Attacks on schools condemnable: UN



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The UN System in Nepal Tuesday said it was deeply concerned at the increasing number of attacks on schools by some youth activists that are endangering the lives of children and jeopardising their right to education.

"We condemn in the strongest possible terms these actions, and look to the authorities to launch investigations to identify those responsible," a joint statement issued by UN Resident Coordinator Robert Piper, UNICEF Representative Hanaa Singer and UNESCO Representative Axel Plathe said.

They further said, "The reports of arson and vandalism in schools and school buses go against the spirit of Schools as Zones of Peace (SZOP). While the incidents of the past weeks damaged school property, the most recent attacks on school buses, some with children still inside them, could have had disastrous consequences."

The UN representatives also stated that such acts of violence go against the basic principles of children’s right to education in a protective environment free from fear.

They also called upon the Government, the political parties, and all child protection partners and youth organisations to respect the spirit of Schools as Zones of Peace and to ensure that children in Nepal are allowed to thrive, grow and be educated in an atmosphere free of violence and terror.

Nepal is a signatory to the Conventions on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and should therefore ensure that every child be provided their basic rights to grow, to learn and to play in peace.

The student union of the Mohan Baidya-led CPN-Maoist has been carrying out attacks on private colleges and some schools for charging exorbitant fees. It also vandalised some private colleges for using foreign names.