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India, as a signatory to the UNCRC (1992), recognizes the significance of children’s rights around the world. Certain kid rights are also guaranteed under India’s constitutions, including ‘health,’ ‘education,’ and protection from ‘hazardous employment,’ ‘exploitation,’ among others. Despite the existence of numerous legal measures, the vulnerability of Indian children in various aspects cannot be underestimated. This essay aims to locate the status of children on the Indian economy’s development ladder at the regional level, demonstrating how disparities in development indicators actually accelerate the nature of exclusive development. Child abuse is underlined as a major impediment to a child’s growth. The “Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses Bill 2011” was finally passed by the Indian Parliament.


According to the definition of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), every human being under the age of eighteen years is referred to as a “child.” The necessity for particular protection for this youngster was universally acknowledged at the Geneva Conference (1924).

In that declaration, it was also stated that the youngster, due to his physical and mental immaturity, need this specific precaution and legal protection. The General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child on November 20, 1959. Thirty years later, world leaders realised that children should have unique human rights, which necessitated the creation of a Charter3. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC, 1989) is the first legally binding international instrument to include civil, cultural, economic, political, and social rights in the definition of child rights In 54 articles and two optional protocols, the Convention lays out these rights. It outlines the core human rights that every child should have, regardless of where he or she lives: the right to survival, to complete development, to protection from negative influences, abuse, and exploitation, and to full participation in familial, cultural, and social life.


The Indian Constitution’s Directive Principles of State Policy (Article 39) authorises the government to control policies so that children’s young ages are not mistreated and childhood is protected from exploitation and moral abandonment. As a result of this constitutional commitment and as a signatory to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of the Child, India enacted a National Policy on Children (NPC) in 1974. This policy reinforced constitutional principles and authorised the state to give proper assistance to children throughout their developmental years in order to ensure their full physical, mental, and social development. As a result, the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act of 1986 went into effect, prohibiting children under the age of 14 from working in any occupation.

India, as a signatory to the UNCRC (1992), has acknowledged child rights as a binding constraint around the world. After the UNCRC was ratified in 1992, India revised its juvenile justice law [Juvenile & Justice (Care & Protection) Act, 2000] to ensure that anyone under the age of 18 who need care or protection is entitled to it from the state. The Commission for the Protection of Child Rights Act of 2005 established the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (NCRC) in March 2007. The Commission was given the task of ensuring that all laws, policies, programmes, and administrative processes were in line with the Child Rights approach. As of now, the Indian constitution ensures that all children have certain rights, which include:

  1. All children between the ages of 6 and 14 have the right to free and compulsory primary education (Article 21A)
  2. The right to be sheltered from hazardous job until the age of fourteen (Article 24)
  3. Right to be safeguarded from being exploited and compelled by economic need to engage in work that is unsuitable for their age or strength [Article 39(e)]
  4. Equal opportunities and conditions for development in a healthy, free, and dignified way, as well as guaranteed protection of infancy and youth from exploitation and moral and material abandonment [Article 39(f)]

Despite the existence of numerous legal mechanisms, India’s children are nonetheless unprotected. Several indicators show how child rights are being violated in various parts of our country, with potentially dangerous social and economic consequences. Child abuse is another harmful aspect of erosion that kills many children’s potential and development spurts invisibly. In our country, we still live in a tabooed environment where youngsters receive no adequate sex education. Children are molested and abused, but because of a lack of understanding, they do not complain and continue to be victims of exploitation for a long time.


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Despite the existence of numerous child-rights protection laws, millions of children in India face multi-faceted issues in various aspects of their lives. India has a population of over one billion people, 42 percent of whom are children, accounting for 19 percent of the world's youngsters. Globalization and liberalisation have accelerated progress, yet this segment of the population remains mostly excluded.

Children from the poor and marginalised sectors were not the only ones denied the benefits of achievement; abuses of child rights were also prevalent in the middle and upper classes.. This study will be conducted in the context of the country's recent political and economic situation, during which post-globalization effects have been felt in various parts of the country. We want to continue this impact analysis on child rights from a variety of angles, including health, education, labour, and abuse. The specific goal of this section would be to identify the flaws and gaps in each of these categories' present policies by studying their outcomes..


Every third malnourished and underweight child in the world is born in India, which accounts for sixteen percent of the global population. Due to iodine deficiency, three out of every four children are anaemic, and every second new born baby has impaired hearing capacity. As a result, the health issue remains a major concern for our economy, and environmental degradation as a result of industrialization and other forms of economic development, as well as pollution, leads to additional deterioration in children's health..

