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The everywhere child project unveils in Mumbai

CHILDLINE India Foundation » CIF News » The everywhere child project unveils in Mumbai

Mumbai, Maharashtra: The Everywhere Child Project - A child friendly place in every space, a national Study on Child Protection Mechanisms was launched in Mumbai on February 12, 2012 at the YMCA International House, Mumbai.

Majority of children who are provided assistance by CHILDLINE 1098 live without parental support and their families do not have dependable means of earning an adequate livelihood. Calls for help also come from workplaces, railway and bus stations, streets, home and neighbourhoods showing that children are victimised in public spaces as well.

The study conducted by CHILDLINE is the foremost endeavor to bring the Integrated Child Protection System (ICPS) and other child protection agencies together. It focuses on an assessment of protection mechanisms across spaces to bring attention to the child protection discourse and strengthen the child protection consciousness among all those directly or indirectly involved with children.

Every Child, Everywhere - Protecting Children

Ms. Kajol Menon, Executive Director, CHILDLINE India Foundation (CIF) introduced the study and spoke on the occasion, saying, "Over two million phone calls made by children were received by CHILDLINE last year proves that there are voices that need to be heard and matters that need to be addressed. To ensure that an environment conducive to a safe and protected childhood is created and sustained, it is important to define the boundaries of the environment and develop child protection standards for those spaces."

The survey categorized six significant spaces -- public service, public institutional care, statutory bodies, public common spaces, community based non residential spaces and public safety. After gathering information from the spaces and analyzing the phone calls received on 1098, the foundation drafted the standardized guidelines to ensure child safety and protection.

"It is a reality that there are so many cases of abuse and ill treatment in schools and we need to ensure that CHILDLINE 1098 is available in educational institutions for children," said Farida Lambay, Co-Founder of NGO Pratham, Mumbai. Key findings of the survey brought to light issues like 28 per cent of schools did not have separate toilets for boys and girls, only 10 per cent schools reported having a child protection policy and 64 per cent schools said that they take no measures to ensure safety of children outside school premises.

Every Child, Everywhere - Protecting Children

The programme ended with initiating a dialogue on safe spaces for children. In the picture above (l to r) Panelists Bobby Sista, Founder and Executive Trustee, Population First, Mumbai, Dr. Nilima Mehta, Former Chairperson, Child Welfare Committee, Mumbai, moderator for the session, Mr.Nishit, Kumar, Head, Communication & Strategic Initiatives, CIF , Farida Lambay, Co-Founder of NGO Pratham, Mumbai and Ms. Alpa Vora, Consultant, Child Protection, UNICEF.

"Children are citizens of the country, they are equal shareholders and for that we need to frame policies- not out of charity but out of responsibility towards them. Child labour should not be treated as a hazard in the industry but as a matter of great shame for the entire nation. In order to make spaces safer for children we need to view the problem from the perspective of a child," said Ms. Alpa Vora, Consultant, Child Protection, UNICEF. "It is important to create a child protection movement in the country and child protection should go beyond the Juvenile Justice Authority (JJA) and other legislation pertaining to children", she added.

Dr. Nilima Mehta, Former Chairperson, Child Welfare Committee, Mumbai said "The idea that children have rights of their own, which transcend the family settings is a concept that needs to be universally accepted. Society has a special responsibility towards children whose vulnerability and dependence makes it mandatory for parents, adult authority figures and society as a whole to make a special response in law a practice. We need to ensure that they are protected against abuse, violence, exploitation and neglect".

Every Child, Everywhere - Protecting Children

The study was released by CIF in New Delhi on 4th January, 2012. The Study, conducted across 10 States of India, was inaugurated by Dr. Syeda Hameed, Member Planning Commission.

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