Tamil Nadu

Child Rights Manifesto released

From strengthening mechanisms to monitor female infanticide to participation of children in Gram Sabhas, a child rights manifesto, with various demands, for Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly Elections 2021 was released in the city on Wednesday.

The manifesto was prepared by the Tamil Nadu Child Rights Watch (TNCRW), Campaign Against Child Labour - Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, Forum for Promotion of Child Participation - Tamil Nadu and Puducherry and Right to Education Forum - Tamil Nadu. It was released by Justice S Vimala, full time member, Tamil Nadu Law Commission.

One of the main demands was to strengthen the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act, 1994. “This includes formation of task force with participation of civil society organisations, to handle the issue of dropping child sex ratio in the State as revealed by the Census 2011 and the National Family Health Survey IV (2015 – 16). The issue of female infanticide is serious and needs urgent attention,” said Andrew Sesuraj M., professor, Loyola Knowledge Hub for Excellence in Child Protection.

He said that anganwadi centres should be upgraded on par with private play schools and their timing should be extended. “Besides Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009 needs to be extended from newborn to 18 years of age guaranteeing free, quality and equitable education to all children compulsorily,” he added.

Another demand is to stop closing down government schools in the name of merging of schools and measures should be taken to strengthen the admission and attendance of the children. The manifesto also spoke about reopening schools immediately and providing masks, sanitizer, soap, and other COVID-19 essentials free of cost in the school itself. "Until schools reopen teachers should visit the children at home and teach. This will reduce school dropouts and incidents of violence against children at home," said A. Devaneyan, activist and director of Thozhamai.

The manifesto also stressed the need for the rules concerning the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights to be revisited and strengthened. "Transparency in the selection of chairperson and members should be ensured. The Commission should be given full autonomy and required funds, infrastructure and human resources to transact the mandate for protecting and promoting child rights in the state," he added.

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Printable version | Apr 23, 2021 5:57:41 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/child-rights-manifesto-released/article33927807.ece

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