There are several examples of youngsters suffering from malnutrition or dying from starvation or infections that may have been avoided. According to the UNSAIDS, India has 170,000 children afflicted with HIV/AIDS. Even juvenile diabetes has been said to have reached epidemic proportions. The following broad indicators were chosen to indicate children's health rights:

  1. Child Survival Rate (percentage of children who survive to the age of three years);
  2. Immunization (percentage of children who are fully immunised);
  3. Nutrition ( percent of children who are not under weight).

The Child Survival Rate is an important health statistic for proving children's rights to health care. However, due to poor pregnancy care and maternal malnutrition, he is on his way to becoming a disaster before surviving. In India, around a third of expecting mothers are denied the tetanus vaccine, which is a crucial defence against infection at birth. This increases the likelihood of an increase in Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) and a decrease in Child Survival Rate. In India, the IMR has been continuously declining for the past sixty years (1950-2010). It fell from 150 per 1000 live births in 1990 to 80 per 1000 live births in 1990, then to 68 in 2000 and 50 in 2009. Up until 2005, the average yearly decline was 1.5 points, and from 2005 to 2009, the average annual decline was 2 points. Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Delhi, and West Bengal have already met their respective MDG (Millennium Development Goals) targets, namely 42 by 1000.

Immunization is another indicator that ensures a child's right to life by using an early preventive strategy. Tamil Nadu (80 percent) led the way in vaccination coverage in 2005-06, followed by Goa (79 percent), Kerala (75 percent), Himachal Pradesh (74 percent), and Sikkim (70), with Nagaland (21 percent), Uttar Pradesh (23 percent), Rajasthan (27 percent), Arunachal Pradesh (28 percent), Assam (32 percent), Bihar (33 percent), Jharkhand (35 percent), and Madhya Pradesh (35 percent) at the bottom (40 percent ). As a result of this geographical disparity, the national average indicator falls to 44 percent.

Nutrition is also a key determinant of a child's right to life and growth. Malnutrition among children and expecting mothers is responsible for one-third of all child deaths worldwide. This indicates that there is a bidirectional relationship between diet and infection. Malnutrition in children is commonly caused by numerous episodes of diarrhoea, and malaria is a leading cause of anaemia in children. As an indicator of 'Nutrition,' we look at the percentage of children who are not overweight. Underweight children are more widespread in Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Chattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan, with 54 percent of children under the age of three not being overweight in 2005-06. All of the North-Eastern states, as well as Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, and Jammu and Kashmir, have performed well.


This index “Regional Contrast and Progress in Child Health Index in India” depicts how the Child Health Index has demonstrated a slow pace of progress from 1998-99 to 2005-06, i.e., during the post-globalization period. In terms of child development, health is the most important issue, but the rate of progress in this area is far from satisfactory. Tamil Nadu and Kerala are two significant states in terms of delivering health care to their children, however their growth rates have been disappointing, owing to poor performance in the Immunization Index. States with the lowest child development rankings, including as Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and MP, have made significant progress, however Rajasthan's growth trajectory has slowed. During the time period under consideration, West Bengal has significantly improved its position in all child-health related indices.

Regional diversity and imbalanced development are seen in the growth pattern of health indices. Although the constitution places a strong focus on states' responsibilities in terms of health care, no one law addressing the subject of public health exists at this time. Only reproductive health and safe motherhood, or child survival, are prioritised by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The country's Primary Health Care System, which has its own inherent flaws, is left to manage the children's other health requirements. Children were not singled out in India's Health Policy 2000. As a result, the rights of children in relation to health have already been compromised.

The other part of the Index Composite Indices allow us to have a better understanding of the relative performances of Indian states in areas such as Child Health. Composite indices with a value greater than "1" always indicate that the concerned state outperforms the national average. The second index shows that all of the relatively low-performing states (such as Assam, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh) have made significant development efforts in the child health sector and have exhibited varying degrees of positive response. Above-average states like Jammu and Kashmir and West Bengal, on the other hand, have exhibited a rate of improvement from 1998-99 to 2005-06.

According to the IHDR (2011), family planning and reduced family size are essential strategies in changing a household's child-health outcomes. Children's spacing and a smaller family size always assist a poor family in dealing with their children's health issues. Furthermore, female empowerment has a significant part in improving the health care of any normal family by properly allocating earned revenue from the home to various physical and mental growth enhancing aspects of the children, such as health, education, and so on. The progress made by states like Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh, and West Bengal in increasing Contraception Prevalence Rate can be linked to their success. In comparison to many others, these states have been better prepared to execute several aspects of Child Health measures.

