‘Ensure our right to education, health’When Sanjila Yonzon first brought to Kathmandu from Jharlang of Dhading district, she was promised that she would get to go to school.
When Sanjila Yonzon first brought to Kathmandu from Jharlang of Dhading district, she was promised that she would get to go to school.
In the Capital, she found herself in an orphanage where she was subjected to physical and psychological ordeal until organisations working for child rights rescued her.
Now 16, Yonzon is a 10th grader.
On Wednesday, at a programme organised to mark Children’s Day, Yonzon urged the stakeholders to protect children, ensure their rights and be alert about child trafficking. The programme was attended by President Bidhya Devi Bhandari, officials from the Ministry of Women Children and Social Welfare and Central Child Welfare Board and those working on child rights.
“It is the right of the children to live with their parents. But children from rural parts belonging to poor family are being taken away from their parents in the name of providing better education and are being exploited as cheap labourers. Many are being trafficked. Please protect us,” she said. Children like Yonzon, who have been working as agent for change in their locality and raising the issue of child rights, urged the government to be serious about issues of child labour and trafficking, especially in the aftermath of the earthquakes last year.
Various reports have shown that trafficking of children had risen after the earthquakes.
Ranju Kumari Jha, president of Women, Children and Social Welfare Committee of Parliament also called for making more concrete efforts and set up strong mechanisms to protect children from being exploited and trafficked.
“Only yesterday we heard that children were rescued while they were being taken across the border,” she said.
Children affiliated to various child clubs across the country also raised their voices regarding their right to education, health and nutrition as well. “I am proud to be here as I speak in this auditorium. But I can’t say I am happy as many children are still denied their basic right to food, education and good health,” said Sebi Kumari Yadav who is associated with a child club. “If I don’t speak for our rights, then who will?”