Lumbini is located near the town of Siddharthanagar in the province of Lumbini. Around 100,000 people live in this town.
Around 18% of the population in Lumbini province live in poverty. Besides food insecurity, human trafficking poses a major threat to children in Lumbini due to the proximity to the Indian border. Furthermore, child marriage still affects many young girls, although it constitutes a fundamental human rights violation.
Since 2010, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Lumbini.
Nepal has the 16th highest rate of child marriages in the world. This means that 40% of women in Nepal were married before the age of 18.
Child marriage is a violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the emotional damage a child suffers from a forced union is profound. There is also an increased risk of child pregnancy and domestic violence.
In the Lumbini province specifically, 33% of girls were married as a child. The national target to end child marriage by 2030 will require a major push from the government.
Although Nepal has been recognized as a leader in decreasing malnutrition, food insecurity is still widespread in Nepal. Many people suffer from acute hunger. In Lumbini especially, parents struggle to provide enough nutritious food for their children. For this reason, 30% of the children are underweight.
More specifically, 35% of children in Lumbini experience stunting (low height for age), a result from undernutrition. Furthermore, 13% of children experience wasting (low weight for height), which occurs when a child has not had food of adequate quality and quantity.