Terming trafficking a major challenge, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday said sex tourism and child pornography among others have emerged as the major threats to children.
Addressing the 4th Ministerial Meeting of the South Asia Initiative to End Violence Against Children (SAIEVAC) here, Singh said protection of children is everyone's responsibility and hence all must work in convergence with as many stake holders as possible including parents, teachers, children and community.
"Trafficking is another major challenge for all of us. With increasing access to information technology and changing nature of our globalised economy; new threats for children are emerging - sex tourism, child pornography, online threats to children among others," he said.
The Home Minister said at the same time, large number of children are adversely affected due to rapid climate change, disasters and conflict.
"We are increasingly realizing that we cannot commit ourselves to protecting children without providing an overarching social protection network to them and their families. The biggest challenge is to identify and track children and their families who are vulnerable and reach out to them," he said.
Singh said in India, the government is trying to ensure a protective environment for children by bringing all citizens, including children under the purview of social security by linking them with AADHAAR Unique Identification number which will empower them to access to their entitlements directly without any hindrance.
"We have set up a National Portal the Track Child which not only has data on 'missing' children but it also has live database to monitor the progress of the 'found' children who are availing various services in different Child Care Institutions," he said.
The Home Minister said in recent past, a large number of children were rescued and restore them to their families or provide a protected environment to them through a special initiative called Operation Smile - a drive pioneered jointly by Police, Ministry of Women and Child Development, District administration, civil society organisations and community.
Singh said safety, security, dignity and wellbeing of our children and young people will determine the wellbeing and strength of our countries.
"SAIEVAC is a coalition of States which aims at protection of the rights of children, particularly protection of children from all forms of discrimination, abuse, neglect, exploitation, torture, trafficking; that is any kind of violence. The mandate of SAIEVAC is to safeguard childhood and to positively value children," he said.
The Home Minister said in today's fast moving world, many challenges exist for the children. Despite the economic growth, there is a huge population which still lives in poverty and deprivation. This adversely affects the survival, health and overall development of children.
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