Jurists, policymakers, civil society groups and child rights activists will deliberate on formalising actions to strengthen child protection mechanisms in India, especially for girls and young women, at a conference which started in Delhi on Wednesday.
Rakesh Srivastava, secretary in the Ministry of Women and Child Development, said the government was committed to creating a global eco-system of child-friendly policies, legislation and action to ensure all children are able to flourish with dignity.
"Every child has the right to a dignified life which is free from exploitation. Safety and security of all children are integral to their well-being. The Constitution of India provides the highest priority to the safety and security of children and their protection from exploitation, abuse and neglect.
"Preventing abuse and exploitation of children is pivotal to enhancing their health and educational outcomes and building healthier economies. So, it is our basic responsibility to ensure a safe and protected childhood," he said.
The inaugural session was also attended by Upma Srivastava, additional secretary, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
Commenting on Plan India's commitment to safeguarding child rights in the country, Bhagyashri Dengle, executive director, Plan India, said, "This year conference will focus on improving the system's approach in the country to strengthen child protection. We would deliberate on systems strengthening for child protection as a critical factor in the governance of any country.
"The key partners would focus on the systems to create strong safety nets for girls and young women with a vision to enable children, especially girls to learn, lead, decide and thrive."
(With inputs from agencies.)