As Nepal is among the ten countries around the world with the highest rate of Child Marriage and third highest in Asia after Bangladesh and India, World Vision International Nepal and ACORAB Nepal launch a joint campaign it takes Nepal to end the child marriage.
As in the past, World Vision International Nepal’s contribution to end child marriage campaign is very significant and important showing how INGOs collaboration with local NGO can make a big difference.
A UNICEF data showed that South Asia is in the forefront in terms of the cases of child marriage.
Nepal’s latest data indicates that over one-third girl population or 37 per cent marry before their 18th birthday and 10 per cent marry before they turn 15.
According to a report published by World Vision International Nepal, UNICEF and Plan International, Save the Children shows that the prevalence of child marriage varies significantly among Nepal’s many ethnic, religious and caste groups. The rate of child marriage is highest among marginalized and lower cast communities.
Despite taking several efforts including making it illegal back in 1962, child marriage continues to exist in Nepal due to lack of implementation and enforcement of law.
In partnership with the Association of Community Radio Broadcasters Nepal, World Vision International Nepal will launch five year campaign to end child marriage. The focus of the program will be on empowering children and working closely with government, civil society, private sector and communities to bring an end to child marriage in Nepal.
“The campaign will supplement World Vision International Nepal’s ongoing work on strengthening systems that protect children, raising awareness and challenging harmful practices so that the children of Nepal can look forward to a future where they can fulfill their potential and potential of the country,” said press release.
Launching the campaign, President Bidya Devi Bhandari insisted on the combined efforts to eliminate superstition-based practices and customs such as child marriage, dowry system and chhaupadi prevailing in the country.
Inaugurating a campaign against child marriage, President Bhandari said that superstitions and other malpractices based on tradition prevailing in the Nepali society had caused a negative impact on the country’s overall economic development and this must be rooted out.
“The culture of child marriage has not only curtailed children’s rights but also has affected all aspects of their life. Thus collective efforts are necessary to ensure proper education to children and guarantee human rights,” said the Head-of-the-State adding “This practice has pushed the life of girls and women to a vicious cycle of difficulty and violence, and an elimination of this bad practice remains as a blot on the modern civilization is possible through collective efforts.”
Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Yagya Bahadur Thapa said that effective implementation of acts and public awareness were necessary to end child marriage.
Likewise, Minister for Women, Children and Social Welfare Asha Koirala pledged the effective enforcement of the Children’s Act.
The National Human Rights Commission Chairperson Anuj Raj Sharma stressed that social campaign, full enforcement of laws and change in social mindset were essential to ending child marriage.
The campaign that was launched with the theme “Unite Nepal, Stop Child Marriage” would remain into effect for the next five years.