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Assam first to dedicate day to child rights

Guwahati, Feb. 24: Assam has become the first state in the country to dedicate a day for the causes of children.

Schoolchildren, experts and organisations working for protection of child rights from across the state will take part in the first State Child Protection Day here on March 4.

The Assam State Commission for Protection of Child Rights in collaboration with the Assam field office of Unicef will organise the programme at Tarun Ram Phookan Indoor Stadium in Ulubari from 9am.

The chairperson of the commission, Runumi Gogoi, told reporters today that they would also hold a series of state-level awareness creating and capacity-building workshops and discussions on some important issues concerning child right issues from February 26 to March 3, which would culminate in the celebration of the day.

Discussions on strengthening the adoption process and addressing child marriage issues in the state, protecting children from labour and trafficking and the Right to Education Act 2009 will take place at Indian Institute of Bank Management in Khanapara.

The Assam government by a directive issued on December 3 last year notified March 4 as Child Protection Day to celebrate the day every year in the state. It was also on the same date that the state government officially notified the setting up of the commission in 2010.

Gogoi said during their recent visits to Dhemaji and Lakhimpur districts, they came to know that child marriage was widespread in those districts. “Earlier, we had the notion that child marriage was prevalent only in minority-dominated districts like Dhubri. But it is taking place almost in every rural area of the state,” she said.

The commission was constituted under Section 17 of the Commission for Protection of Child Rights Act, 2005. It has been empowered as a civil court to undertake inquiries into complaints and to take suo moto notice of matters relating to deprivation and violation of child rights.