Except for Christians and Sikhs, all major religious communities had a decrease in the percentage of children who did not receive any vaccine between 1998 and 2006. Among Muslims, the drop was particularly precipitous. Scheduled Tribes (ST) children had higher rates of immunisation, whereas Scheduled Cates (SC) and Other Backward Community (OBC) children had lower rates. Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, and Gujarat are the states where the "child immunisation rate" in the SC group fell sharply from 1998-99 to 2005-06.


The availability of health infrastructure and various health outcomes are mostly determined by the amount of money spent on health care by both the government and the private sector. In India, public health spending is extremely low, with total expenditure (including public and private) hovering at 4.1 percent in 2007. (WHO, 2010). A substantial share of out-of-pocket (OOP) health spending can be attributed to a high amount of private health spending. A high share of OOP expenditure in total private expenditure implies low expenditure on health insurance and low expenditure on health care by businesses and non-governmental organisations.

In this part, we’ll look at the degree of link between the “Child Health Index” and both public and private health spending, with the goal of determining whether sector has a stronger relationship with the “Child Health Index.” In the absence of a precise level of child expenditure, we compute the relationship between CHI and Health Expenditure using aggregate health expenditure as a proxy variable. We can overlook the one-year gap between the Health Expenditure (2004-05) parameter and the Child Health Index (2005-06) for our measuring convenience. This data shows that there is a higher degree of correlation between Child Health Index and Public Health Expenditure than between Child Health Index and Private Health Expenditure across Indian states. This obviously demonstrates that public spending should be prioritised in order to improve children’s health.


Child education is tied to a large part of a child’s growth. Every child’s ability to exert herself in all fields of activity is enhanced via education. It improves her employability as well as her influence in society’s decision-making processes. Child education, on the other hand, is inextricably linked to child labour, and in most cases, the former is hampered by the latter. Though employment has long been regarded a component of education, and a strong relationship between labour and education has already been established. Although school-aged child labour is not prevalent in our country (in fact, it accounts for 8% of our school-aged children between the ages of 10 and 14), hazardous child labour is nevertheless seen as a negative feature of child development. Children who do not attend school and work as child workers are violating their rights as children. In the age bracket of 10-14 years, they account for 4% of the entire Indian kid population. Child labour is a symptom of non-development in any situation, whether it is due to economic necessity or a dire family requirement.

On the other hand, the Right to Education Act 2009, which took effect on April 1, 2010, gave the government entire responsibility for providing free and compulsory education to all children aged 6 to 14. According to the IHDS (2004-05), just 11% of children aged 10 to 14 years are employed in the labour force, performing a variety of tasks such as working on the family farm, caring for animals, working for a family company, and wage work.

We want to introduce a composite index of Child Development in Education (CDE), which at the same time takes care of Child Labour concerns, and call it CDE Index, because regional variation is also noticed in this education-labor sector.

CDE Index = % of School Going Children within certain age group divided by % of Child Labour within that age group.

The CDE index measures both the enrolment drive and the child labour situation at the same time, as both are equally vital in protecting children’s rights. If a state’s enrolment increases the value of the indicators, the region’s child labour increases the value of the indicators as well. Now, if a region does well in enrolment and can limit child labour, the value of the Index will be magnified, indicating the region’s twin success. We calculated CDE Indices for India’s major states using data from the 2001 census.

The table above depicts regional differences in the Child Development in Education Index. Kerala has a magnified value of the CDE Index since the state has accomplished great success in both sectors, i.e., 100% enrolment with the lowest percentage of child labour. Punjab, Tamil Nadu, and Maharashtra are the other high-performing states. Rajasthan is the state with the lowest educational performance, and child labour is widespread. Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Bihar, and Assam are among the worst achievers. Although Himachal Pradesh has a high rate of enrolment, the state’s CDE ranking has been lowered due to a high rate of child labour.


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This index illustrates the evolving landscape of child education from the standpoint of Indian states. Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, Chattisgrah, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu are among the states that have made significant development. The first two states had below-average performance but were successful in their implementation in the child education sector as well as in controlling the prevalence of “child labour,” bringing the index above the national average. Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Punjab, Uttarakhand, and Kerala were among the high-performing states that had a poor performance between 2004 and 2008.

Kerala has shown higher incidence of child labour over the time, which lowered the index of Education-Labour related Composite Index. Some states which should take utmost care in their development priorities of child education tacking the child labour, are Karnataka, Orissa, Rajasthan and West Bengal.


The Constitution of India recognizes the vulnerable position of children and need for their ‘right to protection’. Following the doctrine of protective discrimination, special attention to children has been provided in the Directive Principles so that necessary and special laws and policy could be made of. Child-abuse is yet rampant in India and the existent laws and rights are not adequate to safe guard the interests of the child. A substantial volume of child abuse remains behind the closet as most of the victim children don’t report against it. However, even the reported abuse cases are not penalized due to non-existent of specific provisions of Indian Penal Code. For instance, there are no specific provisions of law for dealing with sexual harassment of male children.

The Ministry of Women and Children's Department (MWCD) conducted a study in 2007 in a few main states of our country, which revealed a high occurrence of various sorts of child abuse in our country. MWCD (2007) chose four markers to determine the amount of abuse, including:

  1. Physical Abuse: Slapping, kicking, Beating with stave/ stick, Pushing, Shaking;
  2. Sexual Abuse: which include two forms ( Severe Forms & Other Forms)
    - Severe Forms include ‘sexual assault’, ‘making the child fondle the private body parts’ , ‘making the child exhibit private body parts’, ‘photographing a child in nude’.
    - Other Forms include ‘forcible kissing’, ‘sexual advances during travel /marriage situations’, ‘children forced to view private body parts’, ‘children forced to view pornographic materials’.
  3. Emotional Abuse: Humiliation which includes harsh treatment, ignoring, shouting or speaking loudly, using abusive language; Comparison between siblings or other children.
  4. Girl Child Neglect: Lack of attention compared to brothers, less share of food, Sibling care by the child, Gender discrimination;

We shall calculate the "Child Abuse Index" using data obtained by the MWCD (2007) in chosen states of the country by simply averaging each abuse category. Our goal in this section is to determine the prevalence of child abuse and, as a result, the socioeconomic factors that contribute to it.


According to the children’s report, Assam is the most child abused state among the ten states listed above. Bihar, Gujarat, and Uttar Pradesh are the next most child abused states. Child Abuse is least prevalent in West Bengal. Rajasthan has taken over second place after West Bengal, despite the fact that the magnitude of Girl Child Neglect (which is supposed to be one of the key components of this Child Abuse) is fairly high. According to the reported abuse statistics, Assam has the greatest rate of sexual abuse, especially the severe type, which is thought to be the worst form of abuse, followed by Bihar and Andhra Pradesh, while UP and MP are considerably better. The main goal of this section is to calculate the Child Abuse Composite Index. Because child abuse jeopardises a child’s emotional and physical well-being, it is unquestionably a negative factor in their development.


This Gives us an overview of the state’s development level in terms of kid reporting abuse occurrence, as determined by the field research (MWCD, 2007). We modified the data according to the state’s development indices, so that multiple development indices can be combined together to produce a summary of the child’s place in the state’s development ladder. The challenge with constructing indices is that child abuse statistics are only collected from a few states, and there is a temporal gap between different development indicators. However, because our primary goal is to determine the state of Indian children in terms of development at a regional level, we overlook the temporal gap and data scarcity. The data given allows us to create an indicator matrix of Indian states.

Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, and Haryana are the five states with the best child development outcomes. One thing all five states have in common is that they are all strong in the education sector after addressing the issue of child labour. However, with the exception of Kerala, no statistics on child abuse are available for all of these states. As a result of the lack of data, this list cannot be considered exhaustive.

Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat, Bihar, and Jharkhand are the five lowest-ranking states; child-abuse statistics are available for all but the last. Any one development indicator cannot justify low rankings in development indexes. It varies each state, depending on the state's socio-political context. Andhra Pradesh fails to address the issue of child labour, which lowers the state's educational index, and then there is widespread child abuse. In Assam, severe forms of sexual abuse have a negative impact on children's development. The quality of child health care is likewise below the national average. In India, Bihar has the worst child health care. Naturally, that development indicator has a negative impact on the whole scenario. This state’s child abuse data are unavailable. Gujarat’s performance was further hampered by statistics on child abuse. Girl child neglect is a unique component that has had a poor track record.


We can quantify the difference between policy goal and implemented outcome by having a thorough understanding of the situation of child development in different Indian states. The degree of cohesiveness between different development indicators can also be determined by measuring the degree of correlation between distinct indicators. For example, can good health of children in different states be linked to good education of the same? We use the deduced value of the Rank Correlation Coefficient as well as Pearson’s and Spearman’s Rank Correlation Coefficients. According to both Pearson’s and Spearman’s Rank correlations, there is a fairly positive significant link between Health and Education throughout Indian states.

However, our limited data set revealed no significant link between health indicators and the abuse indicator, nor between education indicators and the abuse indicator. Data on ‘Child Abuse’ is unavailable, and we are unable to infer any reliable relationship between development indicators and abuse indicators due to a lack of data. The unfavourable relationship discovered between the ‘composite child-health index’ and the ‘composite child-abuse index’, on the other hand, is concerning for the economy as a whole. The unfavourable correlation between education and misuse is also a wake-up call for our economy’s designers.

A greater source of concern for Indian planners is that we are turning a blind eye to the things that are silently exacerbating our issues and choking the nerves of the entire economy. Child maltreatment is still a taboo subject. We haven’t wished to talk about the issues, and we haven’t tried to calculate the length of the misery. We don’t even bring this up in front of our child, despite the fact that we are aware of a significant degradation in ethical standards. All of this, however, cannot rule out the stealthy expansion of these difficulties, which is a greater source of concern for the entire economy as a whole. Abuse is like a supernatural creature. It can come from anyone, both inside and outside the family, and without any apparent cause. In a venue like a worship-temple or an educational institution, the youngster may be subjected to abuse. From schoolteachers’ savage beatings of schoolchildren to emotional and sexual abuse, this magnitude has dropped to an all-time low. Child abuse in the home, on the other hand, will never be forgotten. Child abuse in the workplace is fairly widespread, thus preventative measures should be implemented right once.


We conducted a situational study of children in terms of their health, education (including child labour), and maltreatment in the preceding section. Child mortality, malnutrition, non-attendance at school, involvement as child labour, sexual or other forms of abuse, and girl child neglect are all grave abuses of children's rights. We can only capture the impact level of numerous economic and social metrics for confirming those Rights by developing several types of indices. Despite the fact that there are limited legal restrictions, we have seen children in deplorable conditions in various states. In a small number of cases, the lack of appropriate rights creates a stumbling barrier in the protection of children. The stipulations of rights, on the other hand, are simply on paper; correct application of rights is far more vital. ‘Rights safeguarding agencies’ are just as important as ‘rights implementing agencies,’ in order to ensure that rights are implemented and maintained. Our recommendations are to break free from the constraints of traditional ethical and philosophical patterns and reorganise policies for a better tomorrow.

Children’s health should be a distinct and distinct emphasis of national health policy. Their issues should not be mixed up with those of new mothers. Each state should have its own set of strategies and visions for children’s health. Since India’s polity and economy are characterised by regional contrast, no standard strategy would be beneficial. Child Rights has always placed a high priority on child health, and states that are falling behind in this area should be given special attention. Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Assam, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh (BIMARU states) require extra attention; otherwise, regional disparities will quickly push the national average down to a critical level. Child schooling is frequently linked to another social blight, namely, child labour.

Despite the existence of strict rules, child labour is a common occurrence in our country. In some circumstances, the governance is poor, while in others, it is a result of desperate economic necessity. Whatever the situation, exploitation is unmistakably widespread. This social affliction is alleviated by giving subsidised loans to these low-income families. Both rights (Child Labor Prohibitive Right and Right to Education) should be protected simultaneously by the central and state governments, as well as local governments at the panchayat level. Abuse is another type of activity that violates a child’s rights and hinders their mental development. Children’s rights have yet to be enshrined in Indian constitutions to protect them from these perpetrators.

Children’s Protection from Sexual Offenses Bill 2011, which was recently enacted by the Rajya Sabha, is a good example of this. Hopefully, the bill will be a step forward in developing child-sensitive legal precedent. Educational institutions, as well as print and electronic media, should take steps to educate youngsters about their rights so that they can protest or report violations of those rights. Another crucial component that demands a lot of attention and focus is sex education for adolescent children. When an adolescent child realises that he is in danger, he might raise his voice against the abusers. Children’s vulnerability can be protected if sex-education is incorporated into their curriculum in the form of various allegories.

We’d want to end on a high note, hoping that the analysis would shine a light on authority, allowing good performers to feel proud of their accomplishments while poor performers are driven to correct their flaws, and future child development programmes to embrace a more current perspective.

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