Prevented child marriages in Nepal during lockdown 

Despite the lockdown in Nepal, local partner CWIN successfully stopped two child marriages. A 14-year-old girl from Gadi Rular and a 17-year-old boy, and a 15-year-old girl and a 19-year-old boy were prevented from marrying.

CWIN, local partner of Her Choice alliance member ICDI, is responsible for running a national Child Helpline.  Two cases of suspected child marriages in Makwanpur were reported to the Child Helpline. In both cases the girl and boy eloped without informing their parents. With the help of local government officers, police and parents they were able to come home.

Initially, both the parents were not ready to receive their children back and the adolescents too were not ready to separate. After some dialogue, both the boys were sent back to their home whereas the girls were brought to the office of the Child Helpline for further counseling. After a series of counseling sessions both girls agreed to get married only after the age of 20 years and continue their education for now. Child Helpline will provide continuous monitoring.

Representatives from Rural Municipality and Sub-metropolitan city stated that they were not able to solve this case but with the help of CWIN Helpline they could overcome this problem. By working with CWIN they understood the situation of the boys and girls better.  CWIN was thanked for all its support and coordinative work during the process.

Challenges

Despite the lockdown, CWIN staff went for the rescue. Crowds of 50 to 60 people gathered when CWIN staff visitied the village, without people taking any safety measures such as masks and social distancing. Villagers were not following any directives given by the government. Still, the staff, taking precautions of their own, stayed there and negotiated and solved the problem.