THIS ELECTIONS, VOTE FOR CHILDREN!

  • According to the government survey based on the number of upper primary schools, pupil-teacher ratio, rate of school drop outs etc. the state of West Bengal is 33rd in elementary education among the 35 States of India
  • As per the economic review of 2009-10 by the government of West Bengal, as in 2008,5,65,052 children of the age group of 6-14 years are out of school in the state.
  • 36% children in West Bengal state have not been able to get immunization (source NFHS 3)
  • The Infant Mortality Rate is 38 in West Bengal  (source NFHS 3)

 CRY asks voters to vote for children’s rights this Elections

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Kolkata, April 22, 2011: With Kolkata going to vote in seven days, CRY (Child Rights and You) has directly communicated with all political parties across West Bengal a list of issues that parties need to keep top of mind. The Child Rights Manifesto (below) lists the issues that need a proactive presence in the agenda of political parties.

Speaking at a Press Conference in Kolkata today, education activist and Director, East of CRY, Atindranath Das, said, “Like in the last Lok Sabha Elections in 2004 and 2009, we have been watching the political arena closely to see if children’s issues are reflected in the agenda of candidates. We find that despite the large number of children’s organizations pointing out a noticeable gap, political parties are yet to include Child Rights issues comprehensively. So we are now going directly to the parties to remind candidates that the ultimate winners should be children.”

“As the State goes to vote, we are reminding voters that one fourth of the State – as many as 40% citizens out of 80 million total population – will not vote because they are children. As voters and candidates, we are charged with the responsibility to see to it that their interests do not slip off the political radar,” said Satya Gopal Dey, Associate General Manager, Development Support.

Child rights can only become central to a country’s political agenda if its people choose to make it priority by ensuring government accountability to actualize the rights of children. Children must be looked on as equal citizens, entitled to equal rights.

So when you vote this time, voice the rights of children – think of children, think of the promises we made to them in our Constitution to live a life of dignity that must include food, health, shelter, education, protection and play.

In the West Bengal assembly elections, CRY – Child Rights and You, seeks to raise public awareness on the state of children and unite people to stand up and demand what is right. CRY calls out to each and every one of YOU – India’s electorate – to hold representatives, contesting candidates, political parties and policy makers accountable for child rights by demanding specific, non-negotiable entitlements from the new government as well as legislators in position and opposition.

Child Rights Charter:

  • Ensure free and quality education for all children up to 18 years of age.
  • Ensure notification of State rules of The Right of Children for Free and Compulsory Education Act – 2009.
  • Prohibit and end all forms of child labour.
  • Implement a Rights-based policy on food security for all.
  • Ensure unrestricted, free and quality healthcare for all children.
  • Make sure there is effective legislation to prevent all forms of abuse, including sexual abuse, of children.
  • End all forms of discrimination and violence against children.
  • Make sure children without family support have the right to special care and protection.
  • Ensure that there is a State Child Rights Commission as a redress mechanism for all forms of child rights violations.
  • Make child rights a priority in policymaking and protect defenders of child rights

About CRY (Child Rights and You): CRY – Child Rights and You, earlier known as Child Relief and You – is India’s leading advocate for child rights. Over 30 years CRY has partnered with NGOs, communities, government, the media and is dedicated to mobilising all sections of society to eliminate the root causes of deprivation, exclusion, exploitation and abuse. For more information please visit us at http://www.cry.org/.
For further information, please contact: Bidisha Fouzdar CRY, Tel: +91-9833565401bidisha.fouzdar@crymail.org