Nepal has banned children from travelling without parents or approved guardians to deter human traffickers who authorities fear are targeting vulnerable families after recent devastating earthquakes.
Hundreds of thousands of families lost their homes in Nepal after two large earthquakes struck on April 25 and May 12.
The twin disasters killed more than 8,600 people and raised concerns among rights groups that trafficking rings in the region were taking advantage of the chaos.
On Monday, hundreds of Nepalis gathered at the ruins of a 19th-century tower in Kathmandu to mark one month since the first quake.
Children under the aged of 16 would not be permitted to travel outside their home district without a parent or another adult approved by the district's Child Welfare Board, a senior official said.
"If strangers are found travelling with children, they will be under the watch of police," Radhika Aryal from the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare said.
"All district officials and police units across the country have been asked to remain on high alert on this."
International adoption of children from Nepal would also not be permitted for the next three months, Kiran Rupakheti, another official from the ministry said.
Children found travelling with strangers
The cautionary measures come a week after authorities found dozens of children from earthquake-struck areas travelling with strangers under suspicious circumstances, officials said.
Tarak Dhital from the government's Central Child Welfare Board said 64 children from Dolakha and Dhading districts, both of which were devastated by the earthquakes, were now under the care of a registered children's home.
Police arrested two Indian and three Nepali adults who were travelling with 11 of the children, who were aged between 10 and 12, from Dolakha to Kathmandu without the required papers.
"We are investigating if this is a case of trafficking," police official Dan Bahadur Karki said.
Reports of suspected trafficking since the quakes have so far been limited, considering the scale of destruction and Nepal's long-running struggle to reign in human traffickers operating in its borders.
Thousands of Nepali children and women are trafficked into India every year to work in brothels and as child labourers, activists say.
But child rights activists warn the situation may worsen as traffickers target newly vulnerable children and families.
"After the earthquake, traffickers' groups could become very active targeting parents who have lost their homes to send their children with them promising education or a better life," Krishna Thapa from the rights group Voice of Children said.