The UN Convention on the Right of the Child (UNCRC) -1989 has enshrined fundamental rights of children and has also included the provisions to make state accountable to ensure rights of children. Nepal is a state party to it and ratified the Convention on September 1990, just after a year of its enforcement and adoption. This shows Nepal’s utmost commitment towards ensuring rights of children. Afterwards, Nepal enforced Child Rights Act- 2048 which domesticated some provisions of UNCRC.
Ensuring rights of children in documents and conventions is one aspect; it makes policy level commitments however, the real challenge comes in implementation aspect. Ensuring rights of children in conventions and initiating child rights initiations in a decorative aspect are not enough. We need to be aware whether our initiations, in real essence, are useful and appropriate for children or not. The simplest of them – ‘Rights to Education” – Announced free by the Government of Nepal, but many are miles to reach school!
We cannot define the phrase “Child Friendly” in one dimension. It encompasses multiple dimensions and is comprehensive. The first thing is attitudes and sensitization about child friendly issues, second is related with child friendly behaviors, and third is concerned with child friendly planning and infrastructures as well as publications. A tripartite bond can only help to create a child friendly environment. It starts from an individual, families, communities, state/country and the world as a whole.
Government of Nepal (GON) has initiated some of its interventions to create child friendly environment in the country. Develop and implement of the 10 year child development plan (2004-014), declaring National Child Policy (2012), Establishment of Central Child Welfare Board (CCWB) and District Child Welfare Boards (DCWBs) in 75 districts of Nepal is one of the key initiatives taken by GON which carries out massive programs to aware and sensitize children and community on child rights, protect children from abuses and violations and legal support. Another key initiative is Child Friendly Local Governance (CFLG) which is in piloting phase. Its objective is to ensure children’s participation and make children’s voices heard during planning process of development programs and governance issues in local level.
The objective of Child Friendly Local Governance & Expected Output
The main objective is to mainstream Child Rights (Survival, Development, Participation and Protection) issues in the policies, systems, structures, mechanism and working processes of local government (areas and levels).
Expected outputs from Child friendly Local Governance:
- Preparation, analysis and publication of Child profile
- Local development & Investment plan for children
- Adaptation and localization of the Child Friendly Polices
- Preparation and publication of state of children report
- Defining minimum indicators on survival, development, protection and participation in coordination with all the line agencies, local body associations, civil society and community based groups (e.g. women groups, child clubs etc) and relevant institution at the local level.
Steps to initiate and implement Child Friendly Local Governance:
- Orientation, development and expansion on the concept of child friendly local governance
- Formation of district and municipal level child friendly local governance promotion committee
- Preparation of action plan for the formulation of policies, strategies on child friendly local governance
- Establishment of child friendly local governance focal sections or units at the DDC and municipalities
- Selection of municipality wards and VDCs on the basis of specific indicators/standards
- Preparation of child profile
- Establishment of children’s fund
- Formation, development and mobilization of child group/child forum/child club and community organizations
- Identification, coordination and networking of stakeholders
- Declaration of commitment of stakeholders for child friendly local governance
- Development of periodic, annual plans, and to ensure funds for investment and implementation of work plans
- Preparation of status report on children and making it public
- Monitoring, review and evaluation
- Commitment, decisions and approval from local councils committing to spend at least 15 percent of its total capital budget in the areas related to children.
- Agreement on the minimum service indicators on child friendly local governance
- Declaration of child friendly district, village and municipality.
Since we are an NGO working in the field of a) Children, b) young women & mothers group and more importantly c) Education and Health, it becomes part of our job to be indulged in project directly or indirectly benefitting children.
We are providing Education and Health care to over 80 children through our varied projects, all grass root yet highly effective!
Since Last year we have got ourselves engaged in support of “Child Friendly Local Governance” in cooperation with the DDC Kaski and Chapakot!
Chapakot is a village that is nearly 20 kilometers away from main lakeside.
We have organized as many Awareness programs to the children and mothers based in the village. The topics of awareness were in coherence with the CFLG and the daily requirements for lives of the children and mothers.
- Prevention of Early marriage (Child)
- Importance of education
- Health Awareness & Counseling
Besides support with education are some of the most important ways we are involved with Child Friendly Local Governance!
In the meanwhile, we have built an “Earth bag Building” in Chapakot that will serve as a Child Reference room and for mothers group,/young women to use it for meetings, Awareness programs etc. This Ecological building was built with the kind support of BONO Direkthilfe, Germany.