The Kathmandu declaration For the Child Rights and Against the Child Marriage

The Child Rights: The Concern of All has been inscribed and explicitly supported by the Constitution of Nepal-2072; article 39 and Child Rights Act 2075. There are several kinds of child violence in Nepal; among them child marriage has been the primary practice in the Nepali Society. In order to minimize the child marriage in the country at present, and to declare Nepal as Child Marriage Free Zone by 2030; the Government of Nepal has implemented Child Marriage Strategies-2072.

However, there have been a lot of tasks to be accomplished on child rights’ violations, regarding strategies against child marriage, Criminal Code, Civil Code, Child Rights’ Act and their effective implementation. In order to achieve effective implementation of these measures on child rights; the necessity of commitment and support from all sectors for National Campaign with the slogan of Marriage after 20 has been felt more necessary and significant.

For this purpose, we declare 18 points Kathmandu Charter through child discussion forum conducted in Kathmandu with the participation of children from whole Nepal. We felt more steps are necessary for protection, promotion and dissemination of information regarding child rights and thus appeal attention, accountability and responsibilities of civil society, international communities, all levels of Nepal Government and all the media houses towards assurance of children’s education, health protection, promotion, and participation.

  1. We appreciate the steps taken by Nepal Government and other stakeholders till date regarding child rights. We welcome and also make appeal to provincial and local level policy formulation regarding child rights for effective program management and implementation of child rights conventions and protocols, Acts, laws and directives declared and promulgated by Nepal Government, national and international communities.
  2. We are committed towards our support and facilitation for the declaration of child friendly local governance, free and compulsory education. We extend our facilitation and perennial support towards campaign against child marriage and to disseminate the information regarding Child Rights Acts to every individual child and his/her family. For this, we appeal to child rights organizations, civil society, Media Houses, and the social activists to work explicitly and responsibly.
  3. We pledge to facilitate the declaration of child marriage free village, city and the district along with the involvement of all the stakeholders

  4. We make an appeal for compulsory assurance of effective implementation of National Strategies against Child Marriage-2072 in all the local levels and making every stakeholders – especially Nepal Police-be more accountable and responsible for the control of child marriage and if it happens, need to be preceded and sued for legal measures.
  5. We demand special policy formulation and instant implementation on an individual, home and family, community, school or all public places against all kinds of child rights violations-like rape and murder, exploitation and abuse, discrimination, misbehaviors, and to address the negligence towards the children.
  6. We request to all levels of respective local governments to formulate strategic plans along with the specific budgets for conducting campaign against child marriage and to produce child rights’ activists, and effectively use them for the promotion of child rights in the country.
  7. We demand effective implementation of the school based Complaint Hearing Mechanisms and implementation of united programs of all local levels educational committee and child rights committee.
  8. We request the concerned stakeholders to conduct several programs related to child rights such as running effective guardianship campaign for minimizing child marriage, exhibition of model couple, and to conduct child discussion forum to eliminate child marriage in the village, city and the district as a whole.
  9. We demand the establishment of child court in every district and their effective implementation and to create instant addressing mechanisms on child marriage
  10. We draw attention of the local governments and make appeal for effective execution of the campaign of children as peace zone creating ward, rural municipality and municipality as child friendly governance bodies.
  11. We demand the active campaign to control and minimize the rampant child marriage prevailing in the country. We also strongly demand active participation of organizations to conduct campaign to extend and spread adolescent education and legal literacy by drawing special attention of the local, provincial and federal government for the effective implementation of the law regarding child marriage.
  12. We humbly request all the local level governments to allocate at least 15% budget from the total annual budget and to framing effective investment plans and implement them in the children’s meaningful participation and development of children.
  13. We request all local level governments to invest, manage and conduct children’s assembly annually at community, village and city level, registration and enlisting of the children’s club, leadership development of children’s club of the respective areas and capability development have to be conducted effectively.
  14. We appeal schools to create attractive pulling factors to get every child admitted in the schools, retain them in the school and to make them learn the life skills.
  15. We appeal all levels of Government to make arrangement for establishing routine general health checkups in every three months within the community or school for the children who are deprived of health facilities and to protect differently able children, and promote education for them.
  16. We appeal for attention of all the stakeholders towards practically ending all kinds of discrimination and inequality such as caste based discrimination, Chaupadi system, etc. and we put forward our demand of constructing girl friendly toilets in the schools and in every other public places.
  17. We strongly demand the program with allocated budget for the protection of children at village and district level by giving more concern over the protection of the children of parents who are abroad for employment, and to eliminate the domestic child labor, and the growing trend of keeping children in the unsafe and insecure children’s home in the cities for the sake of providing education.
  18. We put forward our demand to the government for the transfer of skills for self-protection in order to build self-esteem especially in the girls for controlling and eliminating the physical attacks on them.

2075 Mangshir 3