Child Rights in Odisha

Child rights as a crucial subject got a concrete shape in the year 1989 when the United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted a comprehensive document on “Convention on the Rights of the Child” (CRC)

 

This document is wide-ranging as it encloses a set of universal legal norms for the protection and holistic development of children (i.e. all human beings up to the age of 18) by regarding them as individual human entities. The Convention stresses on four sets of basic rights of children, viz. the right to survival, the right to protection, the right to development and right to participation

These may also be classified as (i) rights to protection, (ii) rights to provisions and (iii) rights to participation

This Convention requires the member countries to ensure that every child shall have right to life, to live with dignity, right to acquire a name, parental care, nationality, have right to express his/her views on matters and decision-making on all that are pertaining to their lives, and protection from all forms of exploitation, neglect and violence. This convention may be seen as a prospective means for creating an environment in which all children would be able to lead a meaningful and secure life. It has also set broad standards for ensuring the rights of the children and may be used as a viable tool for establishing dignity and empowerment of children.
On December 11, 1992 the Indian government ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. This actually revalidated the National Policy for Children, adopted in 1974. This policy lays down that the State shall provide adequate services towards children, both before and after birth and during the growing stages for their full physical, mental and social development. Despite the various policies and legislation enacted the state of children in Odisha depicts a dismal situation. The IMR compared over last 10 years shows improvement but still the status of Odisha in National average remains at third highest after UP and MP, as per AHS report 2011. State has shown remarkable statistical improvement of dropout rate of primary and upper primary children, but ground situation narrates a different story. The girl child getting married before attaining the legal age of marriage has improved from 23 percent to 18 percent but still a lot has to be achieved in terms of protecting the rights of adolescent girl child.

Table: Status of Child Rights in Odisha

Important Child Rights Indicators 2001 2011
IMR (Death of child before 12 months) 77 62
NNMR (Death of child within 28 days) 47 40
Child Sex Ratio 953 934
Malnutrition Status (Either category of malnutrition) 61.71% 48.37%
Underweight (New Born Children) 54.4%
Drop Out Rate (Primary) 32% 2.83
Drop Out (Primary - ST) 52% 6.46
Dropout Rate (Upper Primary) 57% 8.19
Girls getting married before 18 years 23%
Girls getting married in tribal districts before 18 years (Boudh, Gajapati, Koraput, Malkangiri, Nawarangpur) 40%
Disability (out of every 1000 children) 20%


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