26 December 2014 - CHRISTOPHER B. ANTHONY - Child Rights Activist


CHRISTOPHER B. ANTHONY

- Child Rights Activist -

G'day folks,

Today I introduce yet another person who is involved in the rights of kids in India - Christopher B. Anthony. His answers to my questions are often quite sobering so brace yourself for a touch of reality.

Welcome, Christopher ...


WHAT’S YOUR CURRENT JOB?

Presently I am working with NEED trust as I am one of the founding members and engaged as child rights development Specialist. I am supporting the organisation to raise funds plus we take care of 45 children who are children in need of care and protection. These are children without either both parents or single parents, some of them are also run away children, They leave home because of utter poverty, abuse or because of the parents just cannot  afford to look after them as they are just helpless. Making a difference

NEED TRUST is a register Trust, (Under Karnataka registration Act) 674-81-82 a non-profit organization working with Children in need of care and Protection, based in Bangalore Recently with very little support we started a Shelter home for children in need of care and Protection, and also we have a plan to reach out to children in vulnerable areas like slums and villages. These children come from various trying circumstance.
           
 Need Trust aims at providing home based care for children in vulnerable places through sponsorship and foster care and for children where family is non-functional we take them in our shelter at Bangalore and provide them with home, food, education and security. The ultimate aim of Need Trust is to restore the child to their family and give the child a dignified existence. We believe every child has a Right to a family.
           
We also love to intervene in the area of Child Protection focusing at school level both at Bangalore and Hyderabad and it is the need of the hour. We want to set up safety nets for children and work with the system. Work with children in conflict with law at Observation homes by improving standards of care and protection, provide legal support and rehabilitation of children back to their family and community is a mush related child protection work but it is a challenging task with very little support.

Meeting the sensitive needs of these children is a challenging undertaking. We with a very limited means rise to this challenge, but we need your help. We are looking out for long term partnership with for the cause of disadvantaged children and in this context We appreciate if you can spare some time and get involved with our cause and support us in whatever means you can.  

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE CHILD RIGHTS & HUMAN RIGHTS?

I believe sometimes you are pushed into a job knowingly, I am myself struggled I life to reach this stage. I from a very poor family and my parents struggled hard to provide us the basic necessities of life. We were altogether five children for our parents. The total monthly income for our family was just Rs.1000 which works out to around USD 23$, not even a dollar a day. I and my younger brother use to walk 28 km per day (14 km to go to school and 14 km to be back home). My younger brother Cyril died at the age of 16 of bone cancer and we were unable to treat him as we just had no money. It was a first death in our family and my parents were broken people to lose a teenage son. Well …I do not want to harp on my story of poverty. One important    lesson I learned Children from poor families are deprived of rights not by choice but by the circumstances of life situation  but my parents ensured  even in situation of extreme poverty educated us all  and also I did not abandoned schooling and  studies.

Today I live a decent life but reflecting on my childhood days I do not want any child to go through the same trauma that I had gone through. I just want to reach out to kids in difficult situation and ensured they are helped. I realised all of us as Human, have Human rights and these rights has to be respected and have to be fulfilled by the state. CHILD RIGHTS is Human Rights for children, because It is because of their vulnerability and  special needs United Nation has promulgated the Rights of the Child commonly UNCRC OR  Child Rights. There are 42 Rights in UNCRC which can be summarised as under four themes, Right to Survival, Right to Development, Right to Protection and Right to Participation. Almost all the countries have signed the UNCRC and ratified it.Hence is duty bound to fulfil the UNCRC. I am just an instrument to make these rights known to state and people at large but people at large are ignorant and need to be made aware…….. As a Child I was deprived of my Child rights and do I not wish this to happen to other children who are marginalised. That’s the reason for me to become a  Child Rights activist, I  still need a huge resources huge resources to reach out to millions of Children who are in need of care and protection and for children in conflict with law, who pushed into jails like an adult criminals and abused.

HOW DID YOU BECOME INVOLVED IN CHILD RIGHTS? WAS IT ONE PARTICULAR INCIDENT? ANY PERSONAL INVOLVEMENTS?

