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Children’s Parliament

12-22-2010 10:38 AM CET | Associations & Organizations

Press release from: World Vision India

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The UNCRC article 12 states that Children can express freely to the issues that are affecting them. All children have equal rights, irrespective of their caste, colour and creed. World Vision India covers 5536 communities across the nation and in all our communities we provide space to children to articulate their views and opinions freely through Children’s Forum.
Children’s Parliament is the highest form of Child Participation, wherein children meet once a quarter to voice out their views and concerns.This is organized by children in a democratic way, a replica of an Indian Parliament - for the children by the children and of the children. The age group of these children would be from 12 years to below 18 years. Children have an Executive Body, wherein, children select Ministers – Prime Minister, Education Minister, Finance Minister, Home Minister, Defense Minister Etc.All members are children and they put forth their demands/requests to the concerned Ministers for appropriate action. Through parliament children are able to procure results to their demands. All these children are also the members of children’s clubs. Prior to the formation of Child Parliament, children are trained on Child Rights Assembly to be well equipped on child rights for demanding their rights.

The Child Rights Assembly (Bal Adhikar Sabha) organized by World Vision provided training to selected children from the communities on Child Rights and they are updated on a regular basis on the status of children in their respective Districts, State and Nation. This enables children to voice their views confidently in the Children’s Parliament and also in the presence of leaders and policy makers.

For the past couple of years, children from the children’s clubs in 12 different States were trained on Child Rights and were divided into five thematic groups – Health, Development, Protection and Participation. Selected children from the District Level were called to the State Level.These children were provided with score cards to assess the Service Providers – State and National Governance. These children from the clubs of remote areas and slums were able to interact with other children representatives from different districts. They had jointly made presentation on four thematic issues and also handed over their demands to the leaders from their respective States.
The National Child Rights Assembly was organized by World Vision India in collaboration with India Child Rights Alliance in Delhi.The selected children who participated in this event were selected by children themselves as their State Representatives; these children from different States participated at the National Level.They had expressed that 41% of India’s population are children and the budget allocated for them by the government for Health, Education, Protection and Participation were very limited. Hence, they demanded the government to take action by providing reasonable budget for children’s wellbeing and to improve the quality of education in government schools, access of rapid health services in remote areas and slums, protection of children from all forms of abuse etc.
Children prepared the Manifesto and they were provided space to express their concerns with freedom and confidence to the leaders of the Nation and to the policy makers.Also, as Right Holders they exercised their rights by handing over the Manifesto directly to the policy makers and the leaders for influencing the public policy. Under the leadership of Dr. Jayakumar Christian, National Director, World Vision India, children from the slums met Mr. Somnath Chatterjee, the then Lok Sabha Speaker and Cabinet Ministers. Children also met Mrs. Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi for requesting allocation of sufficient budget for the overall welfare of children.The interaction with the Senior Leaders of the nation had enhanced their confidence level and boosted their interests in formation of children’s parliament in their respective communities.
Children’s Parliament plays a vital role in promoting child participation and empowering children to demand for their rights and thereby build a community fit for children.

World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organisation working to create lasting change in the lives of children, families and communities living in poverty.

Christopher Rajan
Interactive Marketing Specialist
World Vision India

#16, VOC Main Road,
Kodambakkam, CHENNAI - 600 024, INDIA
+91-44-2480 7244 / 4228 7244

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