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Social Justice

World Children’s Day

  • 21 Nov 2019
  • 4 min read

World Children’s Day is celebrated on 20th November each year to promote international togetherness and awareness among children worldwide, and improve children's welfare.

  • 20th November is an important date as:
    • The United Nations (UN) General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1959.
    • The UN General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989.
  • To commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the United Nation Children’s Fund (UNICEF) undertook the 'Go Blue' campaign wherein landmark buildings around the world lit up blue on 20th November 2019 to show support for child rights.
    • Indian Parliament was also part of the same.

Convention on the Rights of the Child

  • It is a treaty adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1989.
  • Under the Convention, every human being under 18 years old is recognized as a child.
  • It sets out the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of every child, regardless of their race, religion or abilities.
    • It includes rights such as Right to Education, Right to Rest and Leisure, Right to Protection from Mental or Physical Abuse including Rape and Sexual Exploitation.
  • It is the world’s most widely ratified human rights treaty.

Initiatives Taken by India

  • India celebrates Children’s Day on 14th November every year.
  • India ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1992.
  • The under-5 mortality rate has fallen significantly from the 1990 level of 117 per 1000 live births to 39 in 2016.
  • The number of children having access to drinking water has increased from 62% in 1992 to 92% in 2019.
  • The National Policy for Children, 2013 was adopted to affirm the Government’s commitment to a rights based approach in addressing the continuing and emerging challenges in the situation of children.
  • The Right to Education Act 2009, has increased primary school attendance rates for girls from 61% to near universal in the same period.
  • Prohibition of Child Marriage Act 2006 saw prevalence of child marriage declining from 47% girls married before age 18 in 2005-2006, to 27% in 2015-2016.
  • With novel programmes and approaches like Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao, child friendly schools, child budgets and POSHAN Abhiyan, the States and the Union government are ensuring that children have adequate protection and opportunities for growth and development.

Way Forward

  • The Government needs to focus on the nutrition of children as presently 21% of children under age five years are wasted and 36% of children under age five years are underweight.
  • The Government also needs to ensure inclusive education by placing special focus on securing education to the more vulnerable differently abled children.

Source: PIB

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