Indian Children Advocate for Better Health and Education
FI engaged with over 45 school children in Shillong, India, to explain the UN Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process and to encourage them to raise critical human rights concerns for when their country comes under its second review in 2012.
Sanjay Gathia, FI AP Regional Director (Interim), encouraged the 11-15 year olds to identify the main issues highlighted in India’s first UPR report of 2008 and to assess whether its recommendations had since been fulfilled to improve the human rights situation in the north-east of India. The most common issues still of concern are health and education, particularly for the poor and vulnerable.
The children will write their own UPR report to address these issues and submit it to the UN Human Rights Council under the name of Edmund Rice International (ERI), a non-governmental organisation (NGO) that advocates for children’s rights.
The ERI India Network asked FI to present the one-day workshop in October as part of a larger national campaign, led by NGO Wada Na Todo Abhiyan (WNTA), called ‘Nine Is Mine’. This participatory children’s advocacy initiative aims to hold the government accountable to its promise to end poverty, social exclusion and discrimination – toward meeting the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
This work is in line with FI’s global work on promoting the MDGs and the pledges taken by the governments to fulfill its obligations.
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