Child protection is a major concern in Nepal. Specifically, child labor and child marriage are rampant across all communities, geo-ecological zones, and religious/ethnic groups. 37.4% of children (5-17 years) are engaged in labor (Nepal Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey, 2014) and a large majority of them work on their own family farms. 26.3% of 10 to 18-year-olds were married or in union (Central Bureau of Statistics, 2014). Nepal has the third-highest rate of child marriage in Asia with 37 percent of girls marrying before age 18 and 10% before 15 (Human Rights Watch, 2017). Reliable statistics are hard to come by but it is estimated that thousands of girls are trafficked every year from rural parts of Nepal to urban centers in the country and India to work as commercial sex workers.
For GNI Nepal child protection is “all processes, measures, and mechanisms adopted or applied to protect children from all forms of violence, exploitation, abuses and provide them a favorable environment for their physical, mental, spiritual, moral, and social development”.
Protecting children from violence, exploitation, abuse, and neglect is GNI Nepal’s top priority and we have adopted a rights-based approach to child protection: assisting duty bearers to deliver rights and raising awareness of the rights holders. GNI Nepal’s Child Protection Program (CPP) is underpinned by the principles of non-discrimination, respect for the views of the child, zero tolerance of child exploitation and abuse, and provision of health-care and has the following objectives;
- To strengthen child protection mechanism at the local level to protect children from all potential exploitations including physical and psychological violence/abuse
- To make children aware and capable of claiming their rights
Our CCP primarily aims at strengthening local mechanisms such as school-based child clubs, rural municipal, municipal, and district level child protection mechanisms through technical assistance. They are lobbied to implement existing national and international legal instruments, policies, programs, and plans.
GNI Nepal believes in strong government- and people-led systems for better child protection. We foster a strong partnership with the children (rights holders), community-based organizations (CBOs), non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and local units of government (duty bearers). Leveraging these strong collaborative ties GNI Nepal promotes child protection across 13 districts through activities under four programmatic components;
- Local System Strengthening,
- Capacity Development,
- Campaigning and Advocacy, and
- Case Management
Towards providing a safe environment to children and protecting them from all forms of abuse and exploitation, GNI Nepal works closely with the Government of Nepal and its local units.