The Constitution of Nepal 2072 has guaranteed the rights for the children’s protection and envision the situation for enjoying their rights of development, participation, and survival as the fundamental rights. Also, the Act Relating to Children 2075 (2018) has ensured that the federal, province and local level will have the duty to maintain the best interests of the children, by respecting, protecting, promoting and fulfilling the rights of the child. Moreover, the Act has clearly provisioned that local government should form Local Child Rights Committee and appoint child welfare authority in order to respect, protect and promote the rights of the child for carrying out child protection acts. Also, children will have the right to open organization and assemble peacefully in accordance with the Act.
As the human development index shows that the HDI of the province 2 is 0.51 i.e. the lowest index according to Nepal Human Development Report 2020, so the government’s priority is in province-2 for social and economic development. In this context, in order to promote and protect rights of the child, local level is to be strengthened with local mechanisms and structure of the local government (Municipality or Rural Municipality) according to the spirit of the Children’s Act 2018. Hence the facilitation of CSOs is needed to establish the local child protection mechanisms like local child rights committee and child clubs in order to ensure child rights in Madhav Narayan Municipality. Madhav Naraya Municipality lies in the southern part of Rautahat district. According to 2011 census, the municipality has 5479 households along with the population of 35175 that includes 18, 253 males and 16,922 females. In fact, the ratio of male to female population was 1.08 which indicates that Madhav Naraya Municipality has 8 percent lower males as compared to the females. the largest population in Madhav Narayan Municipality are between 5 and 9 years of age with total 5,531 following the age groups between 10 and 14 (4,809), below 4 (4,061), between 15 and 19 (3,107), between 25 and 29 (2,640) with total population of 20,148. 17393 (19.18%) people are illiterate in the municipality as of 2011. Mostly spoken language in Madhav Narayan is Bajjika following Urdu, Maithili, Nepali, Yakkha, Bhojpuri, Hindi etc. Municipality is inhabited by mostly the people of Yadav caste with total population and subsequently Teli, Mallaha, Koiri/Kushwaha, Paswan, Bin, Chamar, Dhobi, Thakur Lohar, Muslim, Musahar, Dom etc. There are 1.53% disabled persons who lives in the munciplaity. there are total 35 houses, which are equipped with piped tap water resources while 5,188 houses were reported of having tubewell water facilities. Same as, 9 houses had covered well while 11 houses didn’t have any cover on their tubewell as per the household’s source of water. According to the report of State of Children in Nepal, NCRC 2019 reveals that the case of rape and attempt to rape are high in Madhesh-Pradesh (Province 2). Also, the Human Development Index of Rautahat district is only 0.386 according to Nepal Human Development Report 2014. In this scenario, child rights situation is worse in the local body of the district as the most populations belongs to marginalized community and economically backward classes, thereby striving for making their ends to meet. Furthermore, discrimination in various forms is still highly prevalent, especially with regard to gender and children of lower caste and hence marginalized families. They lack equal social and economic opportunities. Moreover, children with disabilities are even more disadvantaged and deprived. There is neither a referral system nor institutions to ensure their proper development and protection. Corporal punishment is also still prevalent within the school and community in Nepal. It is widely accepted as an appropriate measure to discipline children and commonly used as a penalty for wrong behavior either at home or at schools.
The project-“Strengthening Child Rights System in Local Level (OP3CRC)” focuses on the protection system of the local government The project has been designed to reform local child rights committee in municipality and capacitated the LCRC members to implement the Children’s Act 2075. The municipality has the CRC guidelines 2077 on child rights protection and promotion but it needs to be amended according to Children’s regulations 2078. With regard to the target of the indicators, the local government still needs to allocate the child fund, appoint psychosocial counsellor and establish complaint handling mechanism in the municipality. In addition, the municipality has not reformed the municipal level child club network, so the LCRC should reform the child club network in municipal level. In this context, the municipality has to do further intervention for increasing their accountability toward child rights promotion and the project is facilitating the local government to strengthen protection system in the municipality.
Overall Objective: To contribute to fulfill the international obligations of the GoN in ensuring child rights in Nepal.
Sub-Objective 1: To strengthen child rights system in local government
Local Representatives and Bureaucrats: The project targets to capacitate local representatives and increase their accountability toward child rights as they are the key entities of the project who need to be influenced in order make them positive towards establishing child protection mechanism in municipal level. The project targets to work with 20 local representatives and bureaucrats. As the Bureaucrats play various roles in modern society, especially Nepal by virtue of holding administrative, functional, and managerial positions in local government. If they are not persuaded for implementation of the Child Rights Act 2018 for local government agencies, would not be go smoothly.
National Child Rights Council (NCRC): NCRC has specific role regarding child rights monitoring and recommending Government of Nepal to respect, protect and fulfill the human rights. With regards to child rights system strengthening and OP3CRC ratification, the project closely collaborates with NCRC. NCRC itself has already started doing a study on Relevancy of OPIC in Nepal on behalf of Government of Nepal and recently the council has prioritized the agenda of OP3CRC. So, the project collaborates with Executive Director of NCRC and the key staff working there. The organization has already established a good rapport with NCRC regarding OP3CRC ratification and thus coordination will be consistently done with the council during the intervention of the project in local level as well.
CSOs/Networks: CSOs are the major actors in facilitating local government to strengthen child rights system by building capacity of the local level. The project coordinates with like-minded organizations working in child rights sectors in the project area.
Community School: Majority of the children are affiliated with community schools for education in the districts of the Madhesh-Pradesh Province. Moreover, the project targets community schools to establish child protection system to fight against all forms of violence in school and community. Hence, the project closely coordinates with teachers, SMC, PTA and child clubs and promotes child rights adopting bottom-up approach.
Children: The project targets children in order to empower children/adolescents so that they can stand up themselves for their rights in school and community . They participated in the child club, schools, children’s gatherings meaningfully. The project plans to work directly with more than 100 children during the project cycle.
Output 1: Accountability of local government is increased for realization of child rights
A1.1.Inception meeting with Municipality/Rural Municipality
A1.2. Formation of Local Child Rights Committee (LCRC) in municipality level
A1.3. Three-Days training to LCRC members on capacity building
A1.4. Support to Complaint Handling Mechanism
A1.5.Intergenerational Dialogues at schools and community led by child clubs (Local Government, Parents, Teachers
A1.6..Establish child protection mechanism (child club) at schools
A1.7. Capacity Building and Mobilization of Child Club
A1.8. Facilitate to draft operational guidelines for Local CRCs
A1.9. Two-Days Training on the role of child clubs against child trafficking, child marriage, child labour and various forms of violence
A1.10. Inter-dialogue with newly elected representatives of municipality and wards and memorandum Handover
A1.11 Support child clubs to organize child led events
A1.12. Formation of School Child Protection Committee (SCPC) and conduct regular meetings
A1.13.Training to child club members on wall magazine
A1.14 Training to children on story writing
A1.15. Training to media professionals for child rights advocacy and Media mobilization
A1.16.Training on street drama (Child marriage , child trafficking, child labor etc) and demonstration
Output 2: Facilitate GoN to sign and ratify OP3CRC
A2.1. Lobby Meetings with stakeholders ( Political Leaders, Parliamentarians, NHRC, Government officials and CSOs) for OP3CRC Advocacy)