WORD attended and contributed in a meeting in Namakkal to include suggestions in framing child rights manifesto in the Parliamentary Election 2014 for Namakkal MP constituency.
There were in-depth discussions by the attendees and put forth the following suggestions that can impact over a third of this nation’s population, when designing their own election agenda.
- As per National Policy for Children 2013 the age of the child is categorically determined as any person below the age of 18 years, amendments to be made to harmonize the age definition for all child-related legislations and programs in line with the National Policy for Children, 2013.
- Ensure Right to Education is fully functional as a Fundamental Right thereby ensuring quality education with an equitable common school system and amend to expand the scope of Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009 such that: all children from 0-6 years and 14-18 years should come under the purview of the Act.
- Strengthen implementation of Quality Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) and its effective functioning. Also ensure the adequate investment is carried out in decentralized planning, universal coverage, community monitoring and participation and trained personnel.
- Highest priority to Right to Life, Survival, Health, Nutrition by carrying out sustained efforts towards complete immunization, regular health check-ups, growth monitoring, proper nutritional support, health counselling and preventive measures to arrest declining child sex ratio.
- Declare the Right to Health care as a Fundamental Right for mothers and children in the constitution of India and strengthen Universal Health Care systems and child health.
- Ensure proper implementation of the National Food Security Act, 2013 and bring amendments (i) by including protein/fat intake for pregnant mothers and children to 20-25 gms (according to Supreme Court Order) ii) Make provision of supplementary nutrition for 14-18 age group children.
- Amend the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986: to abolish all forms of child labour including ‘Sumangali Thittam’ by removing the distinction between hazardous and non-hazardous categories of work for all children upto the age of 18 years.
- Formulate special policies and programs for the adolescents (12-18 years) consisting of education, health, nutrition, play, protection from abuse, violence and vocational training.
- Promote Child friendly Jurisprudence, enact progressive legislation, build a preventive, responsive and transparent child protection system and also create a proper data base for child trafficking, street children, missing children and ensure fully functional newly developed child tracking system- ‘Track Child’.
- Special measures to ensure gender Parity, Social Equity, and the rights of the Children with disabilities by providing equal opportunities for all social group- SC, ST, minority group, children of migrants, disaster affected, children of other socially excluded groups and urban deprived groups.
- Allocate sufficient financial, material and human resources for ensuring child rights. Allocate sufficient Budget for Children by increasing the allocation from 4.64% to at least 10% of total Union Budget.
The meeting was organised by our partner, Community Development Organisation (CDO) on behalf of TN Forces, Tamilnadu Child Rights Observatory, Chennai.