|© UNICEF India/2005/ Varde-Naqvi|
|At the launch of the Hindi translation, L to R: P.D.T. Achari, Secretary-General of the ‘Lok Sabha’; Somnath Chatterjee, Speaker of the ‘Lok Sabha’; Cecilio Adorna, UNICEF Representative in India; Shyam Saran, Foreign Secretary of India.|
By Savita Varde-Naqvi
NEW DELHI, 3 October 2005 – A Hindi translation of the joint UNICEF/Inter-Parliamentary Union publication ‘Child Protection: A Handbook for Parliamentarians’ is now available in India.
First released at the IPU’s 110th International Assembly in April 2004, the Handbook has already been translated into several other languages, including French and Spanish. The Handbook serves as a catalyst for action, providing examples of parliamentarians’ responses to the challenges of child protection and addressing 10 specific protection issues.
Speaking on the occasion of the Hindi translation’s release, Mr. Somnath Chatterjee, Speaker of the ‘Lok Sabha’ (India’s Lower House of Parliament), urged legislators to turn their efforts to improve child protection into a national movement.
Mr. Chatterjee announced his plans to form a parliamentary Forum on Children to help sensitize parliamentarians on issues relating to child protection.
UNICEF Representative in India Cecilio Adorna stressed the importance of every parliamentarian’s active involvement, saying: “You, the parliamentarians, can legislate, oversee Government activity, allocate financial resources and, as leaders of your nations and communities, raise awareness about issues and provide advocacy.”
In India, recent estimates indicate that about 14 per cent of children are involved in child labour activities, and about 46 per cent of women aged 20-24 were married or in union before they were 18 years old. About 35 per cent of children in India are registered at birth; registration is an essential component of a protective environment. (Source: SOWC.)
Mr. Chatterjee said he hopes the Handbook will be translated into other major languages in India in order to reach parliamentarians and legislators in the country’s various States and Union Territories.
The Inter-Parliamentary Union was established in 1889 and brings together Members of Parliament from over 140 states. It contributes to the defence and promotion of human rights and has a long-standing commitment to the protection of children.
27 September 2005: Savita Varde-Naqvi reports from New Delhi on the launch of the Hindi translation of ‘Child Protection: A Handbook for Parliamentarians’.