Act Against Child Exploitation, Help Them Exercise Their Rights

Posted on January 3, 2010 in Society

Nayana Phukan:

Child rights are the perceived human rights of children with particular attention to the rights of special protection and care afforded to the young, including their right to association with both biological parents, human identity as well as the basic needs for food, universal state-paid education, health care and criminal laws appropriate for the age and development of the child. Interpretations of child rights range from allowing children the capacity for autonomous action to the enforcement of children being physically, mentally and emotionally free from abuse.

A child is any human being below eighteen years, unless under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier.

As per the law, children do not have autonomy or the right to make decisions on their own for themselves in any known jurisdiction of the world. Instead their adult caregivers, including parents, social workers, teachers, youth workers and others, are vested with that authority, depending on the circumstances.

There are different kinds of child rights noted as provisions rights, protection rights, participation rights, economic-social-cultural rights, developmental rights.

They even include freedom of speech, thought, free from fear, freedom of choice and the right to make decisions.

Putting more emphasis on the children belonging to poor sections, we can see a great divide. Just view these children begging at the road side. Mumbai, one of the richest cities in India, loads up with the highest number of beggars.

The question is, why is our country is not being able to remove beggary. Children constitute the highest number of beggars in India. At a time when they should be getting knowledge, they run behind vehicles just for a penny.

From my personal encounter with a child who was begging in front of a shopping mall, carrying an idol of god saying that “god will bless all if we pay the beggars”. The shocking thing was when people started ignoring him he spat on them using slangs. So now the point is, if the child would have received proper education even in poverty, he might not have abused anyone. But he did not exercise his right, and neither did we help him do so.

Imagine the child who is perfectly fine he is capable of imparting his skills for the development of the country. But due to lesser opportunities, unavailability of the right guidance he is burdened with beggary. Moreover his body parts are imputed to gain sympathy. Didn’t he deserve a proper life?

We, being the youth of the nation must realize that every child should be free from such burdens and live a prosperous life. The constitution has engraved child rights but the main point is how much has been implemented and moreover, how many of us know about it.

The NGOs have provided for the base to develop the helpless children and they have also started campaigns on child rights. The ALP Uganda Hope for Children organization has helped spreading knowledge on HIV/AIDS among youngsters. UNICEF is providing funds for further development of these children

I went around and asked a few people about the issue. “No one should be allowed to snatch away their rights” says, Mrs. Hema Hazarika, a junior school teacher. Echoes Partha Dutta, a high court lawyer, “A child is a dreamer, follower, achiever, so they should have equal rights to fulfill them.”

Let’s stand up against these evils and fight for the rights of these young ones. I am ready. Are you?

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parul sabherwal

i totally agreee with you. the children are the future of our country so it is really very very unfair to keep them deprived from the basic rights that are given to them. it is a big social problem in our country. it is high time we take a step.
good job

Hari Batti

Nice piece.

Someone asked me once how it was that Tehelka and Outlook and all the major magazines use children to sell their papers. They will tell you it's not their fault; they merely hire distribution firms who subcontract through vendors who use children to sell their magazines at roadsides.

I know child labor takes place in many, many ugly places. But sometimes you have to apply pressure where pressure can be applied. I'd love to see bloggers run pics of children selling Tehelka, Outlook, India Today, etc. A picture is worth a thousand words. What is the answer that these magazines would give?

Just an idea.

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