My involvement in Child Rights dates back to April 1993.That time I was young social activist working in Antop hill which was a part of the Asias ’ largest slum  called DHARAVI ( Bombay) now called Mumbai .It was  infamous for crime of all types. During those days the area was ruled by anti-socials and DONS. Housing is a major issue; It is very expensive and difficult to buy a house in Mumbai. You will find homeless sleeping out in the open, congested hutment area with no basic amenities. Buying a flat or a home is an expensive affair, So working class who could afford would rent out houses, flat although if the rent is  high. You come across two Families often could come together and shared a flat of two rooms for rent. The rent would be shared. In such situations Families were often deprived of privacy.

My involvement in Child rights is shaped by two very touching incidents in Antop hill in Mumbai.. The first one was about a very young girl child called Sony Thomas she was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas who rented out a flat in CGS Colony, Building No. 60, flat No. 2580, Antop hill, Bombay. The said flat is situated on the second floor. The flat was shared, with another family called Suryakant Bhabal . On 3rd April 1993, Mr and Mrs.Thomas as usual went for work leaving their daughter and son at home, trusting Suryakant family would do no harm to them, it was a holiday for children. Soni’s father Thomas left his house for work at 8.30 a.m. as usual while his wife i.e. the mother the left at about 10.30 a.m. Shobi the brother of Sony too left the home to his friend’s house to study as he was preparing for std.V11 exams leaving Soni alone in the house.   He returned home at about 1 p.m. on entering the flat  he found the room occupied by his parents closed and he began knocking but at that time the wife of Suryakant  said to him that soni was sleeping and not to disturb her.  He, therefore, went and sat on the staircase later after some time he called his relatives and  along with his father forced open the door and to their utter shock found  on entering the room they noticed that Soni was tied with Dupatta ( Scaff)) to the rods of the kitchen window above mori  ( Wash place)and was in standing position.

One end of the Dupatta was tied around her neck and the other end was tied to the window.  Mr .Thomas (The father of Soni )removed the Dupatta and laid the dead daughter on the cot in their room. There were injuries on the body of Soni and blood near her mouth and also on her clothes. The doctor was called in and the child was declared dead .Mr. Thomas the father of the late child Soni requested the Bosspaul (relative) to inform the police. The police arrived and the effort of the police was to convert the case into a case of suicide. The body was sent for post-mortem, when the report came it did not mention the cause of death. It was at this time I had intervened and suspected manipulation. Surprisingly the police had made no arrest ,although mr.suryakant  and his wife were there throughout  they were neither called by the police for investigation nor any arrest made  and in fact a police team goes to the school where Soni was studying and enquired about her character and police were  searching  her books to see if she concealed any love letters, to frame the dead  girl child  and  covert the case into a love failure leading to suicide. It was also discovered that the accused couple had paid bribe to the police and the doctors to hush up the case.

This manipulation of case was not accepted by us and all of us felt the innocent girl child is being blamed for things which has not done. It was a great injustice to the dead child.A hardly 11 year old child is not capable of taking her own life we challenged the statement.. We got the people’s support. We mobilised about 30,000 people of Antop hill and took out a silent march to the police station and demanded a second post mortem ,The second post-mortem was done as per our demands and to our utter shock the report revealed the child had 20 wounds on her body, blood oozing   from her vagina and her ankles were broken. The report stated the child was raped, killed brutally and hanged. The Police, in spite of obvious injuries and marks of violence and the marks of rape on the body of the victim girl, did not register the offence, until 6.4.1993 .Based on the post-mortem report and after the statement of Sahirabanu the servant lady was recorded. The couple Mr.  & Mrs.Suryakant who shared the flat with Thomas family were arrested

The event made had created sensation in the locality and the residents of the locality numbering in thousands protested and demanded immediate action for registering the offence and commencement of investigation. The offence was registered under C.R. No. 122/93 by P.W. 13 against both the accused under Sections 376 and 302 read with Section 34 of the IPC. Both the accused were then arrested.. The investigation was taken over thereafter by D.C.B., C.I.D. on 14.4.93 our case was supported by a set Human Rights lawyers headed by Mr. Collin Gonsalves – Advocate high court.

