Parties assure not to use children, teachers in poll campaigns

Published On: April 7, 2017 09:31 AM NPT By: DB Buda

JUMLA, April 6: After much criticism, the political parties in Jumla have assured that they will no longer be using teachers and children in their poll campaigns.

They were compelled to take this decision as the participation of teachers in political programs was hampering the education of students and involving children in such activities is also against the child rights.

At an interaction program conducted by the regional office of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), in Jumla, political parties discussed the present state of human rights in the region, the upcoming election and the challenges it faces. Accepting that the involvement of teachers and children in poll campaigns was increasing, political leaders assured not to use them in such activities from now onwards.

According to Karna Bahadur Shahi, district secretary of Nepali Congress (NC), no one’s rights will be violated if the election code of conduct is properly implemented. He said that no political party has the right to mobilize children and teachers in their promotional events.

He suggested that from now onwards, human rights and civil society activists and journalists should watch the activities of political parties and if they are found going against the election code of conduct they will immediately be booked. “As no political party is allowed to recruit members who are below 18, how can they think of mobilizing children for any promotional events,” claimed Shahi.

According to Mahendra Malla, district member of CPN (Maoist Centre), participation of teachers in political rallies and events will also affect their reputation. He even claimed that his party has never tried to get children and teachers involved in the promotional events. He even promised that his party will inform the NHRC if they found any such activity.

Bali Raj Shahi, Central Secretariat member of Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum stressed that the use of children in poll campaigns must be ended. “Children are the pillars of future and this is not the right time to engage them in such activities as it leads to mental and psychological disorders too,” He said.   

Similary, Bharat Bahadur Bohora of Naya Shakti Nepal promised not to get children and teachers involved in any of their political activities. As informed by Narayan Prasad Sapkota, chief district officer of Jumla, DAO will have to take stern action against the political parties if they are found violating the election code of conduct. He even urged the political parties not to violate child rights by using children for fulfilling their vested interests.

There is a long history of children involvement in political campaigns. “It is really sad to see innocent children chanting violent slogans and protesting various issues without even understanding the essence of such demonstrations,” said Govinda Sharma Poudel, member of NHRC.   
Caption: Commissioner of National Human Rights Commission requesting not to use children in political activities.

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