Around 34.6% of Nepal’s population are below the age of 15 years. There are many social, cultural and economic factors that contribute to threatening and harmful living conditions for many Nepali children. It is estimated that approximately 20,000 children suffer sexual exploitation and 2.5 million suffer child labour. In addition, children are also often deprived of their right to an identity, education, family reunification and more. Health professionals in Nepal are not very aware of the legal framework and international perspective regarding child protection and safeguarding.
What we are doing
STCML has therefore been supporting a joint endeavour with HEXN since 2019 to provide education and training for health providers in Nepal.
The objectives of this work are:
- To work /advocate for the coordinated action in child protection among the available stakeholders in Nepal.
- To increase the awareness of child protection among health care providers (paediatricians, medical officers and the paediatric nurses) including the existing laws/ regulation in Nepal
- To prepare guidelines of examination of suspected child abuse and implement it in major tertiary hospital and teaching institutions.
- To test the CPRR training module developed by NEPAS (Nepal Paediatric Society)
This work is being led by our Trustee, Dr Deepak Upadhyay, Consultant paediatrician in the Department of Community & Child Health, North Cumbria Integrated Care and Dr Jamuna Acharya, Consultant Paediatrician in the Department of community and Child Health in Alder Hey, and is led by Dr R Chapagain, a consultant Paediatrician from Kanti Children Hospital.
In 2016, STCML contributed funds for a 4 day ‘CPRR’ (Child Protection: Recognise and Respond) course held at Kanti Children Hospital Apr-May 2016. This course was delivered by the visiting Paediatricians and Nurses from the UK and was developed by Royal College of Paediatrics (RCPCH), Advanced Life Support Group, Manchester and RSPCC, UK. This was funded by the Oak foundation, STCML and HEXN, UK. The course was highly successful and trained 36 doctors and Nurses from Kanti and other Hospitals of Kathmandu including 11 Nepalese trainers.
In 2017, STCML along with HEXN funded 3 Paediatricians and one Nurse from UK to visit Kanti Children Hospital and provide a further 3 day CPRR training Course and a one day stakeholders meeting. The CPRR training was fully organised and conducted by the Nepalese trainers and facilitated and backed up by the visiting UK team.
The stakeholders meeting was attended by a Ministry of Health representative, UNICEF, CWIN, Police department, local Journalist and Nepalese and UK Child protection Trainers and was successful in escalating this issue to the Government and non-Government stakeholders.
In 2018, a three-week child protection training was undertaken by Dr R Chapagain from Kanti Children Hospital at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital with funding from STCML and HEXN. Further CPRR trainings were held at Kanti during June 2018, partly funded by STCML. In 2019, Dr S Sharma, another Paediatrician from Kathmandu visited Alder Hey, Liverpool for a 2-week child protection training which was part funded by STCML.
Between 2019-2020, with restrictions due to Covid-19, a series of one day virtual (Zoom) child protection (CPRR) training sessions were organised for the Paediatricians and Nurses from the regional and Zonal Hospitals at Birganj, Janakpur, Biratnagar and Nepalganj. This was jointly organised by Nepal Paediatric Society (NEPAS), Nepal Paediatric Nursing Association (NPNA) and Swatantrata Abhiyan, Nepal (SAN) an organisation working for the child’s rights.
In 2021 a series of seven virtual Provincial dialogues (Zoom Meetings) were organised jointly by NCPA (National Child Protection Alliance) with participation from NEPAS, NPNA and SAN. These meetings had over more than 100 participants consisting of different stakeholders i.e. doctors, social workers, local politicians including Town Mayors, ministry of social welfare representative covering all the seven provinces of Nepal. The topic included ‘Child Protection issues and Child Care Management in Health Institution in emergency situation’ in Nepal and developed world. Talks were given by Dr R Chapagain/Dr S Sharma & Ministry of Social Welfare representative and Dr D Upadhyay & Dr J Acharya giving UK’s perspective.
Over the years, the child protection training initiative started by STCML and HEXN has grown significantly with involvement of other important organisations like NEPAS, NPNA and SAN giving this movement a huge momentum.