KCRO, an advocacy forum for the advancement of child rights in karnataka, is run by a consortium of NGOs, academics and individuals working in the field. It was set up as an omnibus project with a number of sub-projects that together converge to provide:
- Evidence based advocacy
- Working with key stakeholders
- Working with media
Crt being a Secretariat, arroes out hte directives of the advisory committee that are issued towards the fulfillment of the vision of KCRO. It also brings to the attention of the advisory committee suggestions by other members, stakeholders such as media, Govt. legislators and Children. The Karnataka Child Rights Observatory (KCRO) was set up on CRT’s initiative in mid-2008. It is run by a consortium of NGOs & academics with Child Rights Trust as the coordinating organisation/secretariat. The project is an omnibus one with a number of sub-projects that together converge to provide the data, analysis, publicity and pressure [as needed] for both Government and Civil Society to act in the best interests of the Child. It will follow, analyse and document the progress of child rights realisation in the state over time; the collaborating organisations will use the findings and materials to strengthen their advocacy and actions.
For more details log on to http://www.kcro.in
Child in News
Media Analysis and scanning of media reports on violation of child rights and initiation of corrective actions by the concerned authorities; highlighting reports on best practices and case studies on good developments. Karnataka Child Rights Observatory sends a email news bulletin to the stake holders to highlight the situation of children as reported in various print media. The emails are reaching NGOs, legislators, support agencies, media houses, and academic institutions and other interested groups and individuals.
What is Child-in-News?
Child in news analysis is an intense scrutiny to high light the children issues in various papers and the importance of each in connection with the Child Rights. Focused on collecting, enlisting and compiling news reports of selected publications on children’s issues under various categories of Child Rights and disseminates the information to KCRO networks.
- Objectives of Child–in–News:
- To highlight the media importance on children’s issues.
- To tabulate all types of news related to children issues within Karnataka.
- To provide a basis for motivating the media to cover more number of children’s issues than now.
- To provide a basis for motivating the media to cover more number of children’s issues than now.
- To create awareness among society through the analysis.
- To activate the KCRO network to use analysis as an advocacy tool along with the media and to lobby with the Government to protect Child Rights.
It is a well known fact that economic growth is crucial to the development of any nation and children of the nation being vulnerable are more sensitive to the economic changes. The survival, development, protection and participation of the children therefore become the corner stone of a long term economic prosperity of the State.
Government of Karnataka had formulated several plan of actions related to children. Several targets are set to be met with respect to children, policies and programmes are in place for ensuring survival, improving health conditions, reducing malnutrition, achieving universal education, providing greater protection to all children etc. But still some of the prime indicators remain stagnant or in a few areas the situation of children is worsening.
Analysis of the Karnataka state budget on allocations for children’s issues that will help in taking up advocacy for higher or adequate allocations in the key social sectors. KCRO has taken up a small exercise on child-centered budget analysis of the Karnataka state budget and has used the same during election advocacy and critiquing five year plans, SPAC, alternate reports. In the process KCRO has developed a methodology and is also learning from experiences of other NGOs taking up similar exercises in other states. Experience and expertise on general budget analysis by other groups in the state will be made use of in the process. The outcome of the same will be published for the use of NGOs, people’s representatives, media and academic institutions.
Since 2005 KCRO is looking at the efficacy of the state programmes and projects related to children, budgetary allocations for these programmes and effective utilization of allocated budget as well service delivery. A detailed budgetary assessment empowers civil society and helps child rights groups to build policy, capacity and enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery.
Submitting children demands to the party offices
KCRO and CACL-Karnataka chapter have done an advocacy campaigns during several elections of all levels (Garamapanchayat, ward sabhas , M.L.A, M.P elections), to sensitize and influence political parties, on the one hand, to include adherence to child rights in their manifestos and speeches, with specific mention of, and commitment to, the most serious issues in the state.On the other hand, we are in a process to sensitize the electorate to include children’s key issues in their demands and to judge how the candidates spontaneously refer or react to them.
The campaigns have succeeded in convincing several political parties and candidates and also voters to stand for child rights and vote for child rights. The feedback we have received are quite encouraging and demanding, as the issue in this nature is something new to the political parties as well as candidates.
Child Rights Parliament
In an effort to promote child participation, Children’s Parliament was started by KCRO, the output and follow-up of the initiative was more effective. Consultations for children to speak out freely on various issues concerning them. Children’s Parliament will be held at various districts; in some, candidates also participated and had discussions with the children. This resulted in various political parties giving promises to children in the areas of child health, education and protection. (These children’s parliaments are not mock sessions of the real parliaments, but sessions for children to speak out freely on various issues concerning to them). From 2007 – 2011, children’s parliaments were held in 27 districts of Karnataka to bring together children for a debate on the situation and priorities of children. People’s representatives from the selected districts will be invited to interact with children. The response and expectations of children will be compiled together to be taken to the people’s representatives at state level.
The demands made by children were circulated to KCRO partners in every district who used it to advocate with representatives standing for local elections. (Pre-election advocacy) In continuation to the above district level children’s parliament, kcro for the first time in karnataka’s history conducted children’s parliament at vidhana soudha on the occasion of children’s day (14th-15th nov 2012).
Mr.sadananda gowda, honorable chief minster spent time with children in which the following were the highlights of the meeting: Child representatives from thirty districts congregated and raised their issues and concerns in the presence of key people’s representatives and legislative Forum for Child Rights. Child participation and expression were encouraged. Chief Minister and legislators were sensitized about the problems faced by their respective constituencies as well as State’s children.
