Nepal: Play an important role to protect child rights

Posted on | februari 29, 2012 | No Comments

Dr. Baburam Bhattarai, Prime Minister of Nepal, Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Nepal. ,

Re: Nepal: Play an important role to protect child rights

Dear Prime Minister,

I share your hopes for a peaceful, democratic future for Nepal and its people.

Nepal has been a State Party to Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) since 1990, I want to take this opportunity to call on you to ratify the third Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Right of the Child on a communications procedures, adopted on 19 December 2011 by the General Assembly in its resolution 66/138. The signing ceremony is scheduled for 28 February 2012 in Geneva, Switzerland and thereafter at United Nations Headquarters in New York.

This new Optional Protocol will enable children, or their representatives, who claim that their rights have been violated, to bring a complaint to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, in cases where domestic remedies have been exhausted. This procedure recognizes the rights of the child as forming an integral part of the human rights framework. It will be the only complaint mechanism covering the full range of rights guaranteed under the CRC and should significantly contribute to empower victims whose rights have been violated under the CRC in seeking remedies.

Since joining the United Nations in 1955, Nepal has made being an active member of the UN a key pillar of its foreign policy. In addition, Nepal has further shown its commitment to the rights of the child by ratifying the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography in 2006 and the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict in 2007. The ratification of the third Optional Protocol to the CRC would further enhance the image of Nepal as a positive player in the international community. It would also send an important message to the world that Nepal is fully committed to the protection and promotion of child rights both at home and internationally.

The new Optional Protocol does not impose new substantive obligations on the government of Nepal, but assists it in fulfilling its obligations under the CRC. I believe that the speedy ratification of the Optional Protocol should be possible as a result of this. On the occasion of its Universal Periodic Review, Nepal accepted recommendations by numerous States, including Egypt, the Philippines, Azerbaijan and Cuba concerning the need to strengthen measures protecting child rights, notably through the development of a robust juvenile justice system. The communication procedure established by the Optional Protocol would assist Nepal in upholding these commitments. It complements the government reporting to the CRC and, as the Optional Protocol takes effect where the local remedies have failed or are non-existent, will encourage State Parties to develop such domestic remedies and mechanisms for the promotion and protection of child rights and in order to provide effective remedies.

Nepal was highly praised by the international community on her ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict in year January 3, 2007. This important treaty, which has been ratified by 113 other states worldwide, establishes the age of 18 as a minimum for any direct participation in hostilities or for compulsory recruitment or any recruitment by non-state armed forces.

I call on you to show leadership on this issue, becoming a party to the new Optional Protocol. Your government would reassert its commitment to respect and protect the child rights and to fulfill the obligations it accepted when it became a party to the CRC. Furthermore, this represents an opportunity for Nepal to play an important role at the forefront of efforts to protect child rights in South Asia.

Sincerely yours,

AUTHOR: William Nicholas Gomes
URL: www.williamgomes.org
E-MAIL: williamgomes.org [at] gmail.com

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