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If the laws, policies and budget-related priorities are to change in India in favour of children’s rights, it is our legislators and parliamentarians who need to be influenced, and who require a greater understanding of what the country’s children need.
The question is: Are the MLAs and MPs in the country child-friendly enough? Who, among these, can we advocate to and work with? Brinda Karat who has often spoken on child rights reiterates "The word right is important when we discuss children. Children’s rights is not charity. Sandeep Dixit MP from East Delhi when asked says "In order to ensure that children's rights are safeguarded within the framework of various national and international instruments ratified by us, it is vital for us to strongly advocate for child rights in the Parliament."
HAQ’s intervention in this direction is the annual exercise of analysing parliamentary questions and debates, and the production of a document titled, ‘Says a Child…Who Speaks for My Rights?’ While the more perceptive and enterprising among our MPs can use this document for critical self-reflection and performance, child-rights activists can use it for better advocacy.
As a result of HAQ’s engagement and interaction with Parliamentarians, the following questions have been raised in both the houses-