‘Championing Child Rights’ was released on the auspicious day of BREADS’ Silver Jubilee celebrations on 23rd November 2018 by Mr. Sonykutty George, Child Protection Specialist, UNICEF, Hyderabad and Mr. Y. Mariswamy, Chairperson, Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (KSCPCR). Championing Child Rights- a resource book on strategies to prevent child marriage’ contextualizes the strategy within the existing scenario of child marriage in Karnataka and CREAM project. BREADS made a small scale study of some families wherein there have been incidences of child marriage to understand the causes and level of awareness. During the course of implementing CREAM project many child marriages were stopped, mainly by children themselves. Some of these stories are recorded in this book which will surely be an inspiration for other children and stakeholders.
The battle against the issues of child rights violations perpetrated by the society with the majority support based on tradition, culture, religion and superstition, has evolved from long past. The law in India itself has condemned many practices harmful to children and prevention of child marriage comprise one among the major violations been regulated under the Constitution. Karnataka accounts for 2.3 percent of child marriages in the country and the practice is prevalent in almost all districts as per the report of the Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (KSCPCR) in September 2017. Efforts have been made by the lawmakers, government mechanisms and NGOs to curb this social menace. It was a huge step forward when Karnataka pioneered amending the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act (PCMA) 2016 to make child marriage automatically void. BREADS with its flagship project, Child Rights Education and Action Movement (CREAM) has been addressing the issue of child marriage in the ten districts of Karnataka through grass root level experience and participatory action research. BREADS has devised and fine-tuned a strategy with children as the central focus and ambassadors of their own rights. The release of the book has been practically possible by the joint efforts of many who contributed towards this joint venture. The book has been published in mutual association with UNICEF, India.