 Finally The Sessions Court had framed three charges against both the accused on 14th February, 1997.The first charge is under Section 376 against both the accused, the accused No. 1 (Mr. Suryakant) having committed an offence of rape under Section 376 of IPC with the help of accused No. 2 (Mrs.Suryakant)on 3rd April, 1993 in the house which was occupied by the family of the deceased and the accused. The second charge is under Section 302 against both the accused read with Section 34 of IPC and the third charge is under Section 292(2)(a) of IPC for possessing pornographic magazine and two video cassettes of blue film.6. The present accused being accused No. 1 was convicted under Section 376 of IPC and sentenced to RI for ten years. He was also convicted under Section 302 of IPC and sentenced to death subject to confirmation by the High Court for murder of Soni, daughter of John Thomas (P.W. 1). It is this order of death penalty which is submitted before this Court for confirmation under Section 366 of Cr.P.C. The original Accused No. 2, the wife of the present accused by name Sunita Suryakant Bhabal, not before us, was convicted under Section 302 of the IPC and sentenced to life imprisonment and to pay a fine of Rs. 500/- in default to undergo RI for 10 days. As stated earlier, she has not preferred appeal against the order of her conviction and sentence.

It took four full years to fight the case in the court. The lesson learned was many. Children and mostly girl child are in a very vulnerable situation if there is poverty situation, lack of safe homes, or absence of rule of law. Corruption, bribery and political power are forces one needs to encounter and often Child victims and their parents cannot counter theses forces.
 Children who are victims often are told or forced to shut up / keep silence as the dignity of the family at stake. If money has exchanged hands slowly the girl child victim is constantly abused and pushed into exploitative situations. There are so many cases of Child sexual abuse goes unreported because of fear, money power and corruption in the very system that is set up to protect the citizen. It is a uphill task…..As there are very few who voice injustice..I decided to join the rank and decided to dedicate my life for the cause of Protection of Children in India.

Likewise I handled 11 cases of Child sexual abuse and each of them was tough to handle. The most horrific one was of a 13 year old girl child called Praveen Tamana.She was raped and her throat was slit open, she was made to bleed to death …….till date the culprits not found and the case was given a communal colouring and disposed off. Here too we protested against the injustice but The Police got angered with our struggle and agitation they got us all arrested and were shut up in the lock up. We were asked to sign a bond that we will not agitate we refused. The more we suffered the more resolve we become to champion the cause of Child Rights.


WHAT IS CHILD PROTECTION?

UNICEF uses the term ‘child protection’  refer to preventing and responding to violence, Exploitation and abuse against children – including commercial sexual exploitation, trafficking, child labour and harmful traditional practices, such as female genital mutilation/cutting and child marriage. UNICEF’s child protection programmes also target children who are uniquely vulnerable to these abuses; such as when living without parental care, in conflict with the law and in armed conflict. Violations of the child’s right to protection take place in every country and are massive, under-recognized and under-reported barriers to child survival and development, in addition to being human rights violations. Children subjected to violence, exploitation, abuse and neglect are at risk of death, poor physical and mental health, HIV/AIDS infection, educational problems, Displacement, homelessness, vagrancy and poor parenting skills later in life.

Facts and figures

• Approximately 126 million children aged 5–17 are believed to be engaged in hazardous work,

excluding child domestic labour1.

• More than 1 million children worldwide are detained by law enforcement officials.2

• I t is estimated that more than 130 million women and girls alive today have undergone some form

of female genital mutilation/cutting.3

                                          
BUILDING A PROTECTIVE ENVIRONMENT FOR CHILDREN

Building a protective environment for children that will help prevent and respond to violence, abuse and exploitation involves eight essential components: Strengthening government commitment and capacity to fulfil children’s right to protection; promoting the establishment and enforcement of adequate legislation; addressing harmful attitudes, customs and practices; encouraging open discussion of child protection issues that includes media

WHAT IS YOUR DEFINITION OF CHILD RIGHTS?

It is difficult to define Child Rights holistically but the the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) outlines the fundamental rights of children, including the right to be protected from economic exploitation and harmful work, from all forms of sexual exploitation and abuse, and from physical or mental violence, as well as ensuring that children will not be separated from their family against their will. These rights are further refined by two Optional Protocols, one on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, and the other on the involvement of children in armed conflict.
Child Rights are Human rights for Children; it recognizes three parental duties to the child: maintenance, protection, and education. In modern language, the child has a right to receive these from the parent. And in absence of parents the state is duty-bound to the responsibility to ensure Survival, development, protection and participation

One Canadian organization categorizes children's rights into three categories:

·         Provision: Children have the right to an adequate standard of livinghealth careeducation and services, and to play and recreation. These include a balanced diet, a warm bed to sleep in, and access to schooling.

