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In the course of undertaking Parliament Watch, we have found that there are some parliamentarians who speak up for children, both inside the parliament as well as outside.
We at HAQ like to call them Parliamentarians for children. However, like all busy people they need assistance in forming questions or for intervening in debates. We need to be in touch with them and support them to be able to represent children even better.
Here are some Parliamentarians for Children:
Ms. Brinda Karat, Rajya Sabha
The word right is important when we discuss children. Children’s rights is not charity. But when we talk of children as a national asset we see three systemic barriers linked to caste gender and economic deprivation and inequaity. Why is there such a huge disparity among our children in this country? The development policy framework that we have itself leads to inequality. How can we think of our children as a national asset if we believe that some children within our society are polluted and not allowed to even drink from the same tap, when are girls are not even allowed to be born, and in the current framework of inequitable distribution of resources?
I am for a complete ban on child labour. But at the same time we need to ask what makes parents send their children to work and employers and industries to make them work in this shocking manner? All children have right to education unequal access because of their gender, caste and unequal distribution of resources.
Children consitute 42 per cent of the population yet they do not have any voice in formulating, discussing or making policies meant to address their needs. As representatives of people we are vested with the responsibilities to ensure that social and economic goals do not remain mere policy objectives but get transformed into rights. It is our responsibility to ensure that all people benefit from the rights bestowed to them. And why should children not be part of these benefits? As adults we tend to forget that they are citizens with
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."