'Lack of coordination among agencies for child welfare' - The New Indian Express

'Lack of coordination among agencies for child welfare'

Published: 01st September 2013 09:14 AM

Last Updated: 01st September 2013 09:14 AM

Pointing out lack of coordination among the various agencies involved in the field of child welfare in the state, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) chairperson Kushal Singh has called for “institutional convergence” among such agencies and has asked the newly-constituted Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (KSCPCR) to play a lead role in achieving this objective.

Singh was delivering the keynote address at the State-level Consultation on Child Rights organised by the KSCPCR here on Saturday. “Children should not be called as citizens of the future. By doing so, we are turning a blind eye towards their present day needs,” Singh said.

“There is a misconception that destitute children under government care needs resources only for their survival. They have the same rights as other children. The government should ensure that the budgetary allocation for child protection and welfare are used for their overall development,” Singh said.

Satish Kumar, chief of field office, Office for Tamil Nadu & Kerala, UNICEF, said that even though Kerala ranks high in terms of child development indices, around 40 per cent of the children face abuse in some form or the other while 25 per cent fall prey to sexual exploitation.

“The tribal population in the state faces problems in accessing social and health institutions. Those who manage such institutions also keep tribals away from accessing public institutions. In such a scenario, the government should ensure that such sections do not face social exclusion,” he said.

UNICEF will co-ordinate with various NGOs to set up an ‘Independent Child Rights Observatory’ to monitor the progress of various child welfare programmes. This will be done in consultation with the KSCPCR, Kumar said. Delivering the presidential address, KSCPCR chairperson Neela Gangadharan stressed the need to develop a Child Rights Index to monitor the progress in implementation of various laws governing the protection and welfare of children. “Along with a Child Rights Index, a comprehensive database on child rights should also be prepared,” she said. The two-day state-level consultation is being organised by the KSCPCR to seek opinion from various stakeholders with a view to identifying priority areas and chart an action plan for the Commission.

Child Welfare Committee chairpersons, legal experts, NGOs and Juvenile Justice Board members participated in the consultations.

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