Kohima, September 18: In a move towards enhancing awareness of Government teachers on child rights and their protection, the Directorate of School Education today conducted a one-day seminar here.
Speaking on the occasion, chairperson of Nagaland Commission for Child Rights & Protection, Awan Konyak highlighted that the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) defines child rights as the minimum entitlements and freedoms that should be afforded to every citizen below the age of 18 regardless of race, national origin, colour, gender, language, religion, opinions, origin, wealth, birth status, disability or other characteristics.
She said social protection is essential for preventing and reducing poverty for children and families, for addressing inequalities, and for realizing children’s rights.
In addition, she said it is essential that social protection programme respond to children’s vulnerabilities by optimizing positive effects for children and minimizing potential adverse consequences.
Child-sensitive social protection has the opportunity to address chronic poverty, social exclusion, and external shocks which can irreversibly affect children, she said, adding that this is especially important for children living in rural zones which often face greater vulnerabilities added on by their living conditions.
Given that only 27% of Indian children live in urban zones and an overwhelming 73% live in rural areas, she said it is important to expand access to social protection programme for children.
She was of the view that visionaries of the world understood that peace meant guaranteeing every person certain rights that are conditional for humanity-education being one of the most important that all children deserve a chance to grow up in a safe and secure environment that helps them learn.
However, she said according to CRY (Child Rights and You) over 33 million children in India, between the ages of 5 and 18 years, work as child labourers at tea stalls, factories, construction sites and even as domestic help.
Expressing that schooling is the one experience that most children worldwide have in common and the most common means by which societies prepare their young for the future, she was of the view that schooling is not always a positive experience for children.
“It can mean being forced to stand in unfurnished classrooms, being hungry, thirsty or unwell; it can also mean being frightened by the threat of punishment, humiliation, bullying or even violence at the hands of teachers and fellow pupils,” she said.
In this, she said “when a good portion of a student’s day is spent in schools, it becomes the responsibility of the schools to make child protection a top priority”.
She, therefore, said one way to go forward would be to train all the employees of the school by creating and implementing a comprehensive child protection strategy which adhere to the key principle that children have to be safeguarded from any harm.
School Education Deputy Director, Visetonuo chaired the inaugural session while School Education Director, Wonthungo Tsopoe delivered the welcome address.
(Page News Service)