Sikkim-NE among worst performers on Child Rights Index

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An NGO Child Rights Index (CRI) prepared on the basis of the ratio of child victims to overall child population ranks the northeastern states of Nagaland, Mizoram, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, and Sikkim among the worst violators of Child Rights. The CRI is based on government data, both central and state.

Touted as India’s first Child Rights Index (CRI), NGO HAQ: Centre for Child Rights claims that while Sikkim is among the ‘worst performing’ states along with Meghalaya, Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh; the other three northeastern states of Mizoram, Assam, Tripura fall in the ‘not so well performing’ category. The eastern state of West Bengal is the worst in child education and gender equality. The HAQ Centre for Child Rights in India was established in 1999, to recognise, protect and promote child rights and to report and monitor the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Inspired by African Child Policy Forum (ACPF)’s child friendly index, HAQ began its work on developing the CRI in 2009.

Nagaland has the highest incidence of crime against children, and was ranked 29. Nagaland is also among states with very high incidence of child rape. When it comes to crimes committed by children Manipur is the worst among all Indian states. However, Manipur along with Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Punjab is among the best performers on the prevention of child marriage index. Overall, the survey ranks Arunachal Pradesh at the bottom in protecting rights of children.

Karnataka with least number of cases of crime against children is the best state for children to live in. But, in the overall CRI, Kerala is on top followed by Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, and Rajasthan. Madhya Pradesh ranks 11, Delhi 12, Bihar 16, Uttar Pradesh 18 and Chhattisgarh 19 in the country when it comes to ensuring well-being of children.

The survey is based on 10 indicators of sex ratio, early childhood care, education, health, birth registration, child marriage, child labour, incidence of crime against children, victims of crime against children, and crimes by children.

Crimes against children include infanticide, murder, rape, kidnapping and abduction, foeticide, abetment of suicide, exposure and abandonment, buying and selling of minor girls for prostitution and child marriage.

Since the CRI is based on proportion “Uttar Pradesh may have the highest head count of working children in the country, it is Mizoram that ranks the lowest because the number of working children in proportion to the total child population is highest in that state,” said Enakshi Ganguly, co-director, HAQ: Centre for Child Rights to Hindustan Times.

The CRI can be of help ascertain areas of intervention, issues, as well as geographical regions that need attention in planning and in implementing child-friendly policies and securing the rights of children.



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