Nepal's child rights movement, initiated with the inception of CWIN-Nepal, has completed three decades. CWIN envisioned a just, prosperous, and inclusive society where all children enjoy the fundamental human rights and where the state takes full responsibility to respect, protect and fulfil these rights. Established in 1987 as the first child rights organization in Nepal by a group of university students actively engaged in the human rights and democratic movements, with the leadership of Mr. Gauri Pradhan, CWIN-Nepal continues to play an active and leading role in the child rights movement in Nepal.

CWIN started advocating for the rights of children in Nepal three years before the ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). Before the establishment of CWIN, child rights did not assume priority in any policy dialogue and no one raised issues of child protection as a matter of concern or action. With its dedicated efforts, CWIN Nepal has been able to transform child rights from a non-issue to a key element in the national political agenda. CWIN-Nepal put into operation model interventions involving sensitisation, research studies, and discussion with concerned stakeholders for their capacity development and increased conceptual clarity for the promotion of child rights and protection of children at risk. CWIN further advanced the movement by engaging in policy dialogue to bring favourable policies and mechanisms for the betterment of children.

After the restoration of democracy in the year 1990 and ratification of the UNCRC by the Government of Nepal, the environment became favourable to advocate and work for rights of children. Gradually more civil society organizations came forward to work on child rights. With increased coordination and partnership with like-minded organizations, the child rights movement in Nepal started accelerating. Networks were formed, and a collective and organized voice on child rights started being heard. As society started realizing that children can be change agents, the children themselves began to organize through child clubs and child rights forums nationwide. Children are now able to demonstrate their agency and play a significant role in the child rights movement.

The Government of Nepal also began the formulation of progressive laws, policies and programmes on rights of children after the ratification of the UNCRC with inputs from civil society organizations. As a result of these initiatives, Nepal has different acts, policies, plans of action and mechanisms relating to children from local to the national level. What is more, the constitution of Nepal 2015 is very progressive on child rights issues. Policies such as those on Child-Friendly Local Governance and child protection have immensely contributed to the institutionalisation of spaces for children's participation in issues that concern them in Nepal. These policies and actions have led to improved coordination between government line agencies and CSOs. Civil society organisations can now create opportunities to strengthen partnership with the state machinery for implementation of existing policies, laws and regulations and model innovative interventions for replication on a larger scale.

During the past three decades, we have faced numerous challenges such as natural disasters, adverse political situations including armed conflict, and criminal activities obstructing children's protection. Despite these adversities, CWIN has never slackened its efforts to defend children’s rights. Rather, these spurred CWIN to greater determination 'for children, with children', while maintaining its clean image. Emerging issues were addressed with pioneering and innovative approaches. CWIN believes that it has played a vital role in the process of development and mechanisms and policies in different ways. 

For instance, during the period of armed conflict, it was very challenging to work in the core districts directly affected such as Rukum, Rolpa, Salyan, Jajarkot and Dang. Understanding the importance of the child protection issues during the conflict and unfazed by the challenge, CWIN started working in the frontline in those districts for protecting children from the atrocities of armed conflict. Protection of children during the armed conflict; initiation of the first Child Helpline in Nepal in collaboration with the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare and the Nepal Telecom Authority; and initiating the first child and adolescent psychiatry outpatient department at Kanti Children's Hospital are some of the most important achievements by CWIN in the child rights field in Nepal. CWIN was inspired by the successful humanitarian services it could extend after the devastating earthquake of 2015 and has gained some confidence that local organisations can play a dynamic role in the delivery of humanitarian assistance in times of disaster as they understand local situations and are trusted by the community.

Children are the source of inspiration for CWIN to continue its journey with undaunted determination. The positive changes we have witnessed among children through different initiatives and programmes of CWIN have provided us with unwavering strength. In addition, the support we have received from various government line agencies, political parties, concerned stakeholders, international partners and communities are also sources of inspiration for CWIN. CWIN is truly humbled by the support and solidarity it has received from all concerned citizens, civil society actors and co-workers involved in the child rights and human rights movements. CWIN wishes to extend its sincere gratitude to all its well-wishers. We welcome the valuable inputs of our well-wishers and critics.

