A charter to protect the girl child

October 05, 2009 08:31 pm | Updated 08:34 pm IST - NEW DELHI:

Child Rights and You, a non-government organisation, has firmed up a charter of demands seeking better education, health care and protection from abuse for the girl child. The soon-to-be submitted charter is aimed at drawing attention of policy makers to the issues of female foeticide, malnutrition, trafficking and abuse.

According to CRY officials, the charter of demands will be submitted to 10 key decision makers including President Pratibha Patil, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and Union Minister for Women and Child Welfare Krishna Tirath among others.

“We are in the process of collecting signatures from a cross section of society and will soon submit it to the officials and ministries concerned,” said a CRY official.

After submitting the charter, CRY will continue to engage with the public through online forums and public meets to make sure the girl child remains high on the public agenda throughout the year, the official said.

Referring to the problems faced by the girl child in the country, CRY general manager Kumar Nilendu said: “In India, the girl child faces four heinous crimes – foeticide, child labour, child marriage and abuse. In addition, she suffers three key deprivations: she is deprived of an education, of the right to health and nutrition and the right to develop.”

The NGO now wants the Women and Child Development Ministry to take immediate action to stop female foeticide through effective enforcement of law and take severe legal action against offenders, to set up autonomous law enforcement agencies to work against traffickers and exploiters with appropriate redress mechanisms, and assistance programmes for the affected child.

It also wants the Ministry concerned to provide easy access to schools and create a safe environment so that girls also readily attend school. The charter also includes a demand for separate legal act against child sexual abuse.

Enforcement against child marriages, investigation against malnutrition deaths and policies and programmes to prevent malnutrition deaths among children, especially girls, have also been sought.

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