VOTE FOR CHILD RIGHTS

13th November 2013, Mumbai: As India gears up for its 16th General Elections, Child Rights and You (CRY), launched its nationwide “Vote for Child Rights” election advocacy campaign on November 14 – Children’s Day in a bid to ensure that political parties and people in power put children first.

At the launch, CRY unveiled the Child Rights Manifesto that calls for all political parties to give top priority to children and to commit to improving the situation of children in our country. The manifesto is based on CRY’s in-depth analytical report “Status and Trends in Child Rights in India-An overview of the Past Decade” and the aspirations of children across 18 states of India. The report comprises of views of development thinkers and practitioners in the Child Rights arena and provides a detailed analysis of India’s performance on key child rights indicators.

Speaking about the campaign, Puja Marwaha, CRY CEO, said “the Vote for Child Rights campaign is our way of ensuring that there is political will behind our justified demand

to respect, protect and fulfill children’s rights. It is imperative that the best interest of the child be put at the centre of all policy, legislation and practice and the Vote for Child Rights campaign focuses on that solely”. At the campaign launch, Kreeanne Rabadi, Regional Director, CRY, added, “As voters and candidates, we are charged with the responsibility to see to it that children’s interests do not slip off the political radar. This is why CRY is reaching out to citizens with an appeal to support a list of urgent demands from our leaders to make the country more child-rights-friendly.

The Child Rights Manifesto created by CRY centers around 10 commitment suggestions, some of which include: harmonizing the age definition for all child-related legislations; ensuring the implementation and expansion of the scope of the Right to Education Act; strengthening the implementation of ICDS; reducing child mortality; declaring access to quality primary healthcare as a fundamental right. CRY has approached and is in the process of approaching key politicians of all major political parties with an appeal to give priority to children’s issues in their respective party manifestos.

The Vote for Child Rights campaign kick starts across the nation with a series of events to advocate the cause of ensuring Child Rights becomes an intrinsic aspect of manifestos of all political parties in India. The events will range from signing pledges from the general public to getting prominent personalities from across India to support the campaign, to holding city centric events to showcase the current state of Child Rights in India. The campaign is built on the belief that India’s children, who account for one third of the population, deserve the collective demonstration of our commitment towards child rights. It also calls for each of us to express zero tolerance towards violation of child rights so that every child can be assured of a happy, healthy and creative childhood. That can happen only if children are recognized as rights holders and people in power remain committed towards providing care, protection, essential services and opportunities to each and every child.

A Glimpse of the Current Status of Children

  • Every sixth child in the world lives in India (MoSPI, 2012)
  • Every second child in India is malnourished (NFHS-III, 2005-06)
  • 79% children (6-35 months) are anaemic (NFHS-III)
  • 7 out of every 1000 live births do not complete their first year of life (SRS, 2011)
  • Only 54 % children received full immunization (DLHS-III, 2007-08)
  • The child sex ratio is at the lowest it has ever been with just 914 girls for every 1000 boys (Census, 2011)
  • National Dropout Rate at the Elementary Level is over 40% (DISE, 2011-12)
  • 11.8% children in India are engaged in some form of child labor (NFHS-III)

Note to the Editor:
Today, unseen, ignored, almost half of all Indian children under the age of five are underweight, millions die each year of easily preventable diseases and 8 million don’t go to school. In the 21st century, in one of the world’s fastest growing economies, this is unacceptable.

CRY – Child Rights and You works to ensure lasting change in the lives of underprivileged children, and you can help – by making your vote count. Get our leaders to do more for children. Create a vote bank big enough for them to hear that we, the people, demand child rights – the right to education, safety, healthcare and participation. Pledge your support – Vote for Child Rights atwww.cry.org/voteforchildrights

For Further information, please contact: priya.zutshi@crymail.org or call on 9820190247, 022-23096845