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NHRC urges govt to safeguard children's health


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2021 Apr 18, 17:19, Kathmandu
This undated image shows the hoarding board of National Human Rights Commission at the entrance gate, in Harihar Bhawan, Pulchowk, Lalitpur. Photo courtesy: NHRC

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has urged the government to pay heed to children's right to health and ensure alternative arrangements for their education.

Issuing a press release today, NHRC Spokesperson Dr. Tikaram Pokhrel said the children should be provided education by ensuring safety to them in the wake of the growing threat of Covid-19.

The NHRC directed the Ministry of Health and Population, and the Ministry of Education not to issue a contradictory notice in terms of the operation of schools. "The guardians and students must not be instilled with psychological fear. NHRC urges all concerned including the Nepal government and ministries to be serious about the dissemination of sensitive health issues. The sensitive information can be disseminated only after taking consultation and suggestions from Health Ministry," Pokhrel stated in the press release.

The NHRC directed the Ministry of Health and Population, and the Ministry of Education not to issue a contradictory notice in terms of the operation of schools. "The guardians and students must not be instilled with psychological fear. NHRC urges all concerned including the Nepal government and ministries to be serious about the dissemination of sensitive health issues. The sensitive information can be disseminated only after taking consultation and suggestions from Health Ministry," Pokhrel stated in the press release.

The human rights watch institution has recently conducted monitoring of schools in the Kathmandu Valley to know about the situation of coronavirus infection. The monitoring found that the government schools were more susceptible to coronavirus than private schools. The enforcement of safety measures was also weak, and the students suffering headaches were together with normal students, the press release showed concern.

The NHRC has been informed via various media that more than 300 children were infected with coronavirus in the last two weeks.

Although the Health Ministry has urged everyone for avoiding crowds in schools of 14 districts including the Kathmandu Valley, the schools were still running.

The government has been further reminded of childrens' rights provided by Article 39 of the Constitution of Nepal and other international conventions Nepal is affiliated to.

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