Mangaluru, Sep 26, 2018: Speaking at Samprathi 2018, a two-day national seminar on ‘Ensuring Child Rights in India: A Challenge,’ organised by the PG Department of Social Work of St Aloysius College and Karnataka Association of Professional Social Workers here on Sept 25, Tuesday, she said there has been increase in cases of sexual assault on children in the country.
She expressed concern over the child sex ratio between girls and boys. “The decline in child sex ratio reaffirms gender preference among the people,”she said.
She exhorted the students to take the message on right of girl child vehemently forward and create awareness among the people. About 30 to 40% children in the country have not even stepped into the portal of the school. Education is a fundamental right of a child.
Crimes against children, particularly sexual abuse, have increased despite stringent laws, said Kripa Amar Alva, former chairperson of Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights.
She said Makkala Gram Sabha which was envisaged to help the children to raise their voice, are not implemented in its true spirit. The gram panchayats hold the gram sabhas wherein the officials make children to listen to their speeches. Instead, the gram panchayats at their gram sabhas are expected to pay special attention to the condition of children and their development.
“We have to allow child to participate in the gram sabha to allow him /her to evolve and grow and also air grievances,” she advised.
St Aloysius College Principal Rev Praveen Martis called upon the participants to become a catalyst of change to eradicate exploitation and violence and abuse on children. He said there is a need to sensitise the society on the rights of children.
Child Rights Trust Executive Director N V Vasudeva Sharma felt it is a challenge to end child labour and sexual abuse on children. Though 40% of the population comprise of children, many do not have proper access to health care, education and nutritious food. St Aloyius Institutions Rector Rev Fr Dionysius Vas presided.