Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Lok Sabha polls: Child rights forums urge parties to include children's welfare in manifestos

Lok Sabha polls: Child rights forums urge parties to include children's welfare in manifestos

PUDUCHERRY: Child rights forums in Puducherry have released a children's poll manifesto urging the political parties to evolve their manifestos by taking a cue from their document ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

Holistic Approach for People's Empowerment ( Hope), Tamil Nadu Forum for Creche and Child Care Services ( TN Forces), in association with other child rights organizations such as Pondicherry Multipurpose Social Services Society ( PMSSS), Childline and Sathya Special School, have recommended redefining the age of the children in line with the United Nations' Convention on the Rights of the Child and National Child Policy.

The forums want to arrest the declining sex ratio by effectively enforcing the Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques Act, 1994 (PCPN & DT) and special policies and schemes.

They have recommended allocation of 3% of the GDP to the Early Childhood Care and Development ( ECCD) to ensure the well-being of the children below six years and 7% for children between seven and 18 years.

The forums insist on bringing children less than six years and children between 14 and 18 years under the Right to Free and Compulsory Education ( RTE) Act, 2009, that ensures enrolment of all children aged between six and 14 years get enrolled in schools and avail quality education. They demand strengthening of the Integrated Child Development Scheme ( ICDS).

The forums want child mortality and morbidity to be reduced. They insisted on declaring the right to primary healthcare for mothers and children as a fundamental right in the Constitution of India and strengthening primary healthcare systems among the urban poor.

They recommended amending the National Food Security Act, 2013 to enhance the protein/fat intake for pregnant mothers and children from 18 to 20 grams to 20 to 25 grams, include services like immunization and health check up as a part of the act and include provisions for supplementary nutrition for children aged between 14 and 18 years.

They also recommended amending the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 2012 to abolish all forms of child labour by removing the distinction between hazardous and non-hazardous categories of work for all children less than 18 years.

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