Q & A Analysis
In the past, several organizations and individuals have talked about the need for lobbying with the legislators on raising burning issues, both blatantly visible and also hundreds of invisible issues related to children in the house. But, so far no concrete effort has been done in this regard. The biggest handicap is that no systematic effort has been done to review the questions and debates conducted in both the Legislative Assembly and the Council. Analysis of the Question Hour of the Legislative Assembly and Council to bring out the importance given to children’s issues by people’s representatives, the quality and type of questions and also the quality, reliability and accuracy of the answers given by the Government.
Since its inception KCRO has taken a lead in attempts to influence political leaders to take up the cause of children and child rights. Lobbying with political parties initially to consider child-related issues and then analyzing the legislative debates, question hour analysis and answers given by the Government is a model developed by CRT with the assistance of UNICEF, This exercise is now giving its dividends through steps towards the formation of a forum of legislators for children in the Karnataka Vidhana Soudha (Legislature).
The objectives of question hour analysis are as follows: To obtain information on the number of child centered questions raised in the legislature, the number of questions on child-related issues, types of questions and answers and the period during which these questions were raised. To understand whether there is child rights perspective in the questions raised and discussions held in the Vidhana Sabha and Parishat sessions. To develop an advocacy tool to lobby for Child rights issues. To persuade political parties to fulfill child rights issue-based promises that was incorporated in the manifestos of various political parties. To make sure that the objective questions related to children continue to be raised in both the houses of the legislature. The findings of the observatory on child rights are playing a major role in supplementing issues to be included in this activity. The publication on the analysis acts as advocacy material for use in the subsequent years. With the past experience we (along with UNICEF) need to work towards developing a methodology and means to institutionalize this study in the coming years.
Children and Legislators
Legislators are meant to be raising pertinent issues of the constituencies they represent and this includes issues related to children. KCRO engages with legislators to bring children’s issues to their notice and ensure they are raised in the floors of the Assembly.
KCRO introduced a novel initiative ‘Legislators Forum for Child Rights’, first of its kind in the country.The Forum meets before assembly discussions commence and decides on issues relating to children that need to be debated and focussed on in the assembly. Two meetings have been held where issues like State Plan of Action and Child Labour were taken up as focus issues.
The speakers of both houses of assembly have agreed to a one day discussion on child rights.
The practical realisation of this in the forthcoming assembly discussion will be a first in the country. Instituting a child rights desk at Vidhana Soudha with information on the status of children in the state and its various districts. This is another attempt towards bringing children’s issues closer to the corridors of power.
Question Hour Analysis
Are There Children in Vidhana Soudha?’ is a yearly publication brought out by KCRO and UNICEF providing a comprehensive analysis of the questions related to children brought up by legislators during the Question Hour. A party-wise, district-wise, constituency-wise and department-wise breakup of the no. of questions raised and type of issues discussed can be found in this publication.
This Question Hour Analysis is an ongoing task of KCRO. The demanding task includes:
Collecting documentation of question hour discussions of each day from Vidhana Soudha. Data entry of all questions raised and the corresponding answers (even those not related to children). Filtering those related to children and sorting them department-wise.
Analysis of this data. This data forms the basis of the publication: ‘Are there Children in Vidhana Soudha?’ Impact
This yearly publication has helped a great deal in bringing the attention of the legislators to the need for adequate representation of children’s issues during Question Hour and discussions. It also serves as a constant monitoring and accountability tool to measure all legislators’ performance vis-a-vis the children of the state. The copies will be available at CRT office.
Coming up events
” Celebration 70 years of UNICEF ”
UNICEF-70 From the year 1946, UNICEF has honed its expertise in improving child survival, health and well-being. The organization has utilized all advancements in the field of medicine, health care, nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene and itself has contributed to these and other sectors. Acting as an emergency responder, a champion for child rights and a force for equitable development, UNICEF has traversed a long road of success and has succeeded in several of its global challenges. In 2016, the organization celebrates 70 years of achievement in the advancement of child rights. The 70th anniversary is an opportunity to celebrate everything that has been achieved in these 7 decades by UNICEF along with its many exceptional partners and is a reminder of all that has yet to be done in advancing the rights of every child. The next steps depend on the ability to adapt to a changing world, which means infusing equity throughout all the programs and reaching out to the most excluded and vulnerable children. This can be achieved by relying on the strengths that have helped pioneer low-cost high-impact interventions over the last 70 years. Bridges must be built between public-sector capacity and private-sector innovation to combine humanitarian action with development work. The power of digital technology and social media combined with political will and secure material resources will help countries to ensure a ‘first call for children’ in all aspects of society. Having started off as an organization catering to vulnerabilities of children who are forced to flee due to violence and conflict, UNICEF has consistently protected and advocated for children on the move, against violence, disease, malnutrition and discrimination. Now, seventy years later, it continues to work harder than ever to ensure a fair chance at life for every child. After looking back and learning from accomplishments and challenges, it is now time to look ahead with hope and determination to a better future for the world’s children. To commemorate this momentous occasion of the 70th anniversary of UNICEF, KCRO along with UNICEF will host a day-long event on the theme “The world I want” for children from different schools on the 13th of December, 2016 at Indian Social Institute, Benson Town, Bengaluru from 10AM onwards. Children will participate in a range of activities and cultural performances showcasing their talents and telling their stories – which is a fitting demonstration of the realization of “every right for every child”.