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4 out of 10 manifestoes talk about child rights, says CRY

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KOLKATA: After launching its nation-wide campaign ‘Vote for Child Rights’ election advocacy campaign in November last year, the Child Rights and You (CRY) has again attempted to look at the political parties’ manifestos from child rights perspective.

CRY which had launched the campaign in all major metro cities now aims to see whether political parties have given enough importance to issues related to children in promises made for the next five year.

Manifestos of 10 parties viz INC, BJP, NCP, BSP, CPI, CPI(M), SP, AIADMK, DMK and JDS were looked at from the framework of children’s Right to Survival, Development, Protection and Participation.

Some of the key quantitative findings say that only four parties out of 10 – BJP, CPI, DMK and CPI(M) have mentioned children/child rights issues in a separate section. While for rest of the parties it is mentioned in a scattered way mostly under headers like ‘Education’ and ‘Health’.

Average representation of content on children's issues in 2014 party manifesto is around 11 per cent while in 2009 it was 9.75 per cent. “There is a marginal increase seen as far as quantitative representation is concerned,” the official added.

It further reveals that none of the party talks about the societal role and steps that need to be taken to ensure that children have their right to live, develop, and build their capabilities and interests. Also, none of the parties has looked at all/ different perspectives of child rights/ children’s lives.

CRY would love to ensure that political parties and people in power take heed to ‘Putting Children First’ always among other agendas and give top priority to children’s issues and commit to changing the situation of children in our country.

The manifesto was based on CRY’s in-depth analytical report ‘Status and Trends in Child Rights in India-An overview of the Past Decade’, and covers the aspirations of children across the country. The report comprised of views of development thinkers and practitioners in the Child Rights arena and provides a detailed analysis of child rights indicators.

Speaking about the campaign, CRY (East) regional director Atindra Nath Das, said, “Vote for Child Rights campaign is our way of ensuring that there is political will behind our justified demand to protect Child Rights. It is imperative that the best interest of the child be put at the centre of all policies, legislations and practices, and the Vote for Child Rights campaign focuses on that solely.”

 “This is our attempt to remind politicians and governments in power that it is their obligation to undertake all measures in protecting and promoting child rights,” Das concluded.

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