Govt organising int’l conference on child-friendly cities

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

Jun 17, 2013-

The Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development, in collaboration with UNICEF Nepal and the Child Friendly Asia Pacific Network, is organising the third international conference on child-friendly cities from 27 to 29 June in Kathmandu. Nineteen countries, including India, Pakistan and Bangladesh from South Asia, are expected to participate in the three-day meet.

The government expects the conference to help authorities understand the impact on children of urban-rural relationship, of internal migration, human trafficking, sexual exploitation and poverty, and help formulate strategies accordingly.

“The conference is designed to take the issue of child-friendly local governance forward,” said Anjali Sherchan Pradhan, chief of the Child-Friendly Local Governance Unit at UNICEF Nepal.

Nepal government signed the child-friendly local governance strategy in 2011. According to Sherchan Pradhan, 39 districts, 300 village development committees and five municipalities in the country have adopted the child-friendly local governance guidelines. “These local governance bodies allocate 15 percent of their budget for children, compared to 10 by others,” said Sherchan Pradhan.

Child-friendly local governance strategy is a product of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which Nepal ratified in 1990. The UN launched the Child-Friendly Cities Initiative in 1996, declaring that “the well-being of children is the ultimate indicator of a healthy habitat, a democratic society and good governance”.

Subsequently in 2009, the first international conference on child-friendly cities was held in Japan, followed by Indonesia in 2011.

In the context of Nepal, the definition of child-friendly cities, however, cannot be limited to just urban areas, said Sundar Lama, communication for development officer at UNICEF Nepal.

Published: 18-06-2013 09:01

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