CWIN is committed to taking forward the child rights movement to secure all necessary protections and supports maintaining its tradition of partnership with children. Through its advocacy work, it will continue to influence mainstream development programmes to be inclusive of children, to foster democracy with children. It will continue to influence political parties, government, policymakers and other responsible stakeholders to act upon their promises to ensure the rights of every child in the country and to translate the essence of the new constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal. It will work intensively with the newly elected local governments and the new provincial structures to bring child rights into the mainstream agenda for national development. CWIN will continue to play the role of a watchdog and fight against all forms of child abuse and exploitation. CWIN will also continue its partnership with the children, for working in collaboration with federal, provincial and local governments, civil society and the private sector in all the seven provinces of Nepal for the promotion and protection of the rights of the children.

30 years 30 Milestones (1987-2017)

  1. CWIN-Nepal incepted the issue of child rights in Nepal in 1987 even before the ratification of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child. It was able to transform child rights from a non-issue to a key theme in the national agenda and a matter of public concern.
  2. CWIN-Nepal organized the first conference on child labour in South Asia in 1988.
  3. CWIN-Nepal started operating the "Common Room", "Sajha Thalo" and transit home interventions for children at risk such as street children. Many organisations have designed programmes based on these model programmes and continue to provide services to children at risk.
  4. CWIN-Nepal piloted the concept of social reintegration of children at risk in Nepal going against the prevalent norms of the institutionalization of children. CWIN has successfully conducted family and social reintegration for 10,742 children.
  5. After the historic rescue of girl children from commercial sexual exploitation in Mumbai in the year 1996, CWIN-Nepal initiated repatriation of the girls in coordination with ABC Nepal, Stri Shakti, Maiti Nepal, WOREC Nepal, Shanti Reintegration Home and Navajyoti. After efforts for empowerment, the repatriated girls established the very first survivors' organisation "Shakti Samuha".
  6. In 1998, CWIN-Nepal participated in the Global March against Child Labour. To make the programme a success in Nepal, more than 100 civil society organisations were invited to be actively involved and thousands of people poured into the streets to show their solidarity against the exploitation of children as labour.
  7.  CWIN-Nepal started operating the first Child Helpline in Nepal in 1998 for emergency rescue and relief of children at risk.
  8. The Child Helpline Nepal 1098, now operational through CWIN-Nepal from the centres in Kathmandu, Morang, Banke, Makwanpur, Kailali and Kaski, in partnership with the Government of Nepal, and the Nepal Telecom Authority, has received 501,000 calls from children and concerned citizens. Based on these, the CWIN facilitated services have rescued and given protection to 25,500 children of which 51.63 per cent were boys and 48.36 per cent were girls.
  9. CWIN-Balika (Girls) Programme has directly supported at least 20,993 girls for protection, development and empowerment. It has advocated for the inclusion of girls’ issues in the policies and initiated a nationwide campaign to fight against child marriage and sex-selective abortion.
  10. CWIN-Nepal has provided direct education support to 1,02,473 children from different vulnerable backgrounds such as labour, the street, conflict-affected, disaster-affected, orphaned, marginalised and economically deprived.
  11. CWIN Self-Reliance Centre has provided vocational training and small entrepreneurship support to 6,528 children and young people between the ages of 14 and 24 from vulnerable backgrounds to help them gain self-reliance and independence.
  12. CWIN-Nepal has directly partnered with 630 child clubs, 75 adolescent girls' groups and 718 youth groups from various parts of the country for their empowerment. CWIN helped in the formation of Loo Niva Child Concern Group, Integrated National Adolescent Forum, Youth Safe and Ankur Drama Group. In 2000, in conjunction with Jagriti Child Club, CWIN filed a petition in Supreme Court of Nepal to permit registration of children-led organizations thus making Jagriti Child Club the first child-led organization in the world.
  13. CWIN-Nepal has significantly contributed to Nepal's national policies, plans of action and laws related to children through its "Advocacy through Action" approach.
  14. CWIN-Nepal has reached at least 6.5 million people through its continuous nationwide social and child rights campaigns.
  15. CWIN-Nepal provided training on child rights protection, participation, and awareness to more than 180,000 citizens including government officers, teachers, civil society members, police, lawyers, health workers, mothers' groups, adolescents, youths, students, school management committees, parents, religious and community leaders, human rights and women's rights activists, indigenous peoples leaders and trade unions among others.
  16. CWIN-Nepal initiated and led the Children As Zones of Peace campaign during the period of armed conflict in Nepal between 1996-2006.
