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Children present election manifesto to political parties

Written by: Staff
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Kochi, Apr 12 (UNI) In the heat and din of the state assembly elections, a group of Kerala children today released a 'Children's Manifesto' demanding to know from all political parties what they will do for the welfare of children, who constitute 40 per cent of the state's population.

Releasing the manifesto at a press conference here, Mr M P Antoni, Convenor, Child Rights Resource Centre (CRRC) of the Rajagiri College of Social Sciences, said that the manifesto had been put together by 50 children, in the age group of 13 to 18 years.

Drawn from diverse backgrounds, the children from ten of the state's 14 districts, had spent three days and two nights at the Rajagiri College, debating, discussing and finalising the manifesto.

The workshop, initiated by the CRRC, was supported by UNICEF, Chennai.

Stating that children constitute 40 per cent of Kerala's population, the manifesto demands that 40 per cent of the budget should be spent on schemes relating to their welfare. Also, there should be 100 per cent utilisation of the Central government funds related to children.

They also demanded that whichever front comes to power, a 'Kerala Children's Act', modelled on the Goa Children's Act of 2003 be enacted within a year to safeguard children from exploitation of any kind, including child labour, and to guarantee their development.

A childline in each district and a child safety unit at each police station, to be set up within six months, is another of their demands.

A group of children, who presented the manifesto alongwith Mr Antoni, wanted all political parties and candidates contesting the April-May assembly elections to clearly state what they would do for the welfare of children.

UNI ARC DK1525

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