·         Protection: Children have the right to protection from abuse, neglect, exploitation and discrimination. This includes the right to safe places for children to play; constructive child rearing behaviour, and acknowledgment of the evolving capacities of children.

·         Participation: Children have the right to participate in communities and have programs and services for themselves. This includes children's involvement in libraries and community programs, youth voice activities, and involving children as decision-makers.[21]



Amnesty International openly advocates four particular children's rights, including the end to juvenile incarceration without parole, an end to the recruitment of military use of children, ending the death penalty for people under 21, and raising awareness of human rights in the classroom. Human Rights Watch, an international advocacy organization, includes child laborjuvenile justiceorphans and abandoned children, refugeesstreet children and corporal punishment.
                                                                
DO YOU DO ‘PRO-BONO’ WORK IN HUMAN RIGHTS CASES?

In general no, but we take up cases of Child sexual abuse and get  Human rights lawyers to take up cases on our behalf .We provide them with all supporting informations,ensure the protection of witness, safe guard evidences and  raise resources for legal fight in the court. It is very expensive to fight cases in the court and we need financial resources continusely

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST CHILD RIGHTS ISSUES IN India and THE WORLD AS YOU SEE THEM?


Ground realities – Indian Context



·         Children constitute over one-third of India’s population of 1.21 billion people, which means India is home to 400 million children. Every sixth child in the world lives in India (Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation- MoSPI, 2012) Out of the 400 million children in India, every second child is malnourished (National Family Health Survey III – NFHS, 2005-06)In India the child sex ratio is at the lowest it has ever been with just 914 girls for every 1000 boys (Census, 2011)Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) in India continues to be high at 212 per 100,000 live births (Sample Registration System - SRS, 2011) Only 35% of births are registered, impacting name and nationality.


·         In India 47 out of every 1000 live births do not complete their first year of life (Sample Registration System - SRS, 2011)79% children of the 400 million in India (6-35 months) are anaemic (National Family Health Survey III - NFHS) 56% adolescent girls (15-19 years) in India are anaemic, as against 30% adolescent boys (National Family Health Survey III - NFHS)Only 54% children of the 400 million in India receive full immunization (District Level Household & Facility Survey III - DLHI, 2007-08)11.8% children in India are engaged in some form of child labour (National Family Health Survey III - NFHS)

·         Over 25% increase in child murders is noted since 2000 in India (National Crime Records Bureau - NCRB, 2011)The Net Enrollment Ratio (NER) at the Upper Primary Elementary Level in government schools in India is only 58.3% (Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation - MoSPI, 2012)National Dropout Rate at the Elementary Level in government schools in India is over 40% (District Information System for Education - DISE, 2011-12) Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) at the Secondary Level in government schools in India is below 50% (District Information System)

·         India has the world’s largest number of sexually abused children, with a child below 16 raped every 155th minute, a child below 10 every 13th hour, and at least one in every 10 children sexually abused at any point in time.

·         65% of girls in India are married by the age of 18 and become mothers soon after Of every 100 children who drop out of school, 66 are girls.


 Child bonded labourer. 
You also see a man lying on the cot guarding the children.


India is sadly the home to the largest number of child labourers in the world. The census found an increase in the number of child labourers from 11.28 million in 1991 to 12.59 million in 2001. M.V. Foundation in Andhra Pradesh found nearly 400,000 children, mostly girls between seven and 14 years of age, toiling for 14-16 hours a day in cottonseed production across the country of which 90% are employed in Andhra Pradesh. The child labour problem is not unique to India; worldwide, about 217 million children work, many full-time. Missing Children, Trafficking of children, Child labour, Child marriage killing of female children

HOW CAN ORDINARY PEOPLE HELP, OR BECOME INVOLVED?

·         As I narrate the issues of Children in my country …..It becomes all the more important that people from all walks of life to be involved. Let us begin by saying that I as a citizen of my country will never employ children for any type of work nor will tolerate Children being pushed into prostitution. I f you see such cases report it to the Police or take action.
·         Become aware of the issues of Children in your neighbourhood, province and country and advocate for respecting the rights of children everywhere. If you have skills volunteer to work for children in country or opt to work in underdeveloped countries
·         Advocate for child rights, Say no to violence in schools, home and neighbourhood.
·         Mobilise resources both financial and materials and support activist and organisations working for child rights. Christmas can be a wonderful occasion to generate resources. Form Child Protection committees at your county level. Adopt./sponsor/support Child in difficult situation.
·         Write do an media campaign, FM  radio can be a wonderful tool

HOW CAN WRITERS AND AUTHORS HELP?

