The child rights body stated that the Kerala HC order goes against the constitutional rights as children also have the freedom to express their opinions.

Child rights commission opposes Kerala HC order to exclude children from Womens Wall
news Sabarimala Friday, December 28, 2018 - 08:49

A week after the Kerala High Court directed the state government to ensure that children below the age of 18 do not participate in the Women’s Wall scheduled to be held on January 1, the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (SCPCR) has come out against the HC order.

In a statement put out by B Suresh on Thursday, the chairman of the commission, it was stated that the order by the HC goes against the constitutional rights as children also have the freedom to express their opinions.

“The HC should have approached the Child rights commission before taking this decision,” said Suresh in his statement. “The decision by the HC is anti-democratic as well as anti-constitutional and the HC should correct their mistake,” said Suresh. He went on to add that children also have the right to organise and protest and that even the international laws allowed this. Suresh added that the commission plans on approaching a higher authority regarding the matter.

According to a report by The New Indian Express, a Division Bench of Chief Justice Hrishikesh Roy and Justice AK Jayasankaran Nambiar on December 20 had said, “Exclude children under the age of 18 from taking part in the women’s wall. It is the obligation of the government to protect the rights of the children recognised by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.”

The bench had observed that the Government cannot compel or even encourage children to participate in the programme whether or not they are given permission by the parents or teachers.

Against the backdrop of the Sabarimala issue, Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan earlier this month had made an announcement regarding the formation of a human chain of women on January 1 from Kasargod to Thiruvananthapuram. Calling it a ‘vanitha mathil’ (women’s wall), the CM said that the decision was made after a meeting with various Hindu organisations.

“This is against the attempts to destroy the renaissance values and to spread awareness to people. The various communities are joining hands to make a big intervention that the country should make note of, and understand that Kerala society cannot be sent back to the old dark ages by anyone; we will not allow that,” Pinarayi Vijayan had said.

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