Youngsters Protest Child Labor in New Delhi
New Delhi, September 1, 2013: On Thursday, Ms. Sultan spoke at
Jantar Mantar, central Delhi, during a demonstration against child labor. Around 200 children and 100 adults
were at the protest, demanding the passage of the Child and Adolescent
Labor (Prohibition and Regulation) Bill, which prohibits the employment of
children up to the age of 14 in any kind of industry. It also states that children under 18 shouldn’t be employed in
any hazardous work.
“We are asking for our rights,” Ms. Sultan said into a microphone as she
stood on stage Thursday. The children at the protest raised their hands
and joined in. “We are asking for our rights, not begging on the streets,” they shouted.
The Child and Adolescent Labor Bill also says employers who don’t abide
by the rules should be punished with a maximum jail sentence of three
years. The United Nations says there have been only 4,000 successful
prosecutions against employers in India in the last 25 years.
In August 2012, India’s cabinet approved a proposal for amending a child labor act put in place in 1986, but the amendment
bill, which was introduced in India’s upper house of Parliament late
last year, is still pending approval. “It is shocking that while the food security bill has been passed in
the Lok Sabha [India’s lower house of Parliament], there is yet another
pressing issue that is being ignored,” said Kailash Satyarthi, the
founder of Bachpan Bachao Andolan and chairman of the Global March Against Child Labor.
“We urge the Parliament to pass the Child Labor (Prohibition and
Regulation) Bill with utmost urgency,” he added. Ms. Sultan, 15 years old, campaigned for child rights and education in
her village after she left primary school in order to earn money for her
family by stitching footballs. Bachpan Bachao Andolan, or the Save Childhood
Movement, working to eliminate child trafficking and child labor in India, convinced her parents to withdraw
her from work and enroll her in school. Source:The Wall Street Journal
Bihar midday meal poisoning: Death toll rises to 23
CHAPRA, July 18, 2013 (PTI): 23 school
students died due to food poisoning after consuming midday meal at a government primary school in Bihar's
Saran district, official sources said. Twenty seven others, including the woman cook, were taken seriously ill
and have been shifted to Patna Medical College and Hospital, Principal Secretary Education Department Amarjit Sinha told
PTI. While 16 children, aged below 10 years and studying in Class I to V, had
died in Chhapra itself, four others were declared dead on arrival at PMCH last night, Sinha said.
Superintendent of PMCH Amarkant Jha Azad said that the victims were
admitted to ICU of paediatric department and doctors were attending on them round the clock.
The tragedy took place at the government primary school in Dahrmasati
Gandawan village at Mashrakh block, about 25 km from Chhapra and 60 km from
Patna. Meanwhile, opposition BJP today gave a call for Saran bandh to protest
the Nitish Kumar government following the midday meal deaths. The RJD is also observing Saran bandh today in protest against the incident
Google to tackle child sexual abuse images on web
June 17,2013: Google has announced a plan to do more to tackle online images of child
sexual abuse. Using both technology and funding, it hopes to find and
eradicate images and track down abusers. Google said it was helping create a database of images to improve
collaboration between law enforcement, companies and anti-abuse charities.
It has also set up a $2m (£1.3m) fund to bankroll developers creating
better tools to tackle images. Web firms in the UK have been at the centre of the
debate about online images showing the sexual abuse of children following two high profile
court cases in which offenders were known to have sought child pornography online.
Google said that since 2008 it had used technology that classified
images giving them a unique identifier or "hash" to make it easier to
spot abuse pictures. The blogpost said it was going further by helping to create unique
fingerprints of images it saw and then contributing them to a larger industry- wide database. This, it said, was
helping police forces, companies and charities working together to detect and remove images. This co-operation would also help track down
abusers, it said. Google has also put $2m into what it called a Child Protection
Technology Fund that would reward software developers who were working on programs to help eradicate abuse images.
500 child soldiers in northeast, J&K: Report
GUWAHATI, May 11, 2013: The Asian Centre for Human Rights
(ACHR) in its report, "India's Child Soldiers", released on Thursday,
said at least 3,000 children are members of militant outfits and 500 of
them are in the northeast and Jammu and Kashmir. ACHR director Suhas
Chakma, said, "The recruitment of child soldiers by armed groups, including
Naxalites, is rampant and at least 3,000 children,i.e. 500 in the northeast and Jammu and Kashmir and about 2,500 in
Naxal-affected states, currently remain involved in armed conflicts.
This estimate is conservative considering that the Maoists follow a
policy of forcibly recruiting at least one cadre from each adivasi family."
This report, which is the first-ever comprehensive study on the subject
in the country, has accused the Centre of defending the records of the
armed opposition groups, officially designated as terrorist groups, on
the recruitment of child soldiers before the UN Committee on the Rights
of the Child. "India, in its first report to the UN Committee in 2011 on
the implementation of the optional protocol to the Convention on the
Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict
stated that there is no recruitment of child soldiers by the armed groups in India," the report states.