Network with child Rights activist and we will feed you with data. As a Child rights activist I have so many experiences of children in difficult situation. This needs to be shared as it is and writers can capture the essence of the factual story and share it with the larger audience. Do an explorative study on Child abuse, sexual exploitation of children, Child trafficking, Violence against Children, Child abuse at domestic sector ect.Therea  are so many unexplored areas  where beginning can be made.

Let me throw lighter with an example….. This incident took place in the year 2007, in the month of April at Indore railway station. The police found a head of a man on the railway tracks……and no one had the courage to pick it up finally they caught hold of mentally challenged street child threatened him with dire consequences and forced him to pick up the slained head .The Child later was shifted to an observation home where he was treated like a criminal. Today the child is disturbed and shows sign of mentally challenged.Expliotation of children happen  and we are not sensitive  to  act…….Likewise there are so many   stories which go unreported, and unheard off. Here where the writers need to step in and support to bring out facts keep the general mass aware of situation of children in need of care and protection.

DO YOU BECOME FRUSTRATED BY THE LACK OF POLITICAL WILL REGARDING CHILD RIGHTS?

My country, India, has many laws safeguarding the Rights of Children but they are not implemented nor is there allocation of a national budget for Education, protection, survival. Even if it is there it is bare minimum. There is no political will to commit to safeguard the Rights of Children.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR GREATEST VICTORY?

Whenever I bring a child abuser to   the law and get sentenced for the crime done …I feel it is a victory. It is tough to fight the case in the court of law….all the times you need money all the time and I do not have. The opposition party even bribes the police, judges and sometimes threaten to kill us, and in spite of if you win the case and put the Child Rights violators behind the bars it is a GREATEST VICTORY – Saving the Child and keeping them safe free from all harm brings lots of joy and happiness.

WHAT HAS BEEN THE SADDEST MOMENT IN YOUR WORK?

The saddest moment has been when you work is not recognised, not supported and at times even misunderstood. And when you are without any financial support. Sometimes you want to reach out to children in very difficult situation but unable to do anything because you lack resources .Rescuing them from slavery and restoring them to their families, providing all required LEGAL.Social and physiological support, working with police, hiring professional all cost.

WHAT ARE YOUR BIGGEST FRUSTRATIONS?

When people show scant respect for  the Rights of Children, their need, and dignity. The Child is a human person and Human rights of the child as a person needs to respected and ensured it is implemented by the duty bearers. When I lack resources to take up legal cases against the rich and the powerful.

WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON NOW?

Presently I am managing the NEED TRUST which is registered (Under Karnataka registration Act) 674-81-82 a non-profit organization working with Children in need of care and Protection, based in Bangalore Recently with very little support we started a Shelter home for children in need of care and Protection, children who are run away from home because of trying situation at home and for children abandoned. We have a plan to reach out to children in vulnerable areas like slums and villages as they are easy target for child trafficking, child labour and sexual exploitation.
           
 Need Trust aims at providing home based care for children in vulnerable places through sponsorship and foster care, and for children where family is non-functional we take them in our shelter at Bangalore and provide them with home, food, education and security. The ultimate aim of Need Trust is to restore the child to their family and give the child a dignified existence. We believe every child has a Right to a family.
           
We also love to intervene in the area of Child Protection focusing at school level both at Bangalore and Hyderabad and it is the need of the hour. We want to set up safety nets for children and work with the system. Work with children in conflict with law at Observation homes by improving standards of care and protection, provide legal support and rehabilitation of children back to their family and community is a much related child protection work but It is a challenging task with very little support.

Meeting the sensitive needs of these children is a challenging undertaking. We with a very limited means rise to this challenge, but we need your help. We are looking out for long term partnership with for the cause of disadvantaged children. Appreciate If you support our cause by your direct contribution or by linking us to some good resources organisations who can partners with us for the cause of Children in difficult situation. We have the entire required legal documents for resource support and look forward to receive on-going support as partners for promotion of Child Rights. 




OUR Children at Shelter home - Bangalore
 
WHAT ORGANISATIONS ARE YOU A PART OF? WHY?

