Save the children

A slew of NGOs working for child rights while handing over a memorandum to the coordinator of the Peace Committee, Ram Chandra Paudel, have urged the government, mainstream parties and the Maoists to include for consideration child rights issues in the ongoing peace summit. A UN study titled World Report on Violence Against Children, released the day before yesterday, presents a comprehensive account of the root causes and effects of the problem faced worldwide. Nepal’s situation on child rights is anything but encouraging because all sections have not displayed the right degree of responsibility required to protect children from blatant exploitation.

The post-Jana Andolan period, too, has not seen any improvement in the situation, as cases of kidnapping, rape, torture and murder of minors continue unabated. Responsible quarters like the SPA coalition and the Maoists should set an example. The endeavour calls for the dismantling of the sentry posts from schools and vacating the educational institutions seized and occupied by the rebels. The use of children for political activities or for the promotion of the cause of any group should be discontinued. The rampant use of child labour has two aspects. One is the compulsion of many children to earn a living for themselves and the other is to check the practice of their being exploited. Here, the government and the civil society have a decisive role to play. Mere sloganeering will not improve the children’s plight, though it may fetch a fistful of dollars for the NGOs.