The ACHR has provided 11 cases of forcible recruitment of child soldiers
by armed groups and a number of photographs of child soldiers surrendering their arms to the then home minister P Chidambaram and Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi in 2011 and 2012.
"This position of the Centre is not only bizarre but also a case where
it is actually defending the records of the armed groups on recruitment
of child soldiers before the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.India effectively protected the officially designated terror groups from
condemnation of the UN for the recruitment of child soldiers, a war crime under the international law," Chakma said. Source: The Times of India
Apps to monitor your children on Internet
TORONTO, April 2, 2013: With smartphone and tablet users getting younger, new apps can
help parents of 2-to-13-year-olds monitor and control their children's use of the Internet.
A Pew Research Center study shows that more than one-third of American
teenagers own a smartphone, up from more than a fifth in 2011. For nearly half of these users, the phone is their main way of getting
online, making it difficult for parents to supervise their behavior.
"When you have a smart phone, you basically have the Internet in your
pocket wherever you are - away from your parents' eyes," said Anooj Shah, a partner in Toronto-based company
Kytephone, which develops apps. Kytephone's namesake app allows parents to control the apps and sites
their children use and the people they receive texts and calls from.
The company on Monday released Kytetime for 13-to-17-year-olds. The new
app has many of the same features as Kytephone but does not include the
ability to block calls.Earlier this month, Net Nanny, a monitoring software company, released a
browser app for Apple Inc's iOS devices to filter Web content and block profanity.
"Smart phones and tablets have added new technology, with new challenges
(for parents) - full Web browsing capability, unlimited texting, access
to hundreds of thousands of good, bad and malicious apps," said Russ
Warner, chief executive officer of the Salt Lake City-based company.
The Android version of Net Nanny, which sells for $12.99, can control
which apps a child uses. The app is also available for iOS devices, with fewer applications, for $4.99.
The company is also introducing Net Nanny Social, a subscription, Web-based tool to help parents monitor problems such as
cyberbullying, sexual predators and identity theft on social networks including
Facebook and Twitter. The service costs $19.99 per year. For parents of 2-to-8-year-olds, Boston-based Playrific
has a free app with a locked browser that allows only content suitable for
children, including educational videos, interactive games and books.The app,
available for Android, iPad and on the Web, curates content based on a child's interests, which it learns over time. Source: The Times of India
Three students chained, forced to clean toilets by teachers in Mumbai
Mumbai, March 18, 2013 (PTI): A teacher and the headmistress of a school in Mumbai have been booked
for allegedly chaining and parading three students after they were found
fighting in the classroom last week and were also forced to clean toilets, police said.
"We have registered a case against the school headmistress and teacher under the provisions of the Juvenile Justice
(Care and Protection of Children) Act. We will see (if) some other charges can be invoked. We have not arrested them yet," deputy
commissioner of police Dhananjay Kulkarni said. The official said that the police plans to speak to other students
before taking any action.
After the incident came to light on Wednesday, the boy's father Prakash
Gandhi visited the school to complain against the teacher. However, after not getting a satisfactory response from the school authorities,
he lodged a police complaint at the Dadar police station. In his police complaint, he alleged that the three boys were called out
of the classroom, following which their hands were tied and then paraded in classrooms.
"They were also asked to clean school toilets", Gandhi said, adding that
the case was registered on Friday evening. The school authorities or the accused could not be contacted despite
repeated attempts. Source: Hindustan Times
Rajasthan police rescue 50 children living with little food
Jaipur , March 14, 2013: Nearly 50 children, who were kept in two illegal
children's home here for months with little food amid pathetic living conditions, have been
rescued by a team of Rajasthan Commission for Protection of Child Rights, police said today. On a tip off from Delhi, the team led by the Commission Chairperson
Deepak Kalra raided a home in Mansarover area last night where 27 girls
and two boys, aged between 5 and 17, were found. They were lodged in an illegal children's home run by one Jacob John.
The children are from various states like Punjab, Manipur,
Nagaland, Jharkhand and were in the house for several months. Empty liquor
bottles, stale food and fungus covered vegetables were found in the home, police said.
"The children's home was running without permission. The children lived
in a poor state and they were given stale food. They did not have proper
food for the last few days and were hungry," the police said. Another such child home was also raided and 20 boys rescued in Jawahar
Nagar locality, they said. The children were brought here on the pretext of providing them
education were never sent to school and not allowed to go out of the
home. Jacob has been arrested for illegal confinement of kids and he is
being quizzed, they said. Source: The Indian Express
168 child labourers rescued from Rajasthan
New Delhi, March 11 (IANS) A Delhi-based voluntary organisation has
rescued 168 child labourers from Rajasthan while they were being trafficked out of the
state, an NGO official said Sunday."The children were rescued from the
Bharatpur railway station by NGO CHETNA Saturday while they were being taken from Jaipur to an unknown
destination," Sanjay Gupta, director of Childline Agra, which is run by
NGO Childhood Enhancement Through Training and Action (CHETNA), told
IANS. Gupta said the rescued children work in various bangle factories across
Rajasthan, and are employed through child traffickers who bring them into the state.
