FastFacts

  • 21,Nov2014
    India’s global footprint:

    • 27%  of all neonatal deaths
    • 20%  of U5 deaths and 19% of maternal deaths
    • 60%  of open def...

SOWC2015 FastFacts

11/21/2014 10:23:00 AM
India’s global footprint:

• 27%  of all neonatal deaths
• 20%  of U5 deaths and 19% of maternal deaths
• 60%  of open defecation
• 40%  of all child marriages
• 36%  of world’s stunted children

 
The Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC) was an innovation re-envisioning children as human beings with distinct set of rights. As the world celebrates the 25th anniversary of the convention to ensure equal rights for all children, the way forward is new ideas and approaches. 
 
What has been achieved?
 
25 years later, India has much to celebrate. It has some critical milestones to highlight: from declining infant mortality to rising school enrolment, the Right to Education Act, 2009, 11.1 million more children are in school since 2010, the Neonatal Mortality Rate has declined by 12% in 2 years  

Stunting has decreased by 16% in Maharashtra since 2006, Under-five mortality has reduced from 118 to 52 between 1990 and 2012  , there has been a 100 percent polio eradication and we have 23 million new toilet users  .
 
What are the challenges?
 
This historic day also serves as an important reminder that our work is far from finished. India has 54  million stunted children, 595  million people defecate in the open, approx. 6  million children are out- of- school and 1.4  million children die before they turn five.

India’s global footprint:

• 27%  of all neonatal deaths
• 20%  of U5 deaths and 19% of maternal deaths
• 60%  of open defecation
• 40%  of all child marriages
• 36%  of world’s stunted children
 
Amongst these, one of the key challenges remains Sanitation. More people practice open defecation in India than anywhere in the world. The number stands at 595 million people . Some 3.7 million people do not have access to improved water sources, mostly in rural areas. Around 6,00,00 under-five children died in 2010 due to diarrhoea and pneumonia caused by poor sanitation and hygiene , while it also contributes to stunting in children, which stands at 48 per cent . 
 
Some of the key challenges from poor WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) in schools are:

Drinking water facilities and toilets in schools: The availability of drinking water and toilet facilities in schools has increased over the last few years. However challenges remain in terms of operation & maintenance of these facilities, including dysfunctional toilets.
 
Handwashing with soap: A critical challenge is maintenance of hygiene and especially handwashing with soap in all schools before the mid-day meal. In spite of programmes like the Total Sanitation Campaign and Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan, access to improved sanitation and water remains a challenge. 
 
Promoting WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) behaviours in schools has been identified as a major area to address sanitation challenges that impact childrens’ lives. Improvement in the sanitation situation also has major impact on other related rights - survival, health, education, etc. And making progress on sanitation can positively impact child mortality rates, education achievements and safety of girls.
 
A WASH Innovation:
 
Group Handwashing Stations under Swachh Bharat, Swachh Vidyalaya campaign.  
 
In this context, the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, has made a pathbreaking innovation by institutionalising hand washing with soap before the Mid-Day Meals across schools in all states under the Swachh Bharat, Swachh Vidyalaya (Clean India, Clean School) program. The path breaking innovation has the potential of improving the education and health outcomes of 110 million children who have Mid-Day meals daily in school, across the country.
 
Swachh Bharat, Swachh Vidyalaya focusses on improving access to drinking water, handwashing facilities, functional toilets and soap facilities in the school, in addition to promoting healthy behaviours like hand washing before Mid-Day Meals. 
 
How does a Group Handwashing station work?
 
The Mission institutionalises group hand washing with soap sessions before the Mid-Day Meals are served, which is supervised by teachers, MDM cooks and by Child Cabinet members. An essential element of this innovation,  is to ensure that all children wash hands in ‘groups’, stand facing each other,  make ‘eye to eye’ contact and enjoy the process. Making this happen on a daily basis before Mid-Day Meal in every school of the country, leads to a new ‘social norm’ around handwashing before meals. 
 
These hand washing stations are simple, scalable and sustainable, and rely on usage of minimum water, while the facilities are developed using local materials. Every school in India will be moving from a scenario of one or two handwashing stations, to group handwashing facilities with soap, and a daily practice of washing hands before eating meals in schools. 
 
This innovation was demonstrated in group handwashing stations at the launch of the State of the World Children Report today. (please refer to the case studies in media kit) 
 
Other Innovations to generate support for the rights of children

Opinion poll: Working with a civil society partner Nine is Mine, UNICEF engaged 10,000 children in a dialogue all belonging to the age group of 14 - 17 across India, in order to seek their views and insights about the Convention on the Rights of the Child. These children belong to public and private schools and are associated with NGOs. The idea of engaging children in a nationwide poll promotes Article 12 of the Convention that highlights a child’s right ‘to be heard’ and that these opinions and suggestions must be given due weight. The overall exercise of conducting this poll was facilitated by children themselves.

An innovative tool used was the “Play the Rights Card game” which provides children with a platform for not only expressing their experiences and suggestions, but also provides them a means to know and engage with the duty bearers or defenders of child rights. 
 
ACTIVATE Talks: Inspired from the success of TEDTalk, UNICEF India will be organizing an ‘ACTIVATE Talk’ series in India.