One-fifth of the global population of children (that is human beings under 18 years of age) live in India, so it is extremely important for us to prioritize the rights children here so that the world is able to achieve SDGs. Working on these lines, India will present its second Voluntary National Review (VNR) Report on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the UN- High-Level Political Forum 2020. NITI Ayog is coordinating the preparation of this report. In the process of preparing the report, children were identified as an important vulnerable group under Niti Aayog’s initiative of LNOB (Leave No One Behind), and consequently, a National Consultation was organized by focused child agencies to review the progress of SDGs directly. The idea to rope in the child-focused agencies was to analyze as to how children can be prioritized under LNOB initiative.
On 7th December 2019, Wada, a civil society consultation was held to broad-base and brain-storm the civil society engagement in the VNR process. The consultation identified organizations to anchor consultations with specific vulnerable groups given their location, knowledge and long term association with these communities. Nine is Mine, Bal Raksha Bharat, India and World Vision India, were selected as the anchor organizations for consultation on children. The consultation also agreed to review and document the status, challenges, and good practices in the implementation of the SDGs among various vulnerable population groups, including children, refugees, Dalits, tribals etc. across India and provide all these inputs to the National VNR 2020 report.
Besides the National Consultation, online forms were also shared by Voluntary Action Network India (VANI) with several organizations to get their inputs. Collaborating Organisations that ensured the participation of their partner organizations were: CRY – Child Rights and You, ChildFund India, NCE, Plan India, SOS Children’s Villages of India and Terre des hommes Germany. A total of 100 participants from across the country attended the CSO Consultation in New Delhi on 16th January 2020. Survival, Development, Protection and Participation were, the four basis of discussion.
In this discussion, the following criteria’s were identified: Identification of Children for Inclusion in LNOB Strategy and other schemes and programmes of the government, Situational Analysis for LNOB Groups, discussion of LNOB Children Assessment Framework, Assessing Progress against SDGs, Tracking the SDG Progress like Zero Hunger and Education, Government Initiatives to Address the Integrated and Indivisible Nature of SDGs and Principles of Leave No One Behind (LNOB), Gender Dimensions, Causes for Vulnerability of Children, Unidentified Needs of Vulnerable Children and Mechanism to Identify Vulnerability, Civil Society Efforts to Identify Gaps and Challenges, Civil Society Strategies and Interventions to Address Gaps and Challenges and Civil Society Initiatives for Data Collection.