Show us that you really care! That is the instruction issued by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) to all the major political parties gearing up for the upcoming Assembly elections. Asking the parties to include a chapter in their election manifesto on promoting and protecting the rights of the child, the Commission noted that “children constitute the most precious asset of the country”.
In its letter issued to the heads of political parties across the country, Commission chairperson Kushal Singh noted: “We have requested political parties to include a chapter on child rights as enshrined in the UNCRC and ratified by the Government of India. A commitment in the said chapter on ensuring the entitlements to the children may also be included in the best interest of the children of our country.”
The Commission has demanded a commitment from the parties to work on “children’s right to free and compulsory education, protection of children from sexual offences, elimination of child labour and prevention of child marriage”.
“These are the issues that need an urgent attention of all the political parties. Issues of prevention of child trafficking and rescue of missing children are a matter of serious concern. We are also looking at ensuring that special care to children between the age group of 0 and 6 years is provided and that there is an improvement of nutritional status with special attention to girl child,” noted Ms. Singh.
Attention has also been drawn to special care and protection of children of migrant workers and to ensuring safety of children living in disturbed and civil strife-affected areas. “Combating skewed and adverse sex ratio, elimination of infanticide and female foeticide, providing special care, protection and development for differently-abled children, ensuring health and hygiene of the children are protected and making sure that their right to participation in the law/rule making process affecting their life is protected are also important agenda that have been pointed out by the Commission,” noted Ms. Singh.
The Commission had earlier written to the Election Commission asking it to ensure that children are not used in campaigns in any form whatsoever, either for distribution of posters/pamphlets or to participate in slogan-shouting, rallies and poll meetings.