Children and Legislators

Article 12 of the United Nation Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) lays down the principle and purpose of meaningful participation of children. Twenty Two years ago the UN adopted the convention on the Rights on the Child (CRC).In order to uphold the rights of the children slowly sturdily several counties stepped forward and showed their readiness by ratifying CRC. India became signatory and ratified CRC in the year 1992 and the convention became an instrument of support to every individual in the society (Govt., legislators, activists, media, students, NGOs and general public etc…) .This is to advocate for the cause of children. India has also submitted its III & IV combined reports to the UN Committee on CRC about the implementation of CRC in the month of October 2011.

Participation is a human rights principle, it is not a gift or privilege bestowed by adults on children, but the right of every child is expressing their opinion / view. In the last two decades various stake holders have taken positive measures towards the implementation and practice of participation rights of the children. To name a few, following are some of the programmes and projects that are under taken by Govt.. and NGOs to uphold the participation rights of the children.

  • Formation of Child rights clubs, meena clubs at school level as per the instructions given by the Govt. of Karnataka.
  • Encouraging and motivating various stake holders to conduct “Child Rights Special Grama Sabhas” – A unique project planned and implemented by Child Rights Trust, Bangalore and Department of Rural development Panchyat Raj, GOK.( KCRO & Child Rights Trust )
  • Children Parliament – One day consultation which is conducted at various districts of Karnataka organized and facilitated by Karnataka Child Rights Observatory – KCRO.
  • Various NGOs have formed child rights clubs in communities, organizations and at residential places (bheema sangha, chiguru sangha, chagalahatti makkala sangha,) which are facilitated by community based rehabilitators, animators and volunteers.

Child Reporters is one such activity where it provided an opportunity for KCRO to scale-up and promote child rights particularly keeping child participation as its focal point. With this onset KCRO team geared its journey at four divisions and eight Panchayts of Karnataka (Dharwad, Chamaraja Nagara, Tumkur and Bellary). Children with all their potentials have contributed and have taken part in the form of child reporters within their community, family, schools etc… One forty children have been involved in the process and are been recognized as catalysts / agents of change. Children have brought-in several observations, affirmative steps to uphold the rights of children.

Against this background, KCRO is proposing to hold two days state level consultation with children to commemorate the process involved, to have a deeper understanding on the situation of children in Karnataka and to look forward for further expansion of the project. We are looking forward for 60 + participants which includes children, teachers, NGO representatives – from all over Karnataka; administration; media and students of social work.

Meeting various stake holders, interviewing various Govt. administrators, navigating with public situation, interacting with artists, developing, presenting and sharing the experience with media reporters, organizing a child reporters exhibition and action plan for upcoming days are some of the expected activities during these two days state level consultations.

We expect that the consultation will further help us to chalk out a new trend in reviewing the situation of children in Karnataka and suggest Govt. to take affirmative actions.