Indian children want stronger anti-violence laws (Daily News Analysis (DNA))

Children in India opine that stronger anti-violence laws will contribute towards curbing violence against them, according to a recent survey focusing on children’s views from across the world.

The finding is part of the fourth annual “Small Voices, Big Dreams” survey, by ChildFund which polled 6,500 children aged between 10 and 12 years in 47 countries about their view on socio-political issues facing their country.

Asked what they would do to end violence against children if they were the leader of their country, almost one in three children (30%) said they would crack down by using stronger anti-violence laws, while another 12 percent think improving education would be their priority.

“41% of children in India cited stronger laws, a position taken by only 1% of children in Afghanistan and 3% in Laos,” the survey said.

The findings have been released today on the occasion of Universal Children’s’ Day.

“This year’s survey focused on children’s attitudes about violence, peace, happiness and their heroes. The findings tell us that children can think beyond themselves and consider how their world can be improved,” said Katherine Manik, ChildFund’s India country director in a statement.

The children surveyed responded to six questions, including, “What makes you feel safe and happy?” More than half (56%) of respondents say being with their family, while another quarter (25%) find safety and happiness at school. “In India, 44% of children said they feel safe and happy at schools, while 38% said family is where they most feel that way.”

Children across the world were found to believe that bad behaviour, poverty, alcohol, drugs and social conflicts are the key drivers of violence in their countries.

In India, 50% children pointed out poverty is the main cause of violence, followed by social conflicts (17%) and alcohol and lack of education (14% each), the survey found.

Bad behaviour (33%), alcohol (21%) and drugs (18%) were the top three main causes of violence according to children in developed countries.

Whereas children in developing regions also ranked highly factors like poverty, domestic abuse and social conflict.

Education topped the list of “most important things” with 85% of children in India (65% globally) agreeing that everyone should have a good education.

Further to this, 56% of children said men and women should be treated equally, while 52% noted that there was a need for improvement in road transportation in their localities. The figures across the globe were 46% and 25% respectively.

As part of the survey, children were also asked what peace meant to them.

Globally, 26% said “no war” and another 20% said “harmony or unity.”

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