Child Rights Movement ( CRM)
Children's rights are the human rights of children with particular attention to the rights of special protection and care afforded to minors. The Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) (CRC) defines a child as any human person who has not reached the age of eighteen years. Children's rights includes their right to association with both parents, human identity as well as the basic needs for physical protection, food, universal state-paid education, health care, and criminal laws appropriate for the age and development of the child, equal protection of the child's civil rights, and freedom from discrimination on the basis of the child's race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, religion, disability, color, ethnicity, or other characteristics. Interpretations of children's rights range from allowing children the capacity for autonomous action to the enforcement of children being physically, mentally and emotionally free from abuse, though what constitutes "abuse" is a matter of debate. Other definitions include the rights to care and nurturing.
"A child is any human being below the age of eighteen years, unless under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier." There are no definitions of other terms used to describe young people such as "adolescents", "teenagers," or "youth" in international law, but the children's rights movement is considered distinct from the youth rights movement.
The field of children's rights spans the fields of law, politics, religion, and morality.
Although India has a large number of laws to protect and promote the rights of children, children’s concerns are viewed primarily as a welfare issue, rather an issue of rights. By developing a legal rights-based approach for children, the Child Rights Initiative combats the violation of children’s rights and increases their ability access to the legal system.
WHAT WE DO?
AICHLS’s Child Rights Movement (CRM) , major activity is to do Public Interest Cases in the Supreme Court of India and various High Courts on the issues affecting children. AICHLS’s provides pro-bono legal assistance services to children in conflict with the law and children in need of care and protection in the Juvenile Justice Boards and Child Welfare Committees all over the country. AICHLS’s represents and defends children who are victim of sexual abuse or victim of bonded labour during the trail proceedings in trial courts, assisting the prosecution in the trial with the help of associated lawyers.
AICHLS’s Child Rights Movement (CRM) make initiative for providing trainings to police, labour department, civil society organizations, judiciary and government officials on various legislations and policies made for children.
AICHLS’s Child Rights Movement (CRM) has made inititave in providing assistance in formulation of new laws, rules and policies for children. AICHLS’s Child Rights Movement (CRM) conducts fact-findings, campaigns, publishes books and poster, organizes consultations, meetings and Judicial Colloquiums for increasing awareness about child rights among duty bearers and right holders.
AICHLS’s Child Rights Movement (CRM) is part of the National Volunteer Task Force for the rescue and rehabilitation of child labourers and responds to crisis situations through raid and rescue operations. We have set up a 200 Crisis Intervention Center spread over in various part of our country. AICHLS’s Child Rights Movement (CRM) also monitor the implementation of various schemes and policies related to children. AICHLS’s Child Rights Movement (CRM) functions in close collaboration with other grassroots organizations , NGOs in the country.
As minors by law children do not have autonomy or the right to make decisions on their own for themselves in any known jurisdiction of the world. Instead their adult caregivers, including parents, social workers, teachers, youth workers, and others, are vested with that authority, depending on the circumstances. Some believe that this state of affairs gives children insufficient control over their own lives and causes them to be vulnerable. Louis Althusser has gone so far as to describe this legal machinery, as it applies to children, as "repressive state apparatuses".
Structures such as government policy have been held by some commentators to mask the ways adults abuse and exploit children, resulting in child poverty, lack of educational opportunities, and child labor. On this view, children are to be regarded as a minority group towards whom society needs to reconsider the way it behaves.
Researchers have identified children as needing to be recognized as participants in society whose rights and responsibilities need to be recognized at all ages.
ISSUES OF CONCERN
- Child labour
- Child trafficking.
- Right to education
- Child health and nutrition
- Child marriages
- Juvenile Justice
- Child sexual abuse
- Torture and Abuse of Children
SUPREME COURT DIRECTIONS AND ITS MAJOR IMPACTS
Public Interest Cases done by lawyers associated with AICHLS’s Child Rights Movement (CRM) have brought relief to thousands of children in this country.
