The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) applies for children under 18. It recognizes education as a legal right to every child on the basis of equal opportunity. Its Article 28 guarantees free compulsory primary education for all; progressive free secondary education that should in any case be available and accessible to all; and accessibility to higher education on the basis of capacity. It states the obligation of the State to take measures regarding school attendance and discipline. It encourage international cooperation in matters related to education, in particular elimination of ignorance and illiteracy and access to scientific and technical knowledge. Its Article 29 defines the aims of education and recognizes also the liberty of parents to choose the kind of education they want to give to their children and the liberty to establish and direct educational institutions, in conformity with minimum standards laid down by the State.
Child Rights are the minimum entitlements and freedoms that should be afforded to every citizen below the age of 18 regardless of race, national origin, colour, gender, language, religion, opinions, origin, wealth, birth status, disability, or other characteristics.
These rights encompass freedom of children and their civil rights, family environment, necessary healthcare and welfare, education, leisure and cultural activities and special protection measures. The UNCRC outlines the fundamental human rights that should be afforded to children in four broad classifications that suitably cover all civil, political, social, economic and cultural rights of every child:
Right to Survival:
• Right to be born
• Right to minimum standards of food, shelter and clothing
• Right to live with dignity
• Right to health care, to safe drinking water, nutritious food, a clean and safe environment, and information to help them stay healthy
Right to Protection:
• Right to be protected from all sorts of violence
• Right to be protected from neglect
• Right to be protected from physical and sexual abuse
• Right to be protected from dangerous drugs
Right to Participation:
• Right to freedom of opinion
• Right to freedom of expression
• Right to freedom of association
• Right to information
• Right to participate in any decision making that involves him/her directly or indirectly
Right to Development:
• Right to education
• Right to learn
• Right to relax and play
• Right to all forms of development – emotional, mental and physical
Article 1 – Everyone under 18 years of age has all the rights in this Convention.
Article 2 – The Convention applies to everyone whatever their race, religion, abilities, whatever they think or say, whatever type of family they come from.
Article 3 – All organizations concerned with children should work towards what is best for each child.
Article 4 – Governments should make these rights available to children.
Article 5 – Governments should respect the rights and responsibilities of families to direct and guide their children so that, as they grow, they learn to use their rights properly.
Article 6 – All children have the right to life. Governments should ensure that children survive and develop healthily.
Article 7 – All children have the right to a legally registered name, and nationality. They have the right to know and, as far as possible, to be cared for, by their parents.
Article 8 – Governments should respect children’s right to a name, a nationality and family ties.
Statistics Of Children In India
There are 472 million children in India under the age of 18 years. This constitutes 39% of the total population in the country (Census 2011).
As per the reports compiled by a charity for children in India, there are a number of issues and challenges that need attention.
- 1 in 4 children of school-going age is out of school in our country – 99 million children in total have dropped out of school (Census 2011)
- Out of every 100 children, only 32 children finish their school education age-appropriately (District Information System for Education (DISE) 2014-15)
- Only 2% of the schools offer complete school education from Class 1 to Class 12 (District Information System for Education (DISE) 2014-15)
Child Abuse and Exploitation:
- There are 10.13 million child labourers between 5-14 years in India (Census 2011)
- India has 33 million working children between the ages of 5-18 years. In parts of the country, more than half the child population is engaged in labour (Census 2011)
- Every day, around 150 children go missing in India – kidnapping and abduction is the largest crime against children in our country (National Crime Record Bureau 2016)
- Over the last 10 years, crimes against children has increased 5 times over (National Crime Record Bureau Data Series). For details and more information,
- Fear of failure in examinations in the second highest cause of suicides in children (Accidental Deaths and Suicides in India ADSI 2014) *
Health and Nutrition :
- 19.8 million children below age 6 in India are undernourished (ICDS 2015)
- Only 9.6% of children between 6-23 months in the country receive an adequate diet (NFHS 4, 2015-16)
- 38% (1 in 3 )of children between 0-5 years are stunted in the country (NFHS 4, 2015-16)
- 21% (1 in 5) of the children in the country suffer from wasting (NFHS 4, 2015-16)
- 36% of children under 5 years of age are underweight in India (NFHS 4, 2015-16)
- 58% of children between 6months – 5 years were found to be anaemic in the country (NFHS 4, 2015-16)
- Total Immunisation coverage in the country stood at 62% in 2015-16 (NFHS 4, 2015-16)
- 21% of the births in the country were home births (NFHS 4, 2015-16)
- Only 21% of mothers (1 in 5) received full antenatal care in the country (NFHS 4, 2015-16)
- More than 50% of the pregnant women aged 15-49 years were found to be anaemic (NFHS 4, 2015-16)
- 42% of married women in India were married as children (District Information System for Education (DISE) 3)
- 1 in every 3 child brides in the world is a girl in India (UNICEF)
- India has more than 45 lakh girls under 15 years of age who are married with children. Out of these, 70% of the girls have 2 children (Census 2011)
The Right to Education in India
Right to Education (RTE) in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 was the beginning of a remarkable expansion of educational opportunities around the world. The parliament of India enacted the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act or Right to Education Act (RTE) on August 2009. The same got enforced on April 1st 2010.
As per the act, education is a fundamental right of every child who is between 6 and 14 years old. The act also states that until the completion of elementary education, no child shall be held back, expelled or required to pass a board examination. There is also a provision for special training of school drop-outs to bring them up to par with students of the same age.
EduCARE India has projects and initiatives that focus on early childhood care and education, nutrition, hygiene, health and development, after school alternative and supplementary education to marginalized children in poor rural and urban communities in various regions of India. Its flagship programme.
Poverty damages childhood with significant effects on a child’s physical and mental health, as well as educational achievement. It limits the expectations of the child’s ability to perform well in school, constantly reminding him/her of the miniscule chance he/she has to overcome adversity and poverty. Underprivileged kids lag at all stages of education. When earning a livelihood and taking care of the members of the family becomes a primary matter of concern in one’s life, education stands a little or, very often, no chance of pursuance. For the millions of underprivileged people in India, education is an unlikable activity forced upon by school teachers or a high-priced luxury, and this negative outlook continues on with every new generation.
Our After School ASLI education program focuses on home schooled as well as children going to schools in private and government schools.
Tags: Children rights, early childhood care and education, immunization, food and nutrition, alternative education, after school program, ECCE, child labour, child malnutrition, child friendly schools and places, Mr. Kailash Satyarthi, Nobel Prize, ICDP, UNICEF, Smile, CRY, ActionAid, ICRC,