Staff Reporter

Seminar held on child rights

  • Every child eligible for four basic right
  • Media urged to play an active role in ending the problem

    VISAKHAPATNAM: Childline and Visakha Forum for Child Rights (VFCR) conducted a workshop in association with the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication for media persons on child rights and child issues on Wednesday.

    B. Vijayalakshmi, director of Childline, in her inaugural address stressed that sensitisation of media is important so that the issue gets its due representation.

    Corporal punishment

    Giving a power point presentation, B. Devi Prasad, professor in Department of Social Work, highlighted the issue of corporal punishment in schools. He said that resorting to corporal punishment by teachers in schools is a gross violation of child rights. He noted that as per UN Convention on Rights of the Child, every child is eligible for four basic rights: right to survival, right to protection, right to development and right to participation.

    He further added that though there is no national law prohibiting corporal punishment the government of Andhra Pradesh has amended the AP Education rules of 1966 in 2002 to prohibit corporal punishment in schools. "Similar amendments have been carried out by a few states like West Bengal and Tamil Nadu," he said.

    R.D. Sampath Kumar, associate professor of Social Work, spoke about child labour and its effects on the society.

    He stressed that media needs to focus on poverty alleviation and education for children to eradicate the problem. "Now that the government has passed the Child Labour Act, the media has to play an active role in ending the problem as children constitute one-third of our population," he opined.

    S. Sumitra, associate professor of law, handled the subject of child trafficking. With facts and figures, she gave a picture how the menace is on the rise, mainly due to the growth of the tourism sector and the illegal drug industry.

    She also noted that there is no direct provision in the law to handle child trafficking and the legal fraternity has to depend on various other laws like prevention of immoral trafficking Act and kidnapping.

    Sustained campaign

    While P. Bobby Vardhan, professor Department of Mass Communication and Journalism, urged the media to come out with more stories on child rights, D.V.R. Murthy, professor and coordinator of the department, said that media should set an agenda for the government to tackle the issue.

    "The role of the media should be participatory and a sustained campaign should be worked out," he said.

    S. Haranath of Social Work Department spoke about Juvenile Justice Act 2000 and Tabitha Francis of World Vision highlighted the child labour scenario in Visakhapatnam.