Sunday, November 21, 2010

Child Rights and Existing Cultural Systems


"...on some occasions, child rights are violated and even justified in the name of preserving cultural practices and tradition. When there is a conflict between culture and child rights, children’s rights must take precedence and old cultures and traditions must adjust to give primacy to children’s needs and rights."

~ Shantha Sinha, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights.
Please download the latest In Focus here.

The advertisers know the primacy of children as targets of their products. If they are won, they'll woo their parents anyway. But, rights? The rights activists understand. Where do theologians and Christian workers stand? What are we offering to transform the system in order to protect the child? What contextual questions in this area have we addressed yet?

Methodology Required
"to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God" (Acts 27:18).

Unless their eyes are first open, there is no use of light.
Unless they have turned to light, they can experience no deliverance.

1. Become Eye-Openers. Those who are within a system are blinded by that system. They have learnt to fit into it and so view the world with eyes that the system grants them. In order to be eye-openers, we must be able to challenge the irrationality of a system, and brace up to help people up learn to use their eyes. The system paralyses abstract and sound reasoning, because of its authoritative structure. The men in the cave (cf. Plato's Republic) must be declared the good news of freedom. They must learn to open and use their eyes.

2. Become Light-Bearers. This not only consists in clear and cogent communication of truth in words and images, but also in our deeds by which we stand as light-bearers and witnesses of God's heart in the midst of this generation.

"...that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life...." (Philippians 2:15,16).

Excerpt from In Focus, August 2010

Safeguarding Railway Children’s Rights


An estimated 11 million street children live in India. Most of
these children live in and around railway stations. In Delhi,
Mumbai and Kolkata, street children, approximately 1,00,000
– 1,25,000 in each city, figure in the list of missing, runaway, abandoned
or trafficked children. Lack of support puts them at risk
from various forms of abuse and deprivation of rights that denies
them a childhood.

The situation of the children living in railway stations is of
grave concern as they are often overlooked. The National
Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), which was
asked to look into the issue of safeguarding the rights of children
at railway platforms, set up a 19-member working group and conducted
several consultations during the period August 2008 to
February 2010. Meetings were held with representatives of railway
administration, railway protection force (RPF), government railway
police (GRP) and civil society organizations....



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