Good Neighbors International Nepal in collaboration with Karnali Integrated Rural Development and Research Center (KIRDARC Nepal) organized a ‘National Bal Kachahari (stakeholder dialogue) on Promoting Child Rights and Eliminating Child Marriage in Nepal’ on 19 November 2018 as a culmination of Bal Kachaharis held in 10 districts across Nepal. All district level Bal Kachaharis centered around the broad “strategic solutions” prescribed in the National Strategy on Ending Child Marriage 2072.
Hon’ble, Tham Maya Thapa, Minister for Women, Children and Senior Citizens graced the event as the Chief Guest. She reiterated her commitment to child rights and child protection. Rekha Thapa, prominent actor, anti-child marriage campaigner and Campaign Ambassador also participated in the event. She shared experiences of being a girl child and suggested to “take” more programs to rural areas where child marriage is deeply-rooted.
Children, child rights activists, campaigners and representatives of national and international non-governmental organizations and national networks working with children, development partners, and media personnel discussed the implementation status, challenges, and way forward on the broad “strategic solutions”. The keynote speakers and themes were as follows;
1. Hon’ble Mohna Ansari, Member, National Human Rights Commission – Quality education and empowerment of young and adolescent girls
2. Upendra Keshari Neupane, Senior – Children’s Act 2075
3. Tarak Dhital, Former Executive Director, Central Child Welfare Board (CCWB) – Child protection mechanism and service delivery
4. Milan Dharel, Assistant Professor, Kathmandu University School of Law – Participation of families and communities and their mobilization on reducing child marriage
5. Madhu Dawadi, Child Rights Activist, CWIN – Legal and policy reforms and their implementation
The Bal Kachahari was attended by 167 representatives including 2 government agencies, 20 national NGOs, 6 INGOs, 53 child clubs, 6 networks of organizations working for children, 30 students from 13 districts, 7 media personnel and other stakeholders across Nepal.
Children performed a welcome song. Babita Pariyar, winner of poetry competition on child marriage recited the poem. Child club graduate and young child rights activist Bipana Sharma shared her journey on child rights and child protection, and encouraged child club representatives to fight for their rights and stop child marriage. Winners of national art competition on child marriage were awarded cash prizes and certificates. The arts were displayed at the event.