  17. CWIN-Nepal has supported 20,000 children affected by the armed conflict including the children associated with armed forces and groups (CAAFAG) and Verified Minors and Late Recruits (VMLR) through direct interventions in the conflict-affected districts, transit centres, psycho-social counselling, creative activities, educational support and support for vocational training and self-reliance.
  18. CWIN-Nepal organized a historical cultural programme "Peace is our Aspiration" with the participation of children affected by armed conflict and children with mental and physical disabilities. Through these advocacy initiatives, CWIN has greatly contributed to protecting and promoting the rights of children with physical or mental disabilities.
  19. After the restoration of democracy in 1990, CWIN-Nepal contributed to the high-level committee created for the formulation of the constitution of Nepal. It advocated towards putting child rights issues in the constitution and also provided valuable suggestions in the making of the new laws.
  20. CWIN-Nepal brought voices of children into policy through various campaigns such as a collection of 1 million thumbprints of children from across the country and letters were written by 12000 children to the 601 Constituent Assembly members for the inclusion of children's issues in the new constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal in 2007.
  21. CWIN-Nepal has initiated networking and alliance building at national and international levels to strengthen the child rights movement. It has contributed in the formation and advancement of networks such as Children as Zones of Peace (CZOP), Consortium of Organisations working with Child Clubs, Alliance against Trafficking in Women and Children) AATWIN, Human Rights Alliance, National Campaign for Education (NCE), National Alcohol Policy Alliance, National Alliance of Organisations working with Street Children (NAOSC), etc.
  22. CWIN-Nepal has contributed more than 111 research reports and studies on various topics related to child rights and child protection such as child sexual abuse, trafficking, street children, commercial sexual exploitation of children, children and climate change and online child protection. CWIN has followed up with the research findings with relevant action.
  23. CWIN-Nepal started the first National Resource and Information Centre on child rights and has served more than 61,000 national and international researchers, students, journalists, activists, and social workers.
  24. CWIN-Nepal has produced and broadcasted 440 episodes of Bal Sarokar TV programme in NTV Plus and 832 Bal Chautari radio programmes in Radio Nepal; Radio Sagarmatha; Citizen FM; Radio Sarang – Pokhara and Morang; Radio Sailung – Dolakha; Sanibheri FM – Rukum ; Radio Rolpa; Sharada FM - Salyan; Krishnasar FM – Nepalgunj; Bageshwori FM – Nepalgunj; Bhaktapur FM; Radio Tarang – Kaski; Kalika FM – Chitawan; Radio Lumbini – Rupandehi; Bulbule FM – Surkhet; Radio Rastriya – Kanchanpur; Ujyalo FM and Capital FM.
  25. CWIN-Nepal has developed a concept of 'Saha-Sreejana (co-creation)' and has been able to give value to children's participation in creating literature. It has published 'Voice of Child Workers', Bal Sarokar- a journal in Nepali, and Bal Chautari- a children's magazine for wider knowledge sharing on child rights. It has also produced 6 music albums and 60 videos on various issues of child rights.
  26. CWIN-Nepal started "Banners to Bags" programme where CWIN collected used plastic banners from different advocacy campaigns and up-cycled them into reusable bags so as to reduce plastic use and promote environmental protection. The 'Banners to Bags' initiative has been able to give a stable income to young women coming from vulnerable backgrounds.
  27. CWIN-Nepal has collaborated with and contributed to broader civil society, human rights and women's rights movements. The founder president of CWIN-Nepal has successfully provided leadership to the NGO-federation of Nepal, Human Rights Alliance and the Central Child Welfare Board. Likewise, he was nominated as a member and spokesperson of the National Human Rights Commission. Similarly, former Advocacy Director of CWIN has served as Executive Director of the Central Child Welfare Board and former staff of CWIN are contributing their learnings from the organization in their continuing careers at most of the INGOs and multilateral agencies in Nepal.
  28. More than 20,800 volunteers from different walks of life from around the world have volunteered and interned with CWIN-Nepal through the 'Friends of CWIN' programme. The 'Friends of CWIN' groups from different countries have raised funds and extended solidarity to CWIN’s efforts.
  29. CWIN-Nepal reached out to 3,15,000 people with emergency relief after the devastating earthquake of 2015. CWIN constructed 242 Temporary Learning Centres, repaired 50 schools and constructed 20 full-fledged school buildings; provided psycho-social counselling and psycho-social first aid to 4700 children, organized 118 health camps, provided CGI sheets and tools for 1500 households for temporary shelter and provided warm clothes for 7400 children as part of winterization.
  30. CWIN-Nepal has started the first Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Out-Patient Department in partnership with Kanti Children's Hospital and is currently constructing the building to house in-patient services.