UNICEF congratulates CWIN on its 25th Birthday
KATHMANDU, 20 Nov 2012 – On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of Child Workers in Nepal Concerned Centre (CWIN) - UNICEF, along with other civil societies, government officials and children - celebrated its achievements and successes over the years. The Right Honourable Prime Minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai was the chief guest at the event.
Dr. Will Parks, UNICEF Nepal’s Deputy Representative congratulated CWIN on its progress and continuing efforts in the field of child rights. The anniversary also coincides with the Universal Children’s Day and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. CWIN is one of UNICEF’s partner organisations.
Dr. Will Park’s speech
Pacchis Barsa! Kasto chamkilo pacchis barsa! (25 years! What bright 25 years!). On behalf of UNICEF I would like to extend our heartiest greetings to CWIN for having crossed the quarter century mark of undivided commitment and dedication to the realization of rights of Nepali balbilka and kishor-kishori!
Speaking of balbalika, I would like to take this opportunity to also wish all children, and guardians of children, a happy International Children’s Day today! Badhaai and Shubhakama to all of us!
Honourable Prime Minister, distinguished guests, ladies, gentlemen and children: Permit me to relay three key messages, three P’s: Pioneer, Protection and Power.
First, Pioneer: CWIN is a pioneer and one of the most reputed child rights organisations in Nepal that UNICEF feels extremely proud and honoured to be a partner with. CWIN has been undertaking very innovative and pioneering work in these 25 years. These include the successful establishment and management of the Child Helpline; reaching thousands of children in need of protection; the continuous advocacy efforts carried out to ensure that children’s rights are not forgotten and are placed on the Government’s agenda; the communication and sensitisation programmes on children’s rights broadcast through different mass media and community dialogues efforts. CWIN is the only organisation in Nepal who has the capacity to deliver social and financial literacy training for children and adolescents, so needed in modern Nepal. CWIN has been our great partner in celebrating the first International Day of the Girl Child on October 11 in the presence of the Vice- President and also developing the first national framework on holistic adolescent development.
Second, Protection: The realisation of children’s rights, and in particular, the right to protection, requires great political commitment, resources, and the absolute conviction that the foundations of a true democracy are based on how the most valuable and vulnerable citizens are recognised as subjects with equal rights.
CWIN, you have contributed a lot to protect children from violence and abuse. You are always there when the voice of the most disadvantaged, silenced by fear and powerlessness, needs to be heard.
And yet, too many children in situations of extreme risk and vulnerability remain unable to access the institutions, the people, and the support mechanisms they need to live a better life. Children still face different forms of violence, ranging from physical, psychological, sexual violence, to neglect and exploitation.
It makes it even more important to work all together, State and non-State actors, civil society and multi – lateral organisations, to urgently put in place a Protection System that is capable of preventing and responding to all forms of child protection violations taking place in the country.
Building a comprehensive child protection system is not an easy task, but it’s a task we must achieve, and the process has already begun. Like you say in Nepali it is a collective ‘ho-stay, hain-say!” effort that will help us make the situation of children better in this country.
Honourable Prime Minister, distinguished guests, ladies, gentlemen and children, let me end with my third message: Power.
I have often heard that to secure Nepal’s future economic prosperity we must invest in massive infrastructure, especially hydro power. But there is another form of power that I believe we must focus on in equal measure. What is that power? I hear you ask.
There are three million individuals in Nepal who live on the edge between exclusion and inequality. These individuals face the toughest challenges to the protection of their rights. Their power has yet to be seen, has yet to be unleashed. But what a power it is. The global and local evidence is compelling that investing in these individuals can bring social and economic prosperity to families, communities and society at large. Their education can boost a country’s economy, lower child mortality, bring financial security to families and maintain peace. These three million individuals are Nepal’s 10 -19 year old GIRLS. Gentlemen, do not get me wrong. Investing in adolescent boys is smart economics. But investing in adolescent girls is smarter economics. Wherever there are women, there is wealth. Jahan Stree Tyaha Shree. So I say, invest in Girl Power!
CWIN, the little sapling in pacchis Barsa has grown into a beautiful tree. We in UNICEF hope that you continue to be a pioneer, that your branches will continue to spread ever wider so that more and more children and adolescents in Nepal, cab be protected, and their rights ensured, and that you help to unleash girl power! This is our wish you on your 25th anniversary! And thank you again for all that you have done for Nepali balbalika and kishor kishori!