Kavita Ratna, Director – Advocacy, CWC will be providing technical support along with Sanjay Gupta from Chetna at the South Asia Regional Consultation on the UN General Comment on Street Children, being held in Delhi from 4 – 6 April, 2016.
Kantesh (17 years) and Annapurna (20 years) from Udupi district, members of the Bhima Sangha working children’s union will be participating in the South Asia Regional Consultation on the UN General Comment on Street Children, being held in Delhi from 4 – 6 April, 2016.
The General Comment on Street Children will be the first International Guidelines to protect the rights of street children. The consultation with children is being held to hear the direct voices and experiences of children living on / in contact with the streets.
OPEN LETTER TO UNITED NATIONS
An open letter has been sent to the High Commissioner of the United Nations for Human Rights, Mrs Navanethem Pillay, signed by 74 experts from the academic world and from civil society around the world, dissenting from the proposal and suggesting a new approach about “STREET CHILDREN : A Mapping & Gapping Review of the Literature 2000 to 2010 “.
The letter coordinated by Cristiano Morsolin for Latin America and Antonella Invernizzi and Brian Milne (Children’s rights research consultants, France) for Europe, Africa and Asia, opens expressing an immediate concern : “We have examined the documents and the material presented on the site and we believe a that a wider and better prepared proposal is required in order to support and promote valid and effective policies so as to promote the rights of children who work and/or live on the streets ; lacking are some elements which require deeper consideration, as for example the importance of recognising the economic, social and cultural rights of children and of adolescents” (https://www.crin.org/en/library/news-archive/open-letter-un-there-need-more-complete-review-situation-young-boys-and-girls ).
Nandana Reddy and Kavita Ratna support this open letter and also Michael Bourdillon ; he taught in the University of Zimbabwe for over 25 years, before retiring to focus on street and working children, on whom he has researched and published widely, as well as being involved in their support and training.
Professor Bourdillon declared that “after working with an organisation supporting street children for ten years, I became aware of the need to think more carefully about children’s work generally. In the late 1990s, together with colleagues and students, I set about learning more about working children in Zimbabwe through a number of small research projects, and then to see what could be done to help them.
I was introduced to CWC by Save the Children, Norway, who invited Nandana Reddy and Nagaraj Shetiger (from Bhima Sangha) to attend a workshop on children’s work in Zimbabwe. They introduced us to the idea of a working children’s movement and the importance of empowering children to do things for themselves. Following this meeting, I was fortunate to be able to visit CWC in Bangalore, and to take part in one of their training workshops on child participation in Kundapur. I was very impressed with what Bhima Sangha, with the respectful support of the CWC, achieved for deprived children in Karnataka. I was also impressed with the way children developed communication skills and self-confidence in their training programmes and in their various activities. I was subsequently appointed as a faculty member of Dhruva, and in that capacity helped the CWC facilitate a training programme in child participation of educationalists in Zambia.
Partly as a result of what I learned from CWC, and with the support of Save the Children, I helped working children who were establishing a Zimbabwean branch of the African Movement of Working Children and Youth. Later I attended regional and international meetings of working children in Kundapur and in Siena, Italy.
The lessons I learned from CWC about child-centred approaches and the importance of child participation shaped my involvement with working children in Zimbabwe, and have remained central to much of my writing and research about working children and child protection since. I have also been able to use this knowledge and experience to involve children in other research projects, and in advising other child support programmes. Their recognition by the Norwegian Parliament is well deserved and should encourage others to follow their example in empowering children to help themselves (http://concernedforworkingchildren.blogspot.com.co/p/michael-bourdillon.html).
NEW BOOK OF NANDANA REDDY
Nandana Reddy – Director CWC and Nobel peace prize candidate in 2012 (India) wrote a new book with Cristiano Morsolin and others authors about:
- The International Working Group on Child Labour IWGCL and the International Movement of Working Children
- Working children in India today
On children’s rights debt. Reconsidering the debates about working and street children in a globalized world
Editor: Cristiano Morsolin
Co-authors: Nandana Reddy, Juan Martin Perez Garcia , Adolfo Perez Esquivel, Veronica Muller, Michael Bourdillon, Fabrizio Terenzio, Raffaele Salinari.
Ed. Mediafactory (Italy), pag. 308, 2014