25 | 06 | 08

StreetWork.cz

CPCS donucena zavřít pobočku

Statement regarding targeting and closure of project for street children in Nepal

The implementing partner of CPCS International, Child Protection Centres and Services (CPCS NGO) has been providing services (risk reduction and social reintegration) for street children in Nepal since 2002. Since 2005 CPCS NGO has been operating a shelter for street children, drop-in centre for rag-picking children from slum areas, and a rehabilitation and schooling programme in Narayangadh.

foto CPCSCPCS NGO has worked in coordination with police and local organisations to protect the rights of these children and promote their social reintegration as well as providing a service to reunite missing children referred by police and community organisations with their families.

The shelter is an open centre for street children providing medical care, legal protection, non-formal education, risk reduction and other basic services with the long-term aim of rehabilitating these children for social integration with their families or independently. It is not an institution where the children are restricted to the compound.

On 14th June 2008 three children between the ages of 11 and 14 years left the emergency shelter at about 2AM. According to a police report and other testimonies these three children went to steal microbus parts to sell as scrap. The children were arrested and severely beaten by the public and the police. The children were placed in police custody although due to their age detention should be used as a last resort and they should be detained separately from adults. The children have been detained since 14th June 2008. They have not been allowed access to their legal representative.

The children stated that they were from the CPCS shelter and a group of community people came to the shelter and began to confront the staff at the centre and the children. At 10AM the police arrived and arrested the two most senior staff from the shelter: Yadav Chamrakar (Department in Charge) and Surya Prakash Shrestha (Child Advocate and Education in Charge).

Two staff from the CPCS Kathmandu office went to Narayangadh and were able to secure the release of Surya Prakash Shrestha but not of Yadav Chamrakar although there are not charges that have been placed against him.

Yadav is a committed social worker who has worked with CPCS for more than 5 years for the protection and support of street children. He has been verbally abused and confined in the police station since 14th June 2008.

On the morning of 15th June 2008 a meeting was called at the police station between police, community members and CPCS. Community members accused CPCS of promoting stealing and blamed the street children for all theft in the area and demanded the closure of the shelter and services.

The police and community members then forced themselves into the shelter and took office files and confidential information of the children. The shelter provides a banking system to promote children’s saving and the police and community members made allegations that this was all stolen money (although there are strict rules on children saving money and how much they can save to ensure as much as possible that all money is earned and spent legitimately).

On the morning of the 16thJune 2008, Bijesh Shrestha (President) and Arjun Mohan Bhattarai (General Secretary) visited the Chief District Officer and some Police official at the district office. They received support and police officials confirmed the usually good work and collaboration between police and CPCS staffs.

Early afternoon, a new meeting was called at the police station along with the public. A strong mass manipulated by few aggressive persons strongly humiliate our president and other team. They were threaten of physical abuse and compelled to do humiliating actions in front of all.  (ears pinching, claiming they are thieves, that NGO is a thief and other stupidities)

After that, Yadav was released against the following promises:

  • Payment of 58 000 NPR to the “victims” of stealing...
  • Immediate closure of the shelter (for street children)
  • Closure of other facilities (schooling and rehabilitation) between 2 weeks.

When we request what will so happen to the children, both police and public reply : “We don’t care, they can be on the street”

Some street children are exposed to criminal activities and become involved in crime but this is a minority and they, as all children, are entitled to special provisions for their protection in the juvenile justice system – they should be held accountable for their actions but in a manner that promotes their rehabilitation. In this case not only did the police allow community members to beat the children they also physically abused the children themselves.

None of the children’s rights as defined in the Children’s Act have been respected. In addition, a committed social worker has been verbally abuse, humiliated and illegally detained without charge for 3 days. More than that, 6 officials from CPCS were abused, humiliated, insulted by the crowd and the police inspector and 2 officials were beaten...

We request your support to put pressure on the authorities to follow due process and protect the rights of these children...

Legal action will anyway start in Kathmandu against all responsible persons and especially against those who misused general public to reach their goals.

Street Children have rights, and this is only a lost battle, we didn’t lose the war.

Please forward to any Embassy, INGO, NGO, Network, press, social worker...


CONTACT DETAILS FOR NARAYANGADH POLICE
Inspector Bupendra Karki
Pulchowk Police Office
056 520146, 9741070456

CONTACT DETAILS FROM CPCS NGO
Himmat Maskey
contact@cpcs-nepal.org
01 4414394, 01 4411000
Bijesh Shrestha
President
01 4414394, 01 4411000

CONTACT DETAILS FOR CPCS INTERNATIONAL
Ryckmans, Jean-Christophe
international@cpcs-nepal.org
+977 1 5544528
Kathmandu, Nepal
www.cpcs-nepal.org