to life, health, nutrition,
to education, care, leisure,
recreation, cultural activities
to expression, information,
WHY ARE CHILD RIGHTS IMPORTANT?
At CRY America, we focus on the 4 basic rights of children. In 1992, India ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Charter of Child Rights (CRC) is built on the principle that "ALL children are born with fundamental freedoms and ALL human beings have inherent rights". The UN Charter sets international standards for the rights of children and confers the following basic rights to children across the world:
- The right to survival - to life, health, nutrition, name and nationality
- The right to development - to education, care, leisure, recreation
- The right to protection - from exploitation, abuse, neglect
- The right to participation - to expression, information, thought and religion
WHY ARE CHILD RIGHTS IMPORTANT?
Every child is entitled to a meaningful childhood. But for many children, the reality of childhood is altogether different. 2 million Indian babies die before they celebrate their first birthday. More girl children are killed at birth. At least 35 million children aged 6 - 14 years do not attend school. 17 million children in India work.
Right through history, children have been abused and exploited. They suffer from hunger and homelessness; work in harmful conditions, high infant mortality, deficient health care and poor quality education. Child Rights are fundamental freedoms and the inherent rights of all human beings below the age of 18. These rights apply to every child, irrespective of the child's race, color, gender, caste, class or religion. Girls should be given the same opportunities as boys. Childhood can and must be preserved. ALL children have the right to survive, develop, be protected and participate in decisions that impact their lives.
At CRY America, we believe that children are citizens in their own right, entitled to the full spectrum of human rights. Children will attain these rights guaranteed to them if each one of us believes this should be so and exercises all the power at our command - as parents, neighbors, consumers, employees, business people, teachers, politicians, journalists, professionals, bureaucrats, activists and most importantly as citizens - to make children's rights a priority and reality.
CRY America's role is to amplify the voice of India's children to reach large numbers of people and enlist their support for this cause. By partnering grassroots Projects - we address the root causes that impede the rights of children and have proven that sustainable change is possible through our child rights approach.
CRY America and its partners are dedicated to building a just society for children. We believe that doing so requires concerted action by all sectors - state, market and civil society. CRY America's operating model, therefore, is based on building a cross-sectoral coalition that includes individuals, corporations, the media, the government and development partners who serve children in need.
CRY AMERICA'S THEORY OF CHANGE
The following assumptions are implicit in CRY America's theory of change:
Children are the most vulnerable segment of any society. Their situation provides both, the most stringent metric of a society's health and the rallying point with the widest appeal across all parts of society.
Ensuring child rights, therefore, provides the most effective, sustainable solution to the myriad social, economic and political issues confronting India and the world in general.
Sustainable change at the level of the community is only possible when communities themselves discuss, engage, develop and implement solutions, cooperatively.
Non-profits when linked to each other and in coalition with business, government and media, can create a critical mass that achieves immense synergies and scale, and the strength to influence policy.
CRY AMERICA'S APPROACH
CRY America has learned that the only way to enable meaningful and lasting change in the lives of children is to adopt what we call the 'child rights approach' which entails:
- Looking at children's issues holistically and from a human rights perspective - rather than through the narrow prisms of education, health, child labor, child abuse, feticide/ infanticide etc.
- Addressing the underlying root causes of deprivation and larger community issues - gender, caste, livelihoods, displacement and the like
- Engaging underprivileged communities to find long-term solutions to these problems and work with local government agencies to ensure that relevant government policies that programs that guarantee their rights are effectively implemented.
CRY AMERICA'S ROLE
CRY America amplifies the voices of underprivileged communities and children and plays a catalytic role between two groups of people:
[a] development organizations and individuals working at the grassroots-level with underprivileged children and their communities
[b] people like you, coming together from all walks of life who believe in the restoration of rights of children.
We harness the support, money, time, skills of thousands of people in the USA who provide resources and deploy this to dedicated fieldworkers across India struggling to function for lack of them. CRY America is an 'enabling' organization, as opposed to an 'implementing' one.