is slated for May 13 in a single phase. At a political discourse organised by the Children as Zones of Peace National Campaign here today, they assured concrete steps for implementation and protection of child rights enshrined as fundamental rights in the Constitution of Nepal.

CPN-UML General-secretary Shankar Pokharel said his party had been championing the cause of child rights and called for declaring schools as 'peace zone' from the time of the insurgency.

"There is no doubt that the state should lay emphasis on children to ensure a bright future of the nation," he noted.

Similarly, ruling Nepali Congress Assistant General-Secretary Jivan Pariyar shared that they had been addressing many concerns related to children by holding discussions and consultations during the promulgation of the constitution.

"Nepali Congress is committed to enforce the policies and laws formulated to guarantee child rights."

He lamented that the issues of child rights were neglected even in educated families.

Likewise, leader of CPN-Maoist Centre Shakti Bahadur Basnet stressed the need to walk the talk instead of confining the issues of child rights to sloganeering.

He viewed that the current constitution was child-friendly. He also argued that it was promulgated by the elected people's representatives.

Child rights defender Gauri Pradhan said political parties as well as the state should prioritise the concerns of child rights such as smooth registration process for child birth, free education and free enrolment, sports, entertainment and protection of child rights.

Advocate Indu Tuladhar stressed the need to adhere to the provision of the election code of conduct that bars mobilising children in the election and forbids the use of school for election promotion.

A version of this article appears in the print on April 17, 2022, of The Himalayan Times.