Sagar speaks for the children of India at the 88th session of the Committee on the Rights of the Child at the United Nations Office in Geneva on the Day of General Discussion on Children’s Rights and Alternative Care
He shared his opinions on how we can ensure all children grow up in safe and nurturing families and communities.
New Delhi, 17 September 2021: On the occasion of the General Day of Discussion organised by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, Sagar, a young person from Butterflies Education programme addressed the Committee on the subject of why children leave their homes. Based on his experience, he emphasised on the importance of the family for every child and how the family environment is a major reason for separation. He said that children and adolescents are forced to leave homes when the environment at home is disturbed due to various reasons such as quarrel between parents, drug addiction, parents beating children, over-expectations and comparison with other, insult and humiliation. He also pointed out that “the stressful and violent environment in the community is also a reason for children and young people to move away”.
Sagar suggested that the government should identify such families, whose economic or family condition is not good and should connect them with government welfare schemes. In addition, the government inform the poor and common people about government welfare through radio, television and posters in the public spaces because it is not known to them.
He also felt that children and young people should get an opportunity to express themselves without any fear and pressure at home, in school and in the community and should get appropriate help and support. The government should include their suggestions and ideas in their plans.
Sagar also mentioned about the role of parents, community members and formal education systems for children’s wellbeing and said that there is a pressing need for a community based Committee for children in which parents, children, school teachers and local elected leaders should be members. It should be the committee’s responsibility to stop social evils in the community, listen to the problems of children and young persons and find solutions. The Committee can also take the voice of children and young people to the government so that they get the support. The committee should make continuous efforts to ensure that there is an encouraging environment for children and young persons in the community.
While sharing his personal experience, he said that families face a lot mental stress due to different problems and therefore mental health should also be a part of the government public health programme.
Further, he also highlighted the lack of safe spaces for children and young people in the community for play and sports. Therefore, he recommended that the government should keep the government school grounds open after the school hours so that they can play which will help them to keep mentally and physically fine.
Concluding his speech Sagar believes that the family is an important part of children’s lives and questioned as to why couldn’t the government, the community and NGOs work together to prevent families from breaking down.