05th December 2018

More than 80 experts across diverse background like jurists, policymakers, civil society, organisations, youth and think tanks discuss the mechanisms to bring justice for children and system strengthening to safeguard child rights

Voices of young children’s ‘Children have something to say’- experiences and perceptions of safety at home, school and community was presented at the conference

New Delhi, 05 December, 2018:

The third edition of the ‘Plan For Every Child-Girls Get Equal’ national conference started today at India Habitat Centre in New Delhi. The three-day power packed discussions, scheduled from December 05 to 07,2018, aims at formalising clear action points to strengthen child protection mechanisms in India, especially for girls and young women, in order to ensure their wellbeing and right to a dignified life. Organised by Plan India, in partnership with the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Plan For Every Child Conference brings together people from diverse backgrounds like jurists, government officials, media, civil society organisation, experts and child rights practitioners from national and international sphere.

The inaugural session was attended by Mr. Rakesh Srivastava, Secretary, Ministry of Women and Child Development; Ms. Upma Srivastava, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment among others. Hon’ble Mr. Justice Madan B. Lokur of the Supreme Court of India was also present at the conference to deliver the keynote address on prevention, justice and accountability for children.

Commenting on Plan India’s commitment to safeguarding child rights in the country, Ms. Bhagyashri Dengle, Executive Director, Plan India said, “This year conference will focus on improving the system’s approach in the country to strengthen child protection. In partnership with the Ministry of Social Justice and empowerment, and 80 eminent speakers from diverse background, we would deliberate on systems strengthening for child protection as a critical factor in the governance of any country. The key partners would focus on the systems to create strong safety nets for girls and young women with a vision to enable children, especially girls to learn, lead, decide and thrive.”

The three-day conference will facilitate multiple sessions, presentations and discussions on various aspects of child protection including the need for research and evidence building; role of media, communities, grassroots institutions, executive, legislature in putting the last girl first; integrated approaches and the role of technology in achieving gender justice.

One of the key highlights of the conference will be the special session called ‘Make our World Safe – Who is Accountable?’ on children’s experiences and perceptions of safety at home, school and community. The voices have been gathered through participatory consultation with children between 5-10 years across four states of Plan India programme areas. The session would seek to capture voices of children towards their development and protection, particularly girls as their voices and concerns are mostly unheard with an assumption of incapability.

The Plan for Every Child National Conference in 2016 and 2017 acted as a forum to exchange ideas and foster dialogue on issues related to children in difficult circumstances. In its first year, deliberations from the conference founded the 2016 India Declaration – a commitment by 500 NGOs across 32 states and union territories along with key stakeholders in government, media and subject matter experts, to protect and uphold the rights of the child. Following this collective dedication, we examined the interface of inclusion, access and opportunities for girls in our 2017 conference by bringing to the platform, important deliberations regarding solutions and best practices for challenges faced by girls. Furthermore, the conference brought forth voices of the youth from around the country. The 2018 Conference hopes to bring rich and varied perspectives on justice for children and system strengthening to safe guard child rights.

Plan India continues to focus on the capacity building of local NGO partners working in the area of child protection, create improved resource and communication materials to apprise children about their rights, develop long term advocacy plans to address on-ground challenges like child marriage, child labour and female foeticide among others and forge partnerships. Since children, particularly girls are significant voices of change, Plan India will continue working through children clubs and youth champions and would ensure that their views are incorporated into policy reviews and planning for future.