After Bangladesh and Pakistan, Nepal became the third country in the SAARC region to launch National Campaign against Corporal Punishment of children. The campaign was launched as the main theme of the National Children’s Day Celebration that was graced by Honorable Prakash Man Singh, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Federal Affairs and Local Governance on 14th September 2014 in Kathmandu. The Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare announced the launch of the national campaign in collaboration with the South Asia Initiative to End Violence against Children [SAIEVAC], the South Asia Coordinating Group on Action against Violence against Children [SACG] and the National Action and Coordinating Group against Violence against Children [NACG]-Nepal.
Speaking on the occasion Honorable Neelam K.C Khadka, Minister for Women, Children and Social Welfare called upon all concerned stakeholders, families and individuals to be part of the campaign to end all forms of Corporal Punishment. She said “punishing children always leads to negative consequences by impacting negatively on the child’s physical and psychological wellbeing. It can also jeopardize the intimate relationships that we enjoy in our family. We all should therefore join hands to bring this issue to the front and address it collectively”.
The campaign was officially launched by releasing a booklet entitled “National Campaign against Corporal Punishment of Children in Nepal, 2014”, which introduces the campaign, outlines an action plan for the campaign and also presents the responses to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Corporal Punishment in Nepali.
The campaign is in line with SAIEVAC’s Regional Campaign against Corporal Punishment of Children and has the following aims:
- Achieve legal reform for prohibiting all forms of corporal punishment of children in all settings and ensure equal protection for children under the law
- Raise awareness on the harmful consequences of corporal punishment of children
- Build capacity of the relevant actors on the use of positive discipline techniques and foster non-violent discipline methods among parents, teachers, child care workers, social workers, and other adults
The campaign was planned through the consultation with different stakeholders. SAIEVAC Regional Secretariat worked with the SAIEVAC’s national mechanism in Nepal to design and launch the campaign. SAIEVAC Regional Secretariat also joined the event by setting up an exhibition stall and distributed advocacy and communication materials to the participants.
As a part of the campaign, the Central Child Welfare Board of Nepal has also launched a guide book on the alternatives to corporal punishment in the school settings in Nepali. Two well-recognized and influential professional actors of Nepal (Madan Krishna Shrestha and Hari Bansha Acharya) have been involved to develop a documentary that highlights the problems of corporal punishment together with the examples of positive discipline in schools. The documentary was also promoted and partly performed live during the launch of the campaign.
The campaign has mapped and mainstreamed certain works being carried out against corporal punishment by different governmental and non-governmental agencies in the country. Apart from the ongoing works, the campaign plan has enlisted several activities including the orientations and trainings on positive discipline, dialogues and Radio/TV programs with different actors on ending corporal punishment, discussions on legal reform and draft legislations/bills to prohibit corporal punishment, production of materials to highlight the negative impact of corporal punishment and the examples of positive discipline, children’s artistic works against corporal punishment, etc.