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Theology e-magazine To make humanity united in worshipping God

Every Child Has a Story Our Heavenly Patron

The Yogi Adityanath-led government in Uttar Pradesh is
facing the heat as anger escalates against the death of more than
70 children at the BRD Hospital in Gorakhpur allegedly due to
suffocation caused by shortage of oxygen supply. While most
parents allege the infants died due to lack of oxygen availability,
the government maintains that encephalitis and poor hygiene
were causes of death. It is national tragedy caused by the Uttar
Pradesh government’s apathy; and a state sponsored clod
blooded murder.
We pay homage to all the innocent who lost their lives ..and
we wish to spread the message of pope Francis that child rights
violation is a sin that shames us.

There is no trust more sacred than the one the world
holds with children. There is no duty more important
than ensuring that their rights are respected… their
welfare is protected. K ofi Annan
In serving the best interests of children, we serve the
Page - 02 best interests of all humanity.
-Carol Bellamy

Children do Who is a Child ?
The Census of India considers children to be any person
below the age of 14. According to the United Nations
constitute Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) “ a child means
anyone's every human being below the age of eighteen years unless, under
the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier”.
they are
neither the
property of
their parents
nor even of
society. They
belong only
to their own
The Indian Constitution
 Article 21 (a) all children between the ages of six to
- Mikhail fourteen should be provided with free and compulsory
Bakunin education.
 Article 45 states that the state sh ould pr ovide ear ly
childhood care and education to all children below the age of
 Article 51(k) states th e par ents/guar dians of the
children between the ages of six and fourteen should provide
them with opportunities for education.

The ultimate test of a moral society
is the kind of world that it leaves to its children.
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer
What are Child Rights?
Page - 03
Child rights are specialized human rights that apply to all
human beings below the age of 18. Child rights defined by
the United Nations and UNCRC,
are great
are minimum entitlements and freedoms that
should be afforded to all persons below the age of 18
So give regardless of;
them  race,  religion,
something  colour,  opinions,
great to  gender,  origins,
imitate.”  language,  wealth,
-Anonymous  status or ability  birth
 and therefore apply to all people everywhere.

Vulnerable Children
Vulnerable Children as those who are
 abused,
Sacred Yelling
 exploited, Listen to him
 neglected.
When the lives and the rights of children are at
“Children stake, there must be no silent witnesses.
have never -Carol Bellamy
been very
How many children are there in India?
good at
India with 1.21 billion people constitutes as the second most
listening to
populous country in the world, while children represents 39% of
their elders,
total population of the country.
but they
have never “A person's
failed to a person, no
matter how
J. Baldwin.
— Dr. Seuss
4 Classifications of Child Rights. Page - 04

1) Right to Survival:
A child's right to survival begins before a child is born. According to Govt of
India, a child life begins after twenty weeks of conception. Hence the right to
survival is inclusive of the child
 rights to be born,
 right to food, shelter and clothing,
 right to live with dignity.
2) Right to Protection:
A child has the right to be protected from neglect,
abuse at home, and elsewhere.
3) Right to Participation:
A child has a right to participate in any decision making that involves him/
her directly or indirectly. There are varying degrees of participation as per the age
and maturity of the child.
4) Right to Development:
These include: Emotional, Mental and Physical.
 Emotional development is fulfilled by proper care & love of a support system.
 Mental development through education and learning.
 Physical development through recreation, play and nutrition.
“No social problem is as
universal as the oppression of
the child ... Never were the
rights of man ever so
disregarded as in the case of the
-Maria Montessori

Children are like wet cement
whatever falls on them makes an
–Haim Ginott
Page - 05 Child Abuse & Its Various Shades

