Prohibit use of children in any form during election campaign: NCPCR to poll authorities

New Delhi, Mar 25 (PTI) The apex child rights body NCPCR has asked poll authorities to prohibit use of children in election campaign in any form, taking “serious view” of minors being engaged in various activities such as sloganeering and circulation of pamphlets in violation of their rights.

In an advisory to the poll authorities in West Bengal, Puducherry, Assam, Tamil Nadu and Kerala on Thursday, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) said it has received numerous complaints about usage of children during election campaigns in multifarious activities, which are in derogation and violation of rights of children.

“After perusing such complaints, the commission has observed that during elections children are being used for sloganeering, circulation of pamphlets, election campaigns, etc. The Commission, accordingly, has taken serious view on usage of children in such activities and has taken cognizance upon these complaints in the past for seeking action in these matters,” according to the advisory.

The apex child rights body has asked poll authorities to prohibit use of children in election campaigns.

“The Commission recommends that your good offices may kindly take note of this growing concern and issue an advisory to prohibit the use of children during election campaign in any form whatsoever, either for distribution of posters/pamphlets, pasting posters or to participate in slogan shouting, campaign rallies, election meetings etc. including pasting posters, hanging banners, distributing pamphlets and even participating in campaign rallies,” it said.

Further, the Commission also recommended that such advisory prohibiting use of children during elections may also be included in the model code of conduct for future elections, as to prevent such instances of use of children in election campaigns.

Assembly polls in four states and the union territory of Puducherry will start from March 27. West Bengal and Assam will have eight-phase and three-phase elections, while Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry will have a single-phase election on April 6. The counting of votes is scheduled for May 2.