NEW DELHI, July 26 – Child activists say more than 170 million children and adolescents continue to live in difficult circumstances in India, Press Trust of India (PTI) reported.
Anti-child labour activist Shantha Sinha said at a conference on children’s rights here Thursdsay that despite having made major strides in improving legal and administrative frameworks to promote child and adolescent rights, government expenditure on child protection remains below one percent.
Some 42 million Indians in the 14-18 age group are out of school and live in poor environments and many are vulnerable to early marriage and gender discrimination.
Organised by Harvard University Francois-Xavier Bagnoud (FXB) Centre and Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), the conference aims to further child and adolescent rights in India by bringing attention to both successes and failures in the area.
Major challenges faced by the government in implementing various policies were discussed at the conference, such as ways of addressing the needs of children who were abused, abandoned and exploited.
PHFI president Dr K Srinath Reddy said community-based solutions that foster health and nutrition, psychosocial well-being, education and social reintegration of children and adolescents are keys to ensuring their physical and psychological health.
Dr Theresa Betancourt, director of the research programme on Children and Global Adversity (RPCGA) at FXB Centre, said India needs to ensure that its rapid economic development is equitable and sustainable for all citizens.