Put Children First!
THE CHILD RIGHTS MANIFESTO
16th General Elections
Child Rights and You (CRY) call on all political parties to become campaigner
of rights of all children in India.
with about 430 million children, has the world’s largest child population with
every sixth child in the world today referring to India as ‘home’. Although
children constitute over a third of India’s population, they are
accorded a low priority in national policy and governance decisions.
cursory glance at the current status on some of the child-related indicators in
- Every second child in India is malnourished
- The child sex ratio is at the lowest it has ever
been with just 914 girls for every 1000 boy
- 47 out of every 1000 children die before
completing their first year of life
- 4 out of every 5 children aged 6 - 35 months are anaemic
- Only about half of the children in India
(54%) receive full immunization
- Net Enrolment Ratio at the Upper Primary
Elementary Level is less than 60
- National Dropout Rate at the Elementary Level is
- Gross Enrolment Ratio at the Secondary Level is
- Girls have 61% higher mortality than boys at age
- Nearly 45% girls get married before the age of
after six decades of independence and vibrant economic growth rate, India has
drastically failed to uphold the rights of its children. It is
highly unfortunate that children are not top priority and issues related to
children are not debated enough in political spaces.
(Child Rights and You), a non-government organization working on the issue of
child rights in India for last thirty four years, believes that concerted
efforts are needed to ensure that children’s issues and concerns are heard and
put on priority. Through this manifesto, CRY hopes to remind politicians about
the Government of India’s national and international obligation to take all
appropriate measures in ensuring that children’s rights are promoted and
protected. The manifesto also aims to sensitize all stakeholders that it is
time that we demonstrate our commitment as a nation to our children and that
develop a zero tolerance towards children’s rights not being protected or
urges political parties and governments in power to take heed and ‘Put children first’ and include the
following commitment suggestions that can impact over a third of this nation’s
population, when designing their own election agenda.
- Harmonise the age definition for all child-related legislations in
line with National Policy for Children 2013 where child is any person
below the age of eighteen years.
- Ensure Right to Education is fully exercised as fundamental right and Amend and expand the scope of Right
to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009 such that: All
Children between 6-14 years get enrolled, regularly attend Elementary
school and avail quality education. Also all children from 0-6 years and
14-18 years should come under the purview of the Act.
- Strengthen implementation
of Integrated Child Development
Scheme (ICDS) such that all six services viz Supplementary nutrition,
Health Check-up, Immunization, Nutrition & Health Education,
Pre-school non-formal education and referral services are effectively
functioning. Also ensure that there is an adequate investment carried out
in decentralized planning, universal coverage and trained personnel.
- Reduce child mortality and morbidity and ensure no child remains
malnourished through carrying out sustained efforts
towards complete immunization, regular health check-ups and growth
monitoring, proper nutritional support and health counselling of all
children under 18 years.
- Declare the Right to Primary Health care for Mothers and children as
a Fundamental Right in the Constitution of India and strengthen
Primary Health Care systems and child health amongst the urban poor.
- Ensure Food security at household level for all marginalized groups of people
with proper implementation of the National Food Security Act, 2013 and
consider amendments i) increasing
the protein/fat intake for pregnant mothers and children to 20-25 gms
(according to Supreme court order) instead of current provision of 18-20
gms ii) including services
such as immunization, health check-ups etc
which have been part of the ICDS as part of the Bill iii)making provision
of supplementary nutrition for 14-18 age group children.
- Amend the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 2012: to
abolish all forms of child labour by removing the distinction between
hazardous and non-hazardous categories of work for all children up to age
- Invest adequately in ensuring protection for children by: i)
implementing policies and programme that protect children from abuse,
violence and exploitation; ii) investing in appropriate referral services
for the recovery, rehabilitation and reintegration of victims of abuse,
violence and exploitation; investing in creating a cadre of trained
professional iii) creating robust monitoring of implementation of child
protection mechanisms, schemes and policies iv) creating a proper data
base for child trafficking, street children, missing children and ensuring
fully functional newly developed child tracking system – ‘Track child’.
- Ensure Gender Parity,
Social Equity, and the rights of Children with disabilities with
providing equal opportunities for all social group – SC, ST, Minority
group and urban deprived groups. Become more responsive to need of girl
child and children with disabilities.
- Allocate sufficient Budget for Children (BfC)
allocations by increasing the allocation from 4.64% to at least 10% of total Union Budget. Also introduce a child
budget component in the budget of all allied Ministries and ensure
effective National, State and District-level management and utilisation of
best interest of the child needs to be put at the centre of all policy, legislation and practice
affecting their young lives. India’s
one third population deserves demonstration of commitment as a nation. It calls
for action to express zero tolerance towards violation of children’s rights so
that every child attains happy, healthy and creative childhood.
Labels: Child Rights and You, children, CRY, CRY India, Election, Election Advocacy, Vote