UN highlights poor child protection in armed conflict
The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child found severe shortcomings in child protection in Nepal. Former child soldiers are amongst the most affected.
On 19 and 20 May, the Committee examined Nepal’s compliance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict (OPAC). Its conclusions, issued on 9 June, took up several of TRIAL International’s recommendations.
The Committee recommended the prosecution of those responsible for recruiting and using children in the ten-years internal conflict. This would imply amending Nepal’s criminal legislation, which does not as yet criminalize the use of underage children in conflict. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission Act includes no explicit mention of such crimes either.
Reparations have been both scarcely attributed and widely inadequate. The Committee urged the Nepalese authorities to provide all former child soldiers with physical and psychological support and to facilitate their rehabilitation and reintegration.
More generally, the Committee expressed concern over the prevailing impunity for torture, extra-judicial killings, enforced disappearances and sexual violence against children during the armed conflict.
TRIAL International welcomes the Committee’s findings and urges Nepalese authorities to implement them without further delay.