I am not a part of NEED TRUST and under its banner thinking of starting a movement call Child Rights Education Movement in India. For this I am in need of Capital investment. I need an office, staff and materials to initiate the process. I am also looking to network with all likeminded agencies and NGOS. We want to Advocate for the Rights of every Child in India, take up child rights violation issues and be a VOICE for deprived children.

DO YOU WORK ON OTHER CASES, BESIDES HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUES?

No …….I am passionate about Child Rights and in particular Child Protection…as I write this Blog..I just heard from the news channel that a three year old child was raped in an elite Bangalore school. The issue of child protection is a serious issue and its time we become a force to counter it. It is serious violation of a human person….How inhuman it is to physically violate the body space of an innocent child. We take children for granted we do not listen to them, their joy, their pain and their FEAR.


DO YOU BELIEVE THAT SOME GOOD THINGS ARE BEING ACHIEVED INCHILD RIGHTS?

They are starting to do so, but there is still a long way to go. Twenty five  years ago the idea of children's rights was much less well known and most governments probably thought that while children should be taken good care of and should never be abused, this did not mean that they had human rights in the same way as adults. The assumption tended to be that their parents or guardians were the ones who could and should exercise rights in the name of the child. This was understandable in the case of a two year old but as children get older they are quite capable of expressing their own views, feeling a sense of injustice when they are mistreated and having different ideas from adults as to what might be best for them.

 A lot of adults and governments are only slowly coming to terms with the revolution in thinking and acting that is required by acknowledging that children do indeed have their own human rights. This is the great achievement of the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child which every country in the world (even - Somalia and the U.S.A.) has officially promised to respect and implement.
 United Nation Conventions on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)     But I must also add that there are still many millions of children whose basic rights are not respected at all, whether because they are not given enough food to eat, they are not educated (often just because they are girls), they must work very long hours in hazardous conditions, they are beaten or sexually abused, they are forced to be soldiers, and so on. I would like to think that slowly but surely we are changing the way people think about these issues.  Child Rights is slowly being realised ….They no longer see them as a misfortune which cannot be helped but rather as a violation of human rights which must be stopped.

WHO OR WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST OBSTACLES IN IMPLEMENTATION OF UNCRC?

It is now 25 years on from the birth of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), and the realisation of children’s rights is at a crossroads. The past two decades have underscored the fact that progress on child well-being is not automatic or inevitable, even with
Economic growth. Some global trends are positive, such as falling numbers of children dying each year  thanks to improved nutrition and health interventions such as immunisation – down from 93 deaths before the age of five for every 1000 live births in 1990 to 68 in 2007 (UNICEF, 2008).

But progress in some developing countries is slow, stagnating or even reversing. Progress on all child-related indicators is slowest in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, and especially in West and Central Africa. For instance, in 2006 infant mortality rates were as high as 270 per 1000 live births in Sierra Leone, whereas figures in Europe are as low as three to seven child deaths per 1000 (Adamson, 2008).Without dramatic change, most developing countries will miss the child-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), including MDG5 – halving the maternal mortality rate – which has a direct impact on children. This is particularly concerning in the context of the recent global economic crisis. Proven impacts of crises on children include increases in child malnutrition, mortality and morbidity, child labour, youth unemployment, child exploitation and violence and other forms of abuse, alongside falling school attendance, reduced use of health services and a decline in the overall quality of education, care, nurture and emotional well-being (Harper et al., 2009a) – and there are clear signs that the current crisis will be no different (Conceição et al., 2009).

Child poverty rates also remain high in many developed countries: in the US, the proportion of children in poverty was 16.2% in 1979, reached a peak of 22% in 1993 and stood at 18% in 2007 (NCCP, 2000). At the same time, research and analysis efforts related to children and children’s rights have burgeoned in a variety of institutional forums – academia, think-tanks, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), research networks, international agencies, multilateral and bilateral donors –with growing numbers of journals, communities of practice (COPs) and epistemic communities on specific aspects of children’s rights. However, this knowledge base is partial; indeed, one of the reasons behind the poor performance on child well-being indicators mentioned above relates to a deficit of knowledge and of strategic knowledge use in policy and practice arenas.
                                                                          

ARE WESTERN GOVERNMENTS PROACTIVE OR REACTIVE?

I do not want to comment on any western or eastern government but all nation are moving towards adopting more of a proactive approach. The UNCRC has become a powerful catalyst for action on behalf of young children, with ratification virtually universal, (193 countries; inclusive of USA and Somalia which earlier do not rectify). The Convention requires all children to be respected as persons in their own right, including the very youngest children.