Supreme Court has expanded the scope of this PIL to include each and every aspect of rights of children. In its latest order, Supreme Court has directed all the States to implement the provisions of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2000 and to constitute Juvenile Justice Boards, Child Welfare Committees, and Special Juvenile Police Units in every district. Avinash Mehrotra vs Union of India and Ors was filed when AICHLS’s Child Rights Movement (CRM) found a lot of children dying due to school building disasters and fire etc. Schools were directed to follow bare minimum safety standards in addition to complying with the National Building Code of India, 2005, with particular emphasis on the Code of Practice for fire safety in Educational Institutions, as enumerated in the Bureau of Indian Standards. In PUCL Vs. Union of India, Court directed State to ensure the right to food and adequate nutrition for children through the Integrated Child Development Programme (ICDS), which benefitted approximately 8,30,90,382 children of the country between 0 to six years of age. The Supreme Court also directed the State Governments /Union Territories to implement the Mid Day Meal Scheme, ensuring mid day meals to approximately 100 million children across the country. The mid-day meal has been shown to contribute significantly to the lowering of levels of malnutrition among children. Forum for Fact Finding and Documentation Vs. Union of India, directions were issued that each state in India notifies the rules for the Prohibition of Child Marriages Act, 2006. Another Supreme Court case Sampurna Behura Vs. Union of India significantly changed the scenarios vis a vis implementation of the Juvenile Justice Act, as a result of which Juvenile Justice Boards and child Welfare Committees have been constituted in each district of every state in India.
The AICHLS’s Child Rights Movement (CRM) has saved hundreds of children by conducting rescue interventions VIZ. exploited as domestic workers, stopping child marriages, and facilitating the arrest and prosecution of child traffickers.
AICHLS’s Child Rights Movement (CRM) has initiated to set up 120 legal aid Centre for Juveniles in various part of our country, AICHLS’s Child Rights Movement (CRM) lawyers have consistently struggled to eliminate anti child practices from functioning of police by initiating legal action in a number of cases where children are illegal detained or tortured at police stations. On the other hand AICHLS’s Child Rights Movement (CRM) has initiated to provide trainings to police, members of juvenile justice boards, child welfare committees and government authorities to bring social impact on the quality of service delivery to children.
Convention on the Rights of the Child
Main article: Convention on the Rights of the Child
The United Nations' 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child, or CRC, is the first legally binding international instrument to incorporate the full range of human rights—civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights. Its implementation is monitored by the Committee on the Rights of the Child. National governments that ratify it commit themselves to protecting and ensuring children's rights, and agree to hold themselves accountable for this commitment before the international community. The CRC is the most widely ratified human rights treaty with 195 ratifications. South Sudan and the United States are the only two countries which have not ratified the CRC. The CRC is based on four core principles, namely the principle of non discrimination, the best interests of the child, the right to life, survival and development, and considering the views of the child in decisions which affect them (according to their age and maturity). The CRC, along with international criminal accountability mechanisms such as the International Criminal Court, the Yugoslavia and Rwanda Tribunals, and the Special Court for Sierra Leone, is said to have significantly increased the profile of children's rights worldwide.
Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action
Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action urges at Section II para 47, all nations to undertake measures to the maximum extent of their available resources, with the support of international cooperation, to achieve the goals in the World Summit Plan of Action. And calls on States to integrate the Convention on the Rights of the Child into their national action plans. By means of these national action plans and through international efforts, particular priority should be placed on reducing infant and maternal mortality rates, reducing malnutrition and illiteracy rates and providing access to safe drinking water and basic education. Whenever so called for, national plans of action should be devised to combat devastating emergencies resulting from natural disasters and armed conflicts and the equally grave problem of children in extreme poverty. Further para 48 urges all states, with the support of international cooperation, to address the acute problem of children under especially difficult circumstances. Exploitation and abuse of children should be actively combated, including by addressing their root causes. Effective measures are required against female infanticide, harmful child labour, sale of children and organs, child prostitution, child pornography, as well as other forms of sexual abuse. This gave an influence to adoptions of Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict and Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography.