Nepal

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CountryNepal
Optional protocolon the involvement of children in armed conflict, on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography
Safety
Corporal punishmentCorporal Punishment is prohibited.
Overview of the child rights situation

The Committee notes the continuing effects of the 2015 earthquake, which hinders the implementation of the rights enshrined in the Convention, and recommends that the State party continue its efforts related thereto.

The Nepal report mentions many negative points, such as the forced isolation of girls and women during their menstruation and the high rate of gender discrimination. On the positive side, however, there is free education and the recognition of a third gender.

Situation of intersexual and transsexual childrenThe Committee welcomes the positive steps taken by the State party towards the recognition of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex rights, including the reference to “gender and sexual minority” in the grounds for discrimination that are prohibited under article 18 of the new Constitution (right to equality) and the recent addition to identity documents of a third gender category recognizing genders other than “male” and “female”. However, the Committee remains concerned about the lack of awareness of issues related to intersex children in Nepal and the high levels of stigma and discrimination faced by intersex children as well as challenges faced by intersex children in accessing identity documents that correspond with the sex/gender identity of their choosing. It is further concerned about cases of medically unnecessary surgeries and other procedures on intersex children before they are able to provide their informed consent, which often entail irreversible consequences and can cause severe physical and psychological suffering, and the lack of redress and compensation in such cases.
Female genital mutilation and reproductive rights

The Committee is deeply concerned about reports of the forced isolation of menstruating women and girls (Chaupadi), which is particularly harmful in rural areas, exposing girls to heightened risk of sexual violence and health hazards.

The Committee welcomes the upgrading of health facilities across the State party to provide adolescent-friendly clinics with confidential counselling and services related to reproductive health issues. However, the Committee remains concerned about the high rate of early pregnancy, the low rate of practice of birth control and the resulting vulnerability to sexually transmitted infections and HIV, and poor awareness of safe abortion practices.
To improve the situation, the Committee recommends that the State party adopt a comprehensive sexual and reproductive health policy for adolescents and ensure that meaningful sexual and reproductive health education is part of the mandatory school curriculum and targeted at adolescent girls and boys, with special attention to preventing early pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.

Discrimination
Racism, children belonging to a minority and indigenous childrenThe Committee welcomes the creation of the National Dalit Commission and the National Foundation for Development of Indigenous Nationalities. It is, however, concerned about reports of discrimination against children and indigenous people, particularly with regard to access to water during rescue and relief efforts after the 2015 earthquake as well as the denial of indigenous peoples’ free, prior and informed consent with regard to resettlement and reconstruction decisions affecting them and their children after the 2015 earthquake.The Committee recommends that the State party remove barriers in accessing water supply, paying particular attention to traditionally excluded groups, such as the Madhesi, Dalit and Janajati, as well as consult and cooperate in good faith with the indigenous peoples concerned, including indigenous children, in order to obtain their free, prior and informed consent before adopting and implementing legislative or administrative measures that may affect them, and provide effective remedies in cases of violation of their rights, also in the context of rehabilitation efforts after the 2015 earthquake.
Situation of children with disabilities

The Committee urges the State party to adopt a human-rights-based approach to disability, set up a comprehensive strategy for the inclusion of all children with disabilities and prioritize the development of inclusive education and ensure that it is given priority over the placement of children in specialized institutions and classes and, in so doing, train and assign specialized teachers and professionals in integrated classes providing individual support and all due attention to children with learning difficulties. Also, Nepal should undertake awareness-raising campaigns to combat the stigmatization of and prejudice against children with disabilities and promote a positive image of such children as well as to take immediate measures to ensure that children with disabilities have access to public buildings and health care, including early detection and intervention programmes. The Committee further recommends to prioritize the collection of data on children with disabilities and develop an efficient system for diagnosing disability, in order to implement appropriate policies and programmes for children with disabilities.

Situation of asylum-seeking, refugee and migrant childrenThe Committee regrets that the State party has not established a national refugee and statelessness legal protection framework. Furthermore, the Committee is concerned about reports of forced returns of Tibetan families, including children, to China without proper assessment of their asylum claims and the lack of refugee certificates and identity documents for Tibetan refugees born after 1979 and their children, and the resulting risk of statelessness. It is further concerned about the lack of education for Tibetan refugee children.The Committee therefore recommends that the State party adopt domestic legislation covering the rights of refugees and asylum seekers in line with international standards and seek to ensure, as a matter of priority, that all refugee and asylum-seeking children and their families have access to health and education services.
Education
Free kindergartenYes
Free primary and secondary schoolYes
Health
physical health

To guarantee every child the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health, the Committee recommends that the State party expeditiously allocate additional human, technical and financial resources for improving access to and the quality of health services, particularly in rural areas. Furthermore, the Committee recommends that the State Party take measures to reduce neonatal mortality rates, including by preventing infectious diseases, ensuring care for new-borns during the neonatal period and allocating adequate resources to provide emergency services and resuscitations in rural areas. The Committee also recommends to ensure the full involvement of all relevant ministries concerned in the effective implementation of the 2013-2017 multisectoral nutrition plan for addressing chronic malnutrition among children, and consider establishing a programme for the non-discriminatory provision of food and nutritional supplements for children at risk of malnutrition, with a particular focus on young infants, up to 2 years of age.

Relation to other countries
mental health

The Committee is concerned about the short- and long-term impacts of the 2015 earthquake on children’s mental health. The Committee is also concerned about the lack of mental health support for children who have been victims of violence or trauma. Therefore, the Committee recommends that the State party take all necessary measures to provide mental health-care services to children, including those affected by the 2015 earthquake and/or violence or trauma.

Impacts of climate change

The Committee welcomes the efforts of the State party to find lasting solutions for children displaced by the 2015 earthquake. However, it is deeply concerned about the impact of the earthquake on children’s rights and about the high number of displaced children living in IDP camps or informal settlements without adequate access to food, safe drinking water, sanitation, health care and education.
The Committee recommends that the State party expeditiously strengthen its efforts to provide adequate housing for internally displaced children and their families living in internally displaced person camps or informal settlements and ensure that they have access to sufficient food, clean drinking water, sanitation, health care and education. Nepal should also take immediate measures to prevent all forms of violence against displaced children, including by ensuring that women and girls have access to separate lockable latrines and safe houses, as well as by increasing police controls and providing functioning illumination in internally displaced person camps and informal settlements.

Business sector

The Committee is concerned about the prevalence of child labour in the State party. There are reportedly over 600,000 children involved in the worst forms of child labour. The Committee is also concerned about the continuity of practices that are forbidden by law, such as Kamalari.

Situation of juvenile justice

The Committee is deeply concerned about reports of widespread acts of torture and ill-treatment of children in detention facilities and in residential homes.

The Committee recommends that the State party ensure that detained children below 18 years of age are always separated from adults, and that deprivation of liberty is used only as a last resort, for the shortest appropriate time and under appropriate conditions. Furthermore, Nepal should expedite the construction of separate facilities (child correctional centres) and separate cells in detention facilities for persons below the age of 18 to ensure that such facilities exist in all districts.
Nepal should also improve procedures of arrest and conditions of detention and establish special units within the police for the handling of cases of children in conflict with the law and ensure that persons under 18 years of age are not held accountable, detained or prosecuted under anti-terrorism laws. The Committee further recommends to ensure that all persons under 18 years of age who are alleged as, or have been accused of, breaking the law are fully guaranteed the right to a fair trial.

Specific observations

The Committee recommends that the State party take measures to ensure that all children are registered at birth, including children born to refugees and asylum seekers.

The Committee remains deeply concerned at the continuing prevalence of the caste system and its related traditional practices such as dowry; bonded labour, including Kamalari, Kamaiya, Haliya and Haruwa-Charuwa; and sexual exploitation, such as Badi.

Additional background

Concluding observations on the third to fifth periodic reports released on 8 July 2016.
More information about education:
Early Childhood Education and Development in Nepal

Last Updated (date)2nd of March, 2022