Civil Society Alliance for Child Rights in South Asia

Beginning January 2011, SAAGN along with other alliance members from national chapters have been implementing a project titled ‘Civil Society Alliance for Child Rights in South Asia’ with support from the European Commission. This project looks at building capacities and developing opportunities for Grassroots Organisations in India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka to work on Child Rights issues.

The project, in essence, seeks to strengthen the role of Civil Society in promoting Human Rights and Democratic Reforms, specifically Child Rights in South Asia. Using effective capacity building measures and appropriate networking tools, the project aims at strengthen existing networks on Child Rights in South Asia apart from involving new members, representatives of diverse stakeholder groups in defence of Child Rights in the region.

The project also aims to increase visibility and collective strength of the South Asian Alliance for Grassroots NGOs (SAAGN) and the National Alliance of Grassroots NGOs (NAGN) using pioneering advocacy, communication and networking tools and approach.

Stakeholders involved:

Civil Society Alliance for Child Rights in South Asia envisions the involvement and active participation of a diverse stakeholder group. The project is supported by the European Commission and involves various organisations internationally involved in its implementation:

- CIAI (Italy)

- ISCOS (Italy)

- Aschiana  (Afghanistan)

- Aparajeyo (Bangladesh)

- Butterflies (India)

- Child Welfare Scheme Nepal (CWSN) (Nepal)

- Kantha Shakthi Organisation (Sri Lanka)

Besides the lead organisations, the project involves more than 139 partner NGOs from the five countries, who add value and dimension to the ongoing movement on improving Child Rights in the region. The project also involves members of the Police, Magistrates, Educators, Media Personnel, Trade Unions and Local Governance Institutions to encourage action and initiatives on Child Rights.

The project, though it’s numerous activities attributes towards the three central focus areas:

1. Regional Networking and Coordination

i) Training Lead NGOs in all five countries on:

- Project cycle Management

- Communications and Networking

- Fundraising

- Project Administration and Accounting

ii) Regular online consultations between lead partners

iii) Each country lead NGO to train and develop skills and information base of members of their in-country members of the SAAGN


2. Country Positioning:

i) Compiling a country-level background Research Study on situation of Child Rights

ii) Developing Awareness Materials on Child Rights for each of the following stakeholder groups

- Police

- Magistrates

- Media Personnel

- Educators

- Trade Unions

- Local Governance Institutions

iii) Strengthening capacities of country-level members by five Lead NGOs on defending and promoting Child Rights in their countries

iv) Training Stakeholders Groups in each country on Child Rights Awareness based on the composite Research Study and Awareness Material developed


3. Advocacy for Reforms

i) Training Lead NGOs from all five countries on initiating and sustaining public campaigns on Child Rights

ii) Developing a sound means of Outreach and Advocacy for the SAAGN forum on Child Rights and allied issues

iii) Disseminating learning from Research Study, Awareness Material and other tools with wider public and citizenry through Radio, Print and Television broadcasts

iv)Developing Advocacy Campaign specifically to get formal assurance from the SAARC on positive measures on Child Rights