Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Child rights groups concerned over ‘use’ of children in ANNISU-R convention

The National Coalition of Children as Zones of Peace (CZOP), a child rights network, has expressed serious concern over what it calls “use of children” in the national convention of the Maoist-aligned All Nepal National Independent Students Union (Revolutionary) that kicked off in Kathmandu Monday.

“It is found that thousands of school students from different parts of the country were involved in the national convention of the ANNISU-R on monday. Apart from this, several schools in Kathmandu and outside remained closed. It is found that the school students have been used in a way that adversely affects them physically and mentally, hampers curricular activities and violates the rights of children,” a press statement issued by the network said expressing serious concern over the matter.

The network said the schoolchildren were made to participate in the show of strength by the ANNISU-R in Kathmandu. Even as children have right to participate in peaceful demonstrations but the involvement of them rallies and sit-ins without the approval of their guardians or protectors is against the General Convention on Child Rights, the network said.

It pointed out that the concerned side failed to respond to the repeated calls made by guardians and human rights and child rights organisations to cases of violations of child rights while the government too failed to pay attention to this.

The coalition of 36 child rights and human rights organisations also called on the concerned party and other political parties and their sister organisations to respect the rights of the children and immediately stop using them in programmes that hamper their curricular activities

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