`Establishment of state commission for protection of child rights is need of hour`

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Children of various communities during ‘Kidz concert’ at MBC Centre Church today.
IMPHAL, Aug 14: With the objective of promoting and strengthening civil society institutions towards ending violence against children in the state, a state-wide advocacy campaign for the establishment of Manipur State Commission for Protection of Child Rights was formally launched by the chairman of steering committee, European Union Project, Wide Angle Yambem Laba in presence of eminent media persons and human rights activists at New Airlines Hotel, MG Avenue.

Speaking at the launching function, Yambem Laba stated that the issue of child rights violation is a challenging phenomenon in the present day society as there have been many reports of exploitation of child rights in the state due to direct impact from both state and non-state actors.

Manipur has been in such circumstances of more than 30 years of disturbed situation leading to continued violation of child rights in the state, he asserted.

Considering the cumulating incidents of child rights violation including reported child soldiering in the state, Laba stated it would be a desirable for various rights groups of the state to pressure the state government for the establishment of Manipur State Commission for Protection of Child Rights.

Secretary of Wide Angle Social Development, Montu Ahanthem asserted that there is an urgent need for establishment of the said commission as there has been no institutional mechanism in the state to deal with the issue of violation of child rights.

The increasing number of incidents of child trafficking, child soldier, child labour, parentless child victims of armed conflict etc. requires immediate attention of the state government, he noted.

He further elaborated that the government of India has enacted the commission for the protection of Child rights Act, 2005 to implement the provision of the UN Convention on the Rights of the child. Under the national law, each state is required to establish a state commission for Protection of Child Rights. It can also be recalled that the Imphal bench of the Guwahati High court had also directed the state government to establishment the child Rights Commission within December this year.

On the other hand, the steering committee of the Wide Angle ( Social Development organization) with eminent personalities like chairman European Union, Project Wide Angle, Yambem Laba, former member Manipur State Human Rights Commission Sh Sharat Sharma, former director of the state Social Welfare department Dr Deven Sharma, social activists were among the delegate presence during the formal launching of the public campaign this morning.

The committee later submitted memorandums to the Governor Gurbachan Jagat, Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh for rendering their support to the initiative for the establishment of the Manipur State Commission for Protection of Child Rights.

Secretary Wide Angle Montu Ahanthem further mentioned that, as part of their campaign for the establishment of the said commission for the state, the organization will start signature campaigns with peoples’ representatives, at the local, state and national level. The campaign will also include persuading the political parties for inclusion of the mentioned agenda in their election manifestoes in the upcoming assembly election in the state.

He further mentioned that,  to ameliorate the conditions of the children specially those who are in need of special care, support, protection and assistance to the family as a fundamental unit of society, Wide Angle earnestly appeals to the state authority, that this could be fully achieved by establishing “of Manipur State Commission for protection of child rights” in the best interest of the children of the state, and the failure to the state government to humble request of the organization will resort to launch various forms of public agitation in the future to come he added.

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