National governments (‘States Parties’) make regular reports on progress in meeting their obligations to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, providing a highly significant mechanism of international accountability. But the influence of the UNCRC is arguably much more pervasive, as fundamental children’s rights principles gradually become embedded within the policies and practices of all who work with and on behalf of young children: “The CRC has more signatories than any other international convention, and it is important for us to recognize the legal implications of this achievement in how we position our work. Countries are legally bound to honour children’s rights, and this gives us a strong basis for initiating public dialogue and action on behalf of young children”

WHO HAVE YOU WORKED FOR IN THE PAST?

CHILDREN, CHILDREN AND CHILDREN

WHAT’S YOUR GREATEST DREAM?

Put the smile back on the face of the child, Let every Child enjoy the   Childhood, No child to be deprived of Child Rights -

DESCRIBE YOUR PERFECT DAY?

Is there a day called a perfect day? Well Before writing this post and sharing my perfect day with you, I asked a some of my friends what their perfect day would look like. What I found interesting is that most of them never thought of what a perfect day would be for them and that they haven’t really thought of it in this way before.

Sometimes when I wake up in the morning and go for my daily jobs I try to visualize what my perfect day would look like, and play this beautiful scene inside my head over and over again. It’s really powerful stuff, and I’m getting clearer of what I want and desire the most each time I do it.Describing, writing down and visualizing your perfect day is a fantastic exercise, and it has helped me a lot since it helped me  figure out what I really want and value  most in my life.

My perfect day would be the day I had the freedom and flexibility to do whatever I want. It would be day when I hurt no one, either by my words and deeds. As I’m waking up early in the morning at 6 a.m, I am overlooking the beautiful clear blue sky, the earth filled with greenery and cool fresh breeze striking my entire being. I feel energized, awake and ready to take on the world, because I know that this will be an amazing day. I shower, get dressed and dash to the place where I am looking after 45 innocent children getting them ready to face life one day at a time. I love   working for children in need of care and protection. I feel blessed that I can do this every day …..  l like it. What a great feeling! TO WORK FOR CHILDREN.  I am so passionate about what I do for children, so it doesn’t really feel like work. There’s no better feeling in the world than helping other children achieve their dreams and biggest aspirations in life.

 I respond to a few emails, write proposal, appeals for funds. As I’m sitting outside on the terrace, writing yet another (hopefully) epic, helpful and inspiring blog post, I start to think of everything I’ve accomplished and how many people I’ve inspired to do extraordinary things and don’t settle for mediocrity. I smile, and I think that a perfect day is not only about yourself, rather it’s also about how you can give back and help other people do the same by improving their lives to the better.
This is my perfect day! 

WHAT ARE YOUR FIVE MOST FAVOURITE BOOKS?

1.    The Bible
2.    Games people play by E.BERNS
3.    Spirituality and Justice by Donal Dorr
4.    Bitter Chocolate by Pinky Virani
5.    Child sexual abuse and the law by Human Rights Law network

HOW DO YOU SEE THE FUTURE?

 I trust the LORD and believe if you are working for better today the future is going to be MUCH BETTER.

WHAT WOULD BE YOUR VERY LAST SENTENCE?

Let’s come together, Take care of our Children …..The Childhood of a child cannot wait. His name is TODAY …… SHARE what you have with one another for our children

ANYTHING YOU’D LIKE TO ADD?

1.    Appreciate all those who read my blog  feel committed to better the lives of deprived and marginalised by doing your bit………for  children, send in support either in kind or cash for my work in India. I need your solidarity to reach out to children in need of care and Protection and for children in conflict with law. This can be your Christmas gift for our Children who are poor and abandoned.
2.    If possible open up a CHILD RIGHTS AWARNESS CENTRE IN YOUR LOCALITY and highlight the situation of children in need of care and protection. We can network and build a international movement for Child rights.



Christopher Brien Anthony
NEED TRUST
Child Rights Activist – India



Our children in a government school.



Girls - our priority.


Our children entertained by local DG Group.



Clancy's comment: Thank you, Christopher, and more strength to your arm. Wow, what a wicked web some adults create. So, to all of us who have read this, it might be time to take a deep breath and truly appreciate what we have in life. Trust me, some kids get it really tough. 

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