Message from Managing Trustee

 “CIVIL   SOCIETY, CHILD   RIGHTS &  PROTECTION”  

 Every day in the Indian news and media, we see publications of large number of cases of child rights violations and violence against children (VAC). India also became the country with the second highest number of COVID-19 pandemic cases in the world. Children in marginalized communities became more vulnerable due to food insecurity, malnutrition, and limited access to health services, increased prevalence of all forms of child abuse, including physical, sexual and emotional abuse, trafficking, child marriage, child labor and online exploitation of children. The gravity of situation and socio-economic circumstances demands that violence against children should be placed on the India’s national agenda, both as a major child rights violation and a huge public health problem.

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Violence against children(VAC) can  exerts a multitude of short- and long-term health effects on children, which may include serious and often lifelong adverse child hood experiences ( ACE)  and consequences to their mental, physical, and reproductive health, academic performance, and social functioning. The adverse health effects in adult life include smoking, alcohol and substance abuse, severe obesity, and also with ill-health, such as depression, diabetes heart disease, cancer, chronic lung disease and shortened lifespan due to other forms of non communicable diseases occur more often in those individuals who have been abused and maltreated in childhood. In this context, it is extremely important to lay the foundation for child rights, protection and positive parenting to prevent violence against marginalized children and youth in India and all low and middle income countries. 

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India needs to urgently create community awareness and sensitization among the civil society, in order to prevent and effectively respond to cases of violations of child rights. Protection of Child Rights is every ones responsibility,   including all citizens. Along with GAIL Limited,  a central public sector undertaking under the ownership of Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Government of India; Indian Child abuse, neglect and child labour (ICANCL) group, Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP) and allied partners, BUDS invited civil society members and  multidisciplinary professionals members working with children to attend a consultation on Civil Society and Child Rights at India International Centre New Delhi India on November 10, 2022.

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The main aims of the consultation were the following:

(a) To sensitize the civil society and create an awareness about child rights, 

(b) To bring about behavior and attitudinal change and learn how to speak on behalf of children,

(c)  To understand how to demand crucial rights for education, health, development and protection from the policy makers.

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Ms Tripti Gurha, Joint Secretary from the Ministry of Women and Child Development; Government of India was the Chief Guest.  She spoke on the Government of India new imitative to make adoption process simple, and thus help protection of children. Over 300 civil society members participated at the event. While a detailed report is under preparation, civil society members benefited from the following outcomes: 1) Become aware to the public health problem regarding child rights and protection; 2) Adequate and improved knowledge of all rights of the child, including child health, education,  development and protection; 3) Understand, acknowledge, respect and the needs to protect children rights, especially of the vulnerable and the underprivileged; 4) Become effective advocates to advance child rights at the local, regional, state and national levels.

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At BUDS, our teams have regularly engaged with the local underprivileged communities and have built trust worthy relationships with them. The civil society members must always acknowledge, respect and protect children rights; become familiar with the language of child rights; and become effective advocates for children and their families. Together, with all members of the civil society and allied stakeholders, we look forward to reaching  out to the most underprivileged and marginalized communities and households.

Dr Rajeev Seth

MD (AIIMS), DNBE, FIAP, FAAP (USA)

Managing Trustee BUDS India

Chair of the Board, International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse & Neglect (ISPCAN)

Email rajeevseth@budsngo.org

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