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India defaults in submitting Child Rights report PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Sudha Nambudiri   
First Published : 16 May 2011 03:13:57 AM IST
Last Updated : 16 May 2011 10:58:37 AM IST

KOCHI: India is into its third year defaulting on the submission of the Country Report on the Implementation of the Convention on the Rights of  the Child.  Following the delay in submitting the report which is ready, civil society groups are irked at the lack of initiative on the part of the Central Government in speeding up the process.An alternative report is being given final touches as several NGO groups    are of the view that they should at least make their observations in a first phase report and pressure the government to speed up the submission of the Country report on CRC.It is three years since the country planned to submit its combined report  for two terms in 2009.  India signed the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) in 1989 and ratified it in 1992 thereby committing itself to safeguarding the rights of children enshrined in the Convention. As a signatory to the UNCRC, the Ministry of Women and Child Development  (MWCD), nodal ministry for women and children, has the obligation to  submit a country report every five years to the UN Committee on the CRC,  on the progress and initiatives undertaken by the Government of India in securing children’s rights and the issues and challenges faced.     It was during the preparation of the Combined Third and Fourth Periodic Report on the CRC, 2008, that a High Powered Committee was constituted for guiding this process.      The Ministry of Women and Child Development had organised five regional consultative workshops involving state government personnel, NGOs, UNICEF and children to collect information on status of child rights. Based on these interactions and reporting guidelines, 25 states prepared and submitted their respective reports with specific state-level initiatives and prevailing scenario in child rights.The draft report of the national committee for monitoring CRC  implementation in India was readied and later reworked as a main report.  When it went to the Ministry of External Affairs, it was further revised and in late 2010, the report was sent to the Indian mission in Geneva. Unusual as it is, the Indian mission is said to be further vetting the report.Meanwhile, irked by the several vetting and revisions on the report, NGO groups have prepared a Phase-I Alternative report which will raise several issues regarding the status of the child. “There are several of us who are of the view that the phase-1 report be released while we wait for official report before we release the Phase-II which will give a critical look at what the government has to stay. India has been defaulting right from day one and we have till now submitted only two reports since we ratified the report in 1997 and 2003,” R Padmini, member, High Powered Committee on CRC Reporting, says.

 



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