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CHILD Protection & Child Rights » IV. National Mechanisms » Child Related Policies » National Charter for Children 2003

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The National Charter for Children is a re-commitment document. It is a brief re-cap of issues children face and the duty the state has towards these children. It recognises the right of every child to survival, life and liberty and need for the state to protect these rights.

The charter discusses the need for proper health and nutrition facilities for children including mental health. This includes the need for nutritious food, safe drinking water and environmental sanitation and hygiene to be provided to poor families. The charter recognises the need of every child to protection from abandonment and neglect, and the duty to assure minimum needs and security of children. The charter commits to the need for all children to get free primary education and early childhood care. This includes the need for leisure and play, physical exercise, cognitive development, etc. It is the aim of this charter that the state work towards complete ban of child labour, protects children against various other forms of abuse, take actions to prevent the use of children in illegal activities, etc. There is the need to provide the girl child with special attention and assistance to ensure her survival and development.

Adolescents require the empowering to transition into responsible adult citizens. The charter recognises the right of children to express themselves, to information and to assemble. It is also important for the state to strengthen families. All children have a right to a family and healthy relationship with adults who care for them. The charter outlines that both parents are responsible for the well-being of the child. The state needs to pay special attention to the needs of marginalised groups of children such as SC/ST children and the need to use child friendly methods in addressing all issues concerning children.

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