CHILDREN’S RIGHTS INITIATIVE FOR SHARED PARENTING (CRISP) Press Release on Children’s Day November 14th 2009
CRISP is an NGO formed on 24th May 2008, by people who recognize the serious effects of
Parental Alienation of children due to single parent families on account of divorce or
Separation or death. CRISP is also focusing on furthering the rights of children to remain connected with both parents. Our aims and objectives are based on research findings. We are a group of people from all walks of life, like software engineers, doctors, teachers, businessmen, social workers, etc. which includes women and senior citizens to address this burning issue of our present day society and its realities. We at CRISP, which includes fathers, mothers and grandparents have charted a Pro-Family agenda and are actively working against and exposing Anti-Family organizations and systems. We speak for the rights