Sunday, July 4, 2010

Hague against orphans: Government (Rajdhani National Daily)

Hague against orphans: Government

By Tika Bista

Rajdhani National Daily

Kathmandu, Ashar 15 (30 Jun10)

Translated from Nepali

The Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare (MWCSW) has accused the Hague Secretariat of working against Nepali orphans.

The Ministry has asked the Hague Secretariat to work as per its official stance and respect Nepal's rules and regulations and to not work for the interest of any particular person. The MWCSW is preparing to send a warning letter to the Hague, accusing it of preparing a series of false reports about Nepal's orphans, an MWCSW official said.

According to the official, the MWCSW will include in its letter its official stance along with an attachment of the copies of unfavorable reports prepared by the Hague Secretariat on Nepal.

In the meantime, the MWCSW also issued a notice, Monday, expressing strong concerns about the Special Commission's meeting in the Netherlands on June 10 to 25 and to draw the Government of Nepal (GoN)'s attention on it.

The Hague Secretariat didn't include Nepal in its conference that was held in the Netherlands this week. Under-secretary of the law section at the MWCSW, Sher Jung Karki, told Rajdhani, "Even though the Hague sent us an invitation, since it didn't send us a confirmation letter, Nepal could not attend [the conference]."

According to him, the Ministry was ignored by addressing the letter to a specific person. "The Hague didn't send us a confirmation letter as the Ministry did not recommend the same person as recommended by the Hague -- Mr. Ratnakaji Bajracharya," Karki said.

"As per regulations, the Hague should have addressed the letter to the Ministry, but by ignoring regulations and addressing the letter to a specific person has aroused suspicions," Karki said.

Every year the Hague Secretariat reviews countries on whether or not they are implementing the Convention or not. This is done in the presence of representatives from respective countries. However, the absence of Nepal's participation has put the conference's legitimacy in doubt, according to an official at the MWCSW.

"Other countries have also expressed strong concerns about Nepal's absence. The Hague must send us an immediate answer," the official said.

Instead of providing "technical" support to the GoN for the implementation of the 1993 Convention on Inter-country Adoption, the Hague is working against it, the MWCSW claims. The MWCSW also said that the Secretariat worked against Nepal by discussing about the country despite its absence in the conference, and by allowing an organization to screen their documentary that was produced without the government's permission as well as by allowing them to present their working paper.

In a notice issued by the MWCSW, the documentary on orphans and the working paper were presented without the Nepal Government's permission. The working paper was prepared by Joseph Aguettant of the Foundation [Terre des Hommes].

The MWCSW criticized the working paper of including issues from 15 years back that does not depict the current situation, and of being one-sided.

You should first get permission from the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) before making any kind of documentary related to Nepal. However, the documentary that was screened was the one made by Terre des Hommes, an INGO, which showed the condition of children in 2052 B.S. (1995 A.D.). Claiming that the documentary is illegal, the MWCSW has sent a letter to the MIC requesting an investigation on it.

Earlier, the Hague Secretariat had sent letters to different embassies in Nepal informing them that it had received several complaints about children adopted from Nepal and had asked them to stop the inter-country adoption process. After the government expressed strong concerns regarding this, it had apologized.

Translation by a foreign embassy, Kathmandu

Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.

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