Strategies to Safeguard Child Rights

Number of children in the world: 2.2 billion. One third of these children suffer from malnutrition. One sixth don't go to primary school. Over 10 million children die each year from illness. 1.2 million children are victims of human trafficking. Almost 140 million children are orphans with no one to help them in any way. All this in a world where the rights of the child are considered to be the epitome of human development.

A very good morning to everyone present here. I, Swathy Sanjay Sindhu, am here to put forward a few approaches that I hope are persuasive enough to ensure that the investment in child rights does not slacken.

Children's rights are still far from being generally respected and there are still cases of basic childhood needs not being met. The half-hearted effort by governments to combat the violation of child rights results in the creation of flimsy and ineffective strategies such as the modification of laws or the implementation of midday meal schemes, strategies that have resulted time and again in failure. We must turn to the governments of countries and suggest the benefits of safeguarding child rights. There are at least two very persuasive arguments as to why governments should invest in the rights of children. The first argument is the economic argument relating to the need for the government to invest in the country’s human capital. Approximately 1/3rd of a country’s human capital is in the form of children. To make this argument more convincing comes the fact that almost 100 percent of these children can become tomorrow’s labour force if properly invested in. That brings me to the second argument. The political and social argument about how inadequate investment in children increases social evils, inequality and poverty that can destroy social cohesion.

Ladies and gentlemen, hence I can say that this boils down to three basic strategies, the first being as I have mentioned the investment in education and other basic necessities by governments. Next, to ensure a legal system, so draconian, that the fear of punishments can result in child rights not being violated. Lastly and perhaps most importantly, ensuring responsible parenthood and enlightening rural parents and society, through various community awareness programs and national movements, about how they can ensure the rights of their children, and about how in doing so they contribute not only to their society but also to themselves.

Ensuring efficient coordination and communication on the issue of child rights, promoting child rights in the field of external relations and ultimately reviewing and assuring that schemes reach children is the ultimate flowchart to ensure that the investment in child rights does not go to waste.

I refuse to accept that the world is so poor, when just one week of global spending on the cinema industry is enough to give all of our children a good education and enough food. – My take on a quote by Kailash Sathyarthi, Nobel Laureate for Child Rights Activism. I believe I have made my point here.

Ladies and gentlemen, I must emphasize on the fact that the ultimate responsibility of ensuring and safeguarding the rights of the child lie in the hands of parents. It is this ultimate authority who must guarantee that their child receives the resources he or she needs. The proposal and implementations of schemes by governments may be happening but simultaneously we need to spread awareness of these. Parents and the immediate society must ensure that the child receives enough attention and care because this is the most critical aspect of the existence of children’s rights and the strategies to ensure and invest in these.

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