The children were moved out of the state in view of a police warning
that threatened action if child labourers working in the state's bangle
industry are not removed in 10 days. On Friday, 60 such children in the age group of 8-10 years were rescued
from the Agra railway station by Childline Agra. Gupta said: "There are around 60,000 child labourers working in the
bangle industry across the state. Strict action should be initiated against child traffickers."
As police failed to initiate action against those found involved in
child trafficking, a team was sent by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights
(NCPCR) to Bharatpur. "When we reached early today (Sunday), we found that
no FIR (first information report) was filed against those who were moving the
children. We have lodged an FIR and about 39 people have been arrested
in the case," Neena Naik, a member of the NCPCR team, said over telephone."Most of these children hail from Bihar and had been working in the
bangle industry ranging from two months to two years," she added. Naik said the team would engage the local administration, police and
NGOs to rehabilitate the rescued children. - IANS
Delhi protest over 'sex attack' on seven-year-old girl
New Delhi, March 2, 2013: People stand next to a bus that was damaged by the demonstrators during
a protest in New Delhi March 1, 2013. Protesters threw stones at passing buses. There have been violent protests in the Indian capital, Delhi, after
reports that a seven-year-old girl was sexually assaulted at school.
Police used batons to break up angry crowds outside a hospital where the
girl had been taken for treatment. Teachers and security guards at the government school are being
questioned over the alleged assault, police said. The gang rape and murder of a student on a Delhi bus in December sparked
protests across India.
Hundreds of people gathered to protest outside the Sanjay Gandhi
hospital in the Mangolpuri area of north-eastern Delhi as news of the
alleged sex attack in a local school spread. Protesters attacked buses and pelted police with stones.
The protests came as India's parliament held an angry debate over the
rape and murder of three sisters in the state of Maharashtra.The issue of sexual violence against women and girls has been under
intense scrutiny in India following the rape and murder of a student on
a Delhi bus in December. Source: BBC News
1.7 lakh kids missing in India: SC raps states
New Delhi, February 3, 2013: Figures are shocking. Statistics say that around 177,600
children in India went missing between 2009 and 2011, out of whom 55,450
are yet to be traced. Finally, Supreme Court has taken note on the
issue. The apex court has instructed the chief secretaries of all the
states and Union territories to ask all the police stations to register
an FIR and start an investigation in cases of missing children Most of
the NGOs working for child rights allege that police often hesitate to register FIR on missing children.
Activists say that police negligence has increased the problem.
The Supreme Court also directed that all police stations should have a
special juvenile police officer to deal with the cases of missing children. The apex court’s order came in the wake of a PIL filed by NGO
Bachpan Bachao Andolan, which works for underprivileged children. The
NGO in its PIL stated that over 1.7 lakh children have gone missing in
the country between January 2008-2010. In the PIL, it was also mentioned
that they fear that many of the missing kids were kidnapped for trafficking in flesh trade and child labor. The petitioner said: “The
instances of missing children are highest in Maharashtra followed by
West Bengal, Delhi and Madhya Pradesh. The number of untraced missing
children is highest in West Bengal followed by Maharashtra, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh
The apex court has also ordered the chief secretaries of Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Gujarat,
Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh and Goa to be present in court on
February 5. The chief secretaries of West Bengal and Karnataka got an
exemption after their respective counsels pleaded miscommunication. India Tribune
Babysitter gadgets up speech problem in kids
LONDON, January 04, 2013: The number of children in the United Kingdom
with speech difficulties has leapt 70% in six years and the growing use of
screen-based gadgets is being blamed for it, according to a new study. As many as 1.2 million young Britons struggle with speech and half of
pupils in some areas start school not being able to put sentences together . The rise is being blamed on the growing use of screen-based
gadgets as convenient "babysitters" and a trend for hard-working parents to spend less time
with their children, the 'Daily Mail' reported.
The findings from a new government-funded study show the number of
schoolchildren needing expert help for speech and language difficulties
rose 71% between 2005 and 2011. The analysis found that 2.25 of youngsters aged five to 16 were classified as having difficulties in 2011.
However, the figures do not capture pupils who are identified as having
speech difficulties and are helped within their schools without recourse
to specialists. The children's charity 'I CAN' said other studies had suggested that 1.2
million youngsters of all ages across the UK have some form of communication problem.
They include children with specific conditions that lead to speech
problems and others whose environment may play a part in their language
difficulties. As many as 50% of children in some parts of the UK particularly
areas of social disadvantage start school with delayed language, the charity said.
The sharp rise in cases of speech difficulties was likely to be down to
21st century living , as well as better identification by parents and
schools, said Jean Gross, former government speech and language tsar and
a trustee of I CAN. Gross warned that screen based technology including TVs, games
consoles, smart phones and computers - was increasingly used to occupy
children instead of traditional family activities such as learning nursery rhymes.
"Head teachers are telling me they are seeing a real increase in the
number of children who struggle to string words together," she said. Source: Times of India