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Children : Background & Perspective

By Enakshi Ganguly Thukral, Bharti Ali, Saloni Mathur

 India has 375 million children, more than any other country in the world. Their condition has improved in the last five decades, with child survival rates up, school dropout rates down, and several policy commitments made by the government at the national and international levels. Resource allocations by the State, however, remain quite inadequate to take care of the survival and healthcare needs of infants and children, their education, development and protection.

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Criminalisation is not enough

Criminalising consensual sexual behaviour between young people in the name of prosecuting child sexual abusers is a denial of young people’s right to safe and consensual sexual relations, write Debolina Dutta and Oishik Sircar in this analysis of the new Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act

child sexual abuse

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Childrearing practices, culture and psychology

Could there be some minimal universal parameters for child rearing that could be considered with culture-specific ones in cases such as the one where two Indian children were taken from their parents by Norwegian child welfare, asks Rakesh Shukla

Norwegian Child Welfare Agency

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Child health and the 12th Plan

The Approach Paper to the 12th Plan sees the projected 32% increase in India’s labour force in the next two decades as a demographic dividend. But is the 12th Plan focusing sufficiently on the health, nutrition and education of the children who will form this labour force in the coming decades, asks Alex George

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The sounds of silence: Child sexual abuse in India

By Havovi Wadia

53% of children in India face some form of child sexual abuse. To what extent will the new Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Bill help? And is it time for campaigners to replace ‘vulnerability’ with ‘oppression’ and ‘protection’ with ‘empowerment’ in the battle against CSA?

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Arrested development

As two cases of torture of children working as domestic labour in affluent homes in Mangalore and Mumbai hit the headlines, Nandana Reddy and Kavita Ratna write that bans are not the solution to child labour. Rather than policing the demand for child labour, we must address the reasons why children enter the labour market

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Media violence: Fact and fiction

Urban India witnesses intermittent public outbursts around the impact of TV violence on children. This construction of children as copycats and passive victims of media violence displaces any complicated analysis of how they actually engage with television, says Shohini Ghosh

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The significance of the Lancet study on skewed sex ratios

By Sandhya Srinivasan

While Census 2001 showed sex ratio distortions that could be correlated with the availability of sex selection technology, the Lancet study reporting 1 crore "missing" girls in India over the last generation actually analyses the reasons behind this phenomenon and quantifies the impact

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"The two-child norm only leads to female foeticide"

By Madhu Gurung

Commenting on the serious decline in the 0-6 sex ratio in India, leading demographer Ashish Bose states that the government's policies are all wrong. The two-child policy has got mixed up with female foeticide. Government slogans like 'Beti ya beta, dono ek hain' make little sense. And financial sops for couples having a girl-child can make no dent in the traditional preference for sons in India

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Redefining abuse

By Swapna Majumdar

The CSO Sakshi filed a public interest litigation in 1997 after the Delhi High Court declared that the case of an eight-year-old child, penetrated in three orifices by her father, could not be considered either rape or an 'unnatural offence'

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Anatomy of child starvation deaths

 By Kathyayini Chamaraj

The shocking facts about the maladministration that led to the recent deaths of severely malnourished children in Raichur and Mysore districts of Karnataka. Fifty per cent of Karnataka’s 0-6 age-group suffers from various stages of malnutrition, with many on the verge of death

starvation deaths

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When they shoot our parents, can we remain in school?

The Orissa government has objected to children joining the anti-Posco agitations when they should be in school. Shouldn’t the government be more concerned about the 29,000 vacancies in primary schools and the fact that police forces have occupied many schools, asks P Sainath

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Saving Baby Babu

By Swapna Majumdar

About 250 newborns die every day in Bihar. But Bihar’s new Sick Newborn Care Units, which cater to over 90,000 infants every year, have helped bring the Infant Mortality Rate down from 56 per 1,000 births in 2008 to 52 per 1,000 in 2009, just 2 points above the national average

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Children in the pits

By Kathyayini Chamaraj

Children as young as 10 are working in mines in Bellary district of Karnataka, recent studies and public hearings report. It is the children of displaced and homeless families who are exploited most by the mining mafia

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Confining childhood in India

By Havovi Wadia

Do child rights activists need to step out of the boxes of ‘development’, ‘survival’, ‘protection’ and ‘participation’ into which they have confined India’s children? Do we need to interrogate child rights programming and the somewhat limiting notions of childhood around which it is built?

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In the line of fire

Thousands of children from the Gothi Koya tribe in conflict-torn Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh have become the most tragic and innocent victims of the violence between the state and the insurgents. Rajashri Dasgupta travelled to Khammam district of Andhra Pradesh where the administration has set up residential schools for these orphans and refugees

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Nipped in the bud

By Kathyayini Chamaraj

Child marriage still flourishes, as a recent public hearing revealed. How should the problem be dealt with? By making all marriages under the age of 18 for girls and 21 for boys invalid, instead of only those resulting from force or trafficking as at present? Or by public education the way 12 dalit women who bring out a monthly magazine in Andhra Pradesh called Navodayam do it?

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No juvenile courts in J&K

Text & Photos: Dilnaz Boga

Minors in Jammu & Kashmir are arrested under the stringent Public Safety Act for offences such as stone-pelting and incarcerated in jails together with adults. With neither a functioning Juvenile Justice Act nor juvenile courts for young offenders as in other parts of the country, these children emerge from jail traumatised and radicalised

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A lost generation in Jammu's refugee camps

By Anju Munshi

For 19 years, Kashmiri Pandits living in refugee camps in Jammu have seen no change in their poor living conditions. Riddled by disease, crammed into one-room tenements, and rendered unemployable by poor education and lack of employment opportunities, a whole generation has grown up angry, depressed and alienated

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Leaving the salt pans to go to school

Children rescued from labour and given an education have seen a dramatic change in their lives. Usha Rai reports after hearing the rescued children speak at the recent National Convention on Right to Education and Abolition of Child Labour

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