Kathmandu, November 20
The number of girls, who have gone missing in the last two fiscals, is two times more than that of boys.
From among 3,422 children, who had gone missing in fiscal 2018-2019, a total of 2,371 were girls. The remaining 1,051 were boys. The number of missing children has gone up in fiscal 2018-19. In the fiscal 2017-18, there were 2,330 (923 boys and 1,407 girls) missing.
With 720 children going missing in a fiscal year, Province 3 records the highest number of missing children, followed by Province 2 (653), Province 5 (544).
A national report disseminated by the Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizens on the status of Nepali children revealed that 1,685 missing girl children were between 15 and 18 years of age. Similarly, 402 boys of the same age group had gone missing. The report reveals also that 505 boys between 11 and 14 years of age had gone missing in the same fiscal.
From among the missing children only 2,540 were found. “Many parents do not inform us when their children are found,” said Krishna Prasad Bhusal, Administrative Chief at National Child Rights Council.
The report further reveals that a total of 1,420 girl children were raped in the fiscal. Of them, 298 girls were below the age of 10. A total of 889 raped girls (62.6 per cent) were in the age group 11-16. The girls were raped by fathers, family members and/or close relatives, neighbours, police, army, teachers and employees and acquaintances, according to the report. The report reveals that 82 children are living with their mother or father or parents, who are doing time in 27 jails across the country till mid-July 2019.
The report also highlights the status of Bhutanese refugee children living in and outside the refugee camps in the country. There are 2,085 Bhutanese refugee children living in refugee camps in Beldangi, Sanischare and outside the camps.
“Whenever there is mass migration, chances are high that children become homeless and come to the streets. Children centric programme should be conducted across the country,” said Chandra Kumar Ghimire, secretary at the Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizens.
The report, however, has not included any data on cases of paedophilia. World Children’s Day is celebrated on November 20 each year to promote international togetherness, awareness among children worldwide, and to improve children’s welfare. The government, on the occasion of children’s day, today released the report amidst an event held in the capital.
The report has suggested that services and allowances should be provided to children living with HIV/AIDS under social security programmes. “Children living with HIV/AIDS are facing difficulties both financially and socially. There is stigmatisation. Therefore, these children should be provided assistance to help them live a better life,” Bhusal added.
The report has also suggested that there should be proper co-ordination among all three tiers of government to ensure the rights and safety of children.
|Missing children in 2018/19|
|Province Number 1||113||406||519|
|Province Number 2||139||514||653|
|Province Number 3||290||430||720|
|Province Number 5||183||361||544|
|Sudur Paschim Province||130||196||326|
A version of this article appears in print on November 21, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.