Thirty years after global leaders adopted the United Nations Convention on Rights of the Child (UNCRC); Child rights still an unfinished agenda. Working on this, Joining Forces For Children India was formulated. It is an alliance of six leading child development organizations, namely, ChildFund India; Plan India; Bal Raksha Bharat, India; SOS Children’s Villages of India; Terre des hommes and World Vision India. Together they are working towards the well-being and protection of rights of vulnerable children and young people in India. The Charter of Demands are:
- Achieve ‘Leave No One Behind’ Pledge: Development policies and programmes formulated for children must ensure that no child is left behind. This includes ensuring inclusion of children like children of sex workers; children of convicts or born in prison; orphans; trafficked children; children in street situation; children with disabilities, children in conflicts and disasters; and, children belonging to third gender. (ChildFund India)
- Capture Disaggregated and Issue-based Data on Children: The government and civil society should make greater investments to create credible data sources on children ,so as to inform policy and programmes. Data gaps on critical aspects like sexual violence, sexual and reproductive health of adolescents, access to play and recreation, engagement of children in decision-making, children in street situationshould be bridged. (Plan India)
- Ensure Child Participation and Accountability Mechanism:The voice of children in decision-making in all situations should be ensured ,to promote active citizenship of children and enhance accountability of the system. The government and civil society should engage with children and communities in sensitising them about child rights and empowering them to raise voice and demand their entitlements. (Bal Raksha Bharat ,India)
- Increase Investments on Children:India constitutes about one-fifth of the world’s children. Sufficient funds in health, nutrition, education (early grade learning and elementary), and protection systems should be invested to help in the growth and development of all deprived and marginalised children, and reach the targets of childfocused SDGs. (SoS Children’s Villages of India)
- Strengthen Effective Implementation and Monitoring of Development Interventions:Availability of qualified and trained human resource for provision of services for children , strengthening capacities of frontline service providers and filling vacant positions for child protection services needs to be ensured. Special mechanism to be developed for monitoring of child focussed SDGs and implementation of key legislations on child rights.(TDH, Germany-India Programme)
- Facilitate Multi-stakeholder Engagement: Recognition of contribution of diverse stakeholders as facilitators of change for child rights. A coordinated and synergised effort is required to have State, civil society organisations, private sector, academia, media, community, citizens and children work together to address the violation of child rights and come up with innovative solutions. (World Vision, India)
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