KIRDARC Nepal collaboratively organized national level Bal Kachahari on “Promoting Child Rights and Eliminating Child Marriage” with Good Neighbor International Nepal on 18th November 2019 at Alfa House, New Baneshwor Kathmandu. The program was organized under AWASAR campaign that has been conducted since the last two years aiming to protect child rights and end child marriage from Nepal. Different child rights networks were solidarity partners of the program. In the program, participants representing government, civil society, child networks and clubs, and representatives of child rights activists, human rights, media, and political parties and children took part.
The chief guest of the program was Hon. Shiva Maya Tumbahamphe, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives of Nepal. She asserted for carrying out collective effort from the government, CSOs and child rights networks to end child marriage by focusing to the adolescents from 15 to 20 years of age. Since different acts and aligned provisions have made child marriage as a crime, its effective execution has to be ensured to tackle this challenge. She made commitment for supporting to drafting and executing further legal provisions and plans for child rights promotion and end child marriage. Special guest Hon. Min Bahadur Shahi, Member, National Planning Commission shared that government has enacted Children’s Act 2075 Nepal being aligned constitution, Criminal (Code) Act, 2074. Other acts, regulations are also in the process of drafting. 25th Periodic Plan has also incorporated the issue of child marriage and its elimination. Min Ho Choi, Country Representatives of Good Neighbor International Nepal also asserted children are the future of the nation; hence, their rights have to be ensured by eliminating all forms of discriminations.
In the program, Garui Pradhan, Child Rights Activist shared that despite decreasing rate of child marriage prior to 15 years of age, Nepal comes in the 17th position globally in terms of child marriage. He asserted for eliminating social-mal practices, increasing life skill knowledge, introducing income generation activities and increasing mass sensitization campaigns have to be carried out. Pitambar Ghimire, Deputy Inspector General shared his experience in law enforcement practice and asked for support in the campaign. In the program, other panelists Tillotam Paudel, JCYCN; Indu Panta Ghimire, Child Rights Activist; Durga Lal KC, Kantipur Daily; Hira Sing Thapa, Child Rights Activist; Yam Bahadur BK, Child Network Member also shared their experiences and presented asserted for collective efforts from all the stakeholders. Participants from child networks and clubs, child rights activists shared their experiences and asked queries to the panelists and concerned queries were addressed. Key findings of an assessment on child marriage status and dynamics were shared by Gautam Raj Adhikari, MEAL Manager of KIRDARC Nepal. The program was chaired by Rana Lal Kulal, Chairperson of KIRDARC Nepal and moderated by Govinda Bahadur Shahi, Director of KIRDARC Nepal.