Raising voice against child sexual abuse: launching youth in black cap
The campaign Youth in Black Cap has been launched amidst a ceremony on the occasion of World Day against Child Abuse. The Launching event held on 19th November in Jawalakhel Ground, Lalitpur witnessed a participation more than thousand people. Hundreds of youth gathered adorning black cap and launched the campaign by holding candles.
Distinguished personalities from government, non-government and entertainment sectors were present in the event and expressed their commitment against Child Sexual Abuse. The guests included Ashok Shrestha, Head of Social Welfare Division of Lalitpur Sub Metropolitan City, Kumar Bhattarai, Chairperson of Consortium, Tarak Dhital, Executive Director of Central Child Welfare Board (CCWB), Shanti Adhikari, Ex-Constituent Assembly member, Mingmar Lama, DIG, Nepal Police, Raamesh Shrestha, singer among many others.
Mingmar Lama expressed the need of child-friendly police setting so that children are more comfortable to share their grievances with police officials. He stressed on the role of public to portray police as a friend in a positive manner rather than as a fear factor to their children. Shanti Adhikari stressed the need of a movement as such till child sexual abuse is brought to an end.
The major attraction of the event was the commitment presented by Sitaram Kattel and Kunjana Ghimire. Popularly known as Dhurmus and Suntali, they expressed their commitment to raise awareness against child sexual abuse through their popular TV drama. Further, the duo stressed that children, especially girls, had to be empowered to have a voice against sexual abuse towards them in any form.
Raja Rajendra, also a popular face in Nepali TV drama, expressed the commitment never to abuse children and not tolerate sexual abuse of any form to children. Similar commitments were provided by Ramkrishna Dulal, Kamalikanta Bhetwal and Laxman Gamnange.
A 2003-report by Save the Children revealed 45 percent of children were sexually abused in Kathmandu valley. Another report by UNICEF, 2005 discovered 33 percent of children being sexually abused outside the valley in Kaski, Morang, Surkhet and Chitwan. A study carried out by CWISH in 2006 revealed that 56.8 percent children in domestic work were sexually abused.
According to Nepal Police in 2012/13, out of 701 cases reported for sexual abuse, 49.64 percent cases were related with child sexual abuse. Further, Yubraj Ghimire, coordinator of the campaign, shared that out of the 60 cases of child sexual abuse reported in CWISH, 25 percent of the cases could not be taken to court because of the 35 days limit.
The campaign was conceptualized by Children and Women in Social Services and Human Rights (CWISH) and Dynamic Youth Forum (DYF), supported by over thirty organizations. The campaign has been envisioned as a youth movement to pressurize government to amend laws for easy access of victims of child sexual abuse to law and justice. Further, the movement also aims at raising awareness among people about child sexual abuse to create a child friendly environment within homes, schools and communities.
On the next steps of campaign, Amrit Devkota, president of Dynamic Youth Forum shared that youths will stand with black cap on and holding a candle in major points of the city every Friday from 9 am-10 am with brochures and flyers about child sexual abuse. The peaceful gathering in a busy road is intended to seek attention of lawmakers and other stakeholders towards the issue of child sexual abuse. The movement shall be expanded to other districts as well. Simultaneously, memorandums shall be submitted to Prime Minister and Minister of Women, Children and Social Welfare directly or through Chief District Officers from various parts of the country. At the same time, youth shall conduct orientations to children in different schools and communities related to sexual abuse.