Child abuse has many forms like physical, emotional, sexual exploitation.
A. Physical abuse
is when a child has been physically harmed which
could have been prevented by any person in a position
of responsibility, trust or power.
B. Emotional abuse
can be seen as a failure to provide a supportive environment
and primary attachment figure for a child. It is also the act of
causing harm to a child's development, when they could have
been within reasonable control of a person responsible for
the child. C. Sexual abuse (dealt in next pages)
2. Child marriage
1. Gender discrimination The consequences of are
There is a saying in Andhra Pradesh segregation from family and friends,
“Bringing up a daughter is like watering a limiting the child's interactions with
plant in another's courtyard.” The gender the community and peers, lack of
discrimination, deeply shatters girls. opportunities for education. Globally
3. Child Labour more than one third of the women
It is not rare to find thousands of between the ages 20-24 were married
children toiling in the fields for 14-16 hours before they reached the age of 18.
a day. It is reportedly highest among ST,
4. SC/ST Children
Muslims, schedule castes and OBC
Children belonging to SCs, STs
have faced discrimination throughout
5. Children in Poverty
generations. Child abuse is prevalent
Lack of access to basic requirements
in Dalit and other tribal communities,
such as food, shelter and clothing are the
and anecdotes of violence, rape, and
underlying cause of poor child health, poor
torture are common.
child nutrition, and various other issues. It 6. Children in Armed Conflict
widens the economic, social, cultural, and Children are affected by war and
gender disparities already present in armed conflicts in two manners: they
society. are vulnerable to the impact of war on
their homes and families and are often recruited to be implements of the conflict in
the form of child soldiers.UNICEF estimates that 1 billion children live in areas
affected by armed conflicts, out of 300 million are under the age of five.
7 Myths & Facts about Child Sexual Abuse Page - 06

Myth 1
Only strangers abuse children sexually.
Danger from strangers is only a small part. Evidence indicates that in a
majority of cases, (up to 85%) the child's relatives, friends or someone known etc.

Myth 2
Both women and men sexually abuse children
An overwhelming majority of those who sexually abuse children is men
although women are the ones who spend most time with children. Only a small
minority of women report to have abused children.

Myth 3
Men who sexually abused child are mentally sick or perverted
The men who sexually abuse children are often ordinary, respectable men
holding positions of responsibility in the family, society, workplace.

Myth 4
Child sexual abuse happens only in poor or problem families
Sexual abuse cuts across classes, caste, religious and educational barriers
and occurs irrespective of what the background of the abuser and the child is.

Myth 6:
Children enjoy being touched sexually.
They are afraid no one will believe them, or the abuser may harm or kill
them, they are afraid they will lose the love of their parents and near and dear
ones, they do not have a language to disclose abuse.

Myth 7:
Boys cannot be abused
Although more girls are reported to be sexually abused, research indicates
one in every seven boys world over, are abused.
Unsafe Actions : Page - 07

 Following or stalking a child using sexually suggestive language with the child
that includes lewd comments about the child or her/his body parts, stories or
songs with a sexual overtone.
 Showing the child pornographic material or taking the child's pictures in semi
nude or nude state or in sexually suggestive postures.
 Watching the child undress, bathe, urinate or defecate or forcing the child to do
all this in the presence of the adult.
 Unsafe Touch includes touching, fondling, caressing, kissing the child's body
parts including her/his genitals
 Having the child touch, caress, fondle, kiss the body parts or genitals of the adult.
 Forced sexual intercourse or rape .

Pope Francis Speaks, A Sin that Shames Us
I would like us to renew our complete commitment to ensuring that these
atrocities will no longer take place in our midst. Let us find the courage needed to
take all necessary measures and to protect in every way the lives of our children,
so that such crimes may never be repeated. In this area, let us adhere, clearly and
faithfully, to ‘zero tolerance’.

We join in the pain of the
victims and weep for this sin.

5 Sins
1. the sin of what happened,
2. the sin of failing to help,
3. the sin of covering up The church recognizes the sins of
4. the sin of denial, some of her members: the
5. the sin of the abuse of power. sufferings, the experiences and
the pain of minors who were
abused sexually by priests. It is a
sin that shames us.
If we don't stand up for children, then we don't stand for
much.—Marian Wright Edelman

Editor: Tony Maliyekal VC Published from Vincentian Vidyabhavan, Aluva