Children campaigning for child rights
PROJECT NAME: Empower 1,000 Street & Working Children in India
PROJECT LOCATION: Dindigul District, Tamil Nadu, India
PROJECT PARTNER: Arunodhaya Centre for Street and Working Children
This project protects and promotes the rights of street and working children in the towns of Dindigul, Palani and Vilpatty in Tamil Nadu and prevents young children in remote rural areas leaving home to find exploitative work in these and other towns.
With the support of International Childcare Trust (ICT), Arunodhaya continues to focus their work on improving the lives of street and working children and other vulnerable children through a multi-pronged approach of:
• Direct intervention: withdrawing children from hazardous work and providing them with educational, skill development and economic opportunities; and
• Prevention: raising awareness among children and communities about child rights and hazards of child labour; ensuring children are enrolled into school at the right age and providing them with necessary after-school support to prevent drop-out.
Advocacy is a key element of the programme, which aims to promote community participation in the protection, development and upholding rights of children. Alongside provision of vital services, campaigning, rallies, public events and formation of Child Protection Committees (CPCs) continue to form an important part of the work.
Two campaigns on children’s rights promotion were recently conducted in Palani during the Poosam festival – a time when many people visit the town, famed for its many temples. Arunodhaya distributed information on child rights emphasising the importance of children’s education, and the need to eradicate child labour and child marriage. 21 staff members and 26 children from children’s sangams (children’s clubs) in Palani participated in the campaign. Over 5,000 information leaflets about child labour were distributed in Palani, as well as reaching over 3,000 people and 2,000 shops in Dindigul through a similar campaign.
In August, Arunodhaya also carried out a campaign to enhance community awareness about rising numbers of street children and how children are being used as cheap labour in restaurants. During the campaign 21 staff and 46 children distributed leaflets to all shop owners on the main streets, people at bus stands and pedestrians on the street. Furthermore, in July, 31 vocational training students demonstrated against school-drop out, motivating their peers to stay in education by distributing note books and writing materials.
Stay tuned for more updates!