Holistic Child Development India recognizes the importance of the role of the government in the development of the communities and regions in which we work. HCDI and its implementing partners work towards creating sustainable development, but much of these efforts can be magnified if national awareness about the causes for which we work is increased. Hence, HCDI undertakes advocacy and lobbying measures in an endeavour to help the government and local bodies recognise the many disadvantages that plague the population, and to encourage them to put policies in place to overcome these drawbacks. As with all the other programmes, the advocacy and lobbying measures of HCDI are focused on children’s rights and the inculcation of an environment in which children can thrive.
HCDI recognises, however, that change is the responsibility of the government alone. There are many aspects to society that suppress the rights of children and do not allow for development of the rural regions. Hence, HCDI focuses its advocacy and lobbying measures on bringing a change about, through a change in attitudes and policies, in the following five important areas of society:
- the government which is responsible for the policies that can bring about change
- the politics of the private sector that play a role in the development of many regions
- culture that allows children’s rights to be lost under the pressure of age old, obsolete practices
- civil society that remains greatly unaware of the living conditions of the population of a great segment of the country
- the individual who can bring about great change in many lives by simply bringing some change in their own
Ideology and Methodology
The Community Focused Child Development Programmes, Children at High Risk Programmes, and Residential Child Care Programmes of HCDI have brought to the forefront many concerns regarding the drawbacks faced by children and communities. Issues identified are analysed to develop solutions, build support, and implement policy action. This requires an amalgamation of the problems that exist, solutions strategized to meet those problems, and political support for the implementation of policies that aid such solutions.
At the core of its advocacy and lobbying measures is the aim of HCDI to promote and maintain child rights and prevent the violation of child rights. In order to emphasize on the importance of these concerns, HCDI invites scholars and experts to share their knowledge on the concerns of child rights which helps in increasing the national awareness of child rights, including that of individuals and political parties. Furthermore, these experts hold periodic capacity building workshops on child rights, child sexual abuse, child labour, child marriage and child trafficking. This allows our implementing partners and the people within the field to better recognise the problems faced by children, better protect the rights of these children, and equip them with greater knowledge and credibility, supplemented by the practical knowledge they gain, to gain greater political support to bring about changes. The people who work in the field, armed with the knowledge through the capacity building workshops, form a team for research that can identify the violation of child rights and even offer solutions for the same, making it simpler for others to associate with and bring about changes to the disadvantaged conditions faced by children. Consultations in climate change are also held regularly, enabling HCDI and its implementing partners to consider the violation of children rights as a result of the effect of this phenomenon, and set in motion advocacy measures that can help better equip them with adaptation and mitigation skills and knowledge.
One of the most effective and useful results of the advocacy measures taken by HCDI is the establishment of Children’s Parliaments. These Children’s Parliaments not only allow children to openly speak about the concerns that they have, it also allows for solutions to come from those who are more affected – the children themselves. To know more about Children’s Parliaments, please click here.
The Child Rights Campaigns carried out by HCDI and its implementing partners are all aimed at increasing awareness about child rights, the abuse of child rights, and the changes that can be made to stop this abuse. These campaigns are thereby aimed at sensitizing the civil society to voluntarily and consciously provide opportunity and space for children to exercise their rights.
Documentation, Research and Networking
One major responsibility that falls to the members of the CAHR Programme is that of documentation and research. HCDI, under the CAHR Programme, documents children’s testimonials of their experiences before and during the many projects of HCDI. It also documents their testimonials on how the project has led to change for them. Depending on their testimonials, along with the thoughts of the implementing partners, the staff in the field, and the staff at HCDI, the best practices of projects, as noticed by all those involved, are also documented. In addition to this, testimonials from members of the Children’s Parliaments are also documented in order to highlight the practices which have brought about a difference to the lives of these children.
Through documentation, HCDI aims at presenting the obtained information to the civil society, individual donors, donating agencies, government agencies, and researchers. This information goes a long way in helping these bodies find accurate and effective solutions for the protection and promotion of child rights. Periodic seminars and attending conferences enables the staff of HCDI and its implementing partners to increase their networks and their knowledge, both of which aid in the formation of child rights protection solutions. Furthermore, the seminars, conferences, and increased knowledge and networking helps HCDI and its implementing partners remain abreast of social conditions, especially in the face of increase in urban poverty and the growing number of crimes carried out against women and children. That is the reason that all partners of HCDI are encouraged to capacitate themselves through their liaising with government bodies, NGOs and other social action bodies. Please click here to know more about the many agencies with which HCDI is associated for its networking and training measures.
While equipping the members of HCDI and its implementing partners with the skills and knowledge required for the protection of child rights is one aspect of the documentation and research responsibility, another includes increase social, national awareness of the problems faced by children. Over time, the CAHR Programme department has become aware of the fact that much of what is faced by children and women who fall under the identified categories remains unknown to the outside world due to lack of media coverage; and this problem is solved to a certain extent by the media watch carried out by the CAHR department.
HCDI, under the CAHR department, conducts periodic media watch and dialogues with the press to remain aware of the lack of information in print and other media. Furthermore, with the information maintained through its documentation and research activities, the CAHR department brings true conditions to light and in the eye of the nation and its population. This results in an increased awareness about child rights, the violation of these rights, the protection and promotion of these rights, as well as what others can do to aid such promotion.
The lack of awareness of the problems faced by children and the dynamic environment faced by children and women in vulnerable segments of society are the main reasons for the documentation and research activities of the CAHR Programme. In the many years that these activities have been carried out, they have successfully resulted in a positive change for the communities and persons covered, while spreading awareness about the need for change and the necessity for the protection of child rights.
Past events related to advocacy and lobbying measures
Over the past few years, HCDI has held many events as part of its advocacy and lobbying measures. These include capacity building workshops, talks, discussions, regional workshops and more, all of which are focused on the promotion of child rights in every walk of life. The following is a list of some of the seminars carried out under the advocacy and lobbying measures:
- Seminars on children and HIV
- Seminars on the Girl Child
- Seminars on Child Sexual Abuse Act
- Seminars on the children who are differently abled
- Seminars on advocacy for child rights
- Seminars on anti-trafficking measures
- Seminars on the Right to Education
- Seminars on children’s ecological rights
- Seminars on Children’s Right to Participation