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May 4, 2012 : Nepal: Standard for child care facilities

Nepal: Standard for child care facilities

KATHMANDU: The Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare (MoWCSW) has prepared a standard for the operation and management of residential child care homes in line with international child rights conventions.
Laxmi Prasad Tripathi, under-secretary at the ministry’s child division, said the government has formulated the standard to respect the dignity of children living under the protection of the child care facilities.
The Cabinet had approved the standard on April 16.
The purpose of residential care is to provide a safe and nurturing environment for individual children and young people who are abandoned, orphaned or those who are no longer looked after by their families.
Such facilities aim to meet the physical, educational, emotional and social needs of each child in a planned way, Tripathi added.
He said the standard was drafted on the basis of internationally recognised frameworks of minimum standards necessary for the well-being of a child to which every child and young person under 18 years is entitled to.
“The government is obliged to ensure the minimum standards set by the convention,” said the under-secretary. The ministry has designed 78 points of standards, he added.
The standard incorporates principles like dignity, non-discrimination and best interest of the child, which includes protection, harmonious development, right to expression and participation.
As per the standard, the state should form an independent mechanism under the existing national law for monitoring and operating the care homes.
Before admitting the children to the homes, the need for the child to really go to the centre should be identified. The standard has also proposed to keep full information about the children at the home.
If the child was a victim of abuse, violence, discrimination and accident, then the homes should provide them health facilities with psychological counselling.
According to the guideline,the legal action regarding their case should be proceeded as soon as possible. The guideline has also asked for providing information about the children to their relatives as soon as possible.
These homes should also find about the ancestral property of the children and should protect it for their future. They should practise the principle of zero tolerance where every child should be protected from violence, conflict, sexual abuse and discrimination. It will also appoint the staff, who could work to maintain these standards, said the under-secretary.

Reference : Himalayan Times