Highlight of this programme: The project called “Children in Peace Building” was undertaken and it can be considered to be an attempt to investigate the effect of the conflict on children and young people. It also went on to consider the severity of the problems, the impact of them upon those affected and what mitigation could be carried out to prevent a repeat of past actions.
Details of the programme:
As a result of the political situation undergoing a major change with the anti democratic political parties entering into the political mainstream and the agreement between two main political parties being agreed and practiced, IHRICON began to change the focus of its programmes. It began to move away from monitoring the affects of the conflict and of highlighting the violations of human rights more towards supporting the need for reconciliation and rehabilitation. As a result of the changed context in the country, IHRICON undertook the project named ‘Children in Peace Building’ during 2007.
During the decade long Armed Conflict many children and young people were displaced from their homes. Even though the 8 parties who had formed the Government had made an agreement to pursue democracy and peace together most parts of the country were still affected by civil unrest as well as the fighting between the local people and their local administrations. These violent and disruptive situations have a direct impact upon the children and young people making it very difficult for them to enjoy the rights and to be able to practice a normal life. The children and young people did not have the opportunity to go to school or college due to the disturbances which had become a common phenomenon across many parts of the country. Besides the indirect impact of displacement and disturbance upon these young people they also suffered a reduction in their nutrition, health, unavailable health services all of which became a great challenge for them to cope with and overcome.
Even though the challenges were mounting across the country the nation had decided to go with a parliamentary system – a Constituent Assembly. The political parties and the prospective candidates in the election were engaged upon the preparation of their manifestos for the election. Whilst the leaders and the representatives of the political parties express their views in their manifestos they did not have any basic concepts or visions to incorporate regarding the rights of children and young people. IHRICON therefore took a view that without pressurizing the politicians through the arrangement of the awareness programme there would not be much chance of finding the agendas of children and young people’s rights within their parties’ key election promises.
The project also helped to create a peace culture in the society, it tried to motivate children into accepting the benefits of the process of reconciliation and it encouraged people to find out ways of making society more harmonized and reunited. Similarly the project assisted in the success of the Constituent Assembly candidates accommodating the rights of the children and the youths into their future plans for Nepal. The project was run in Palpa, Nawalparasi, Banke, Bardiya, Kailali, Dang Districts as well as in Kathmandu. The project took place between January 2007 and December 2007 and was delivered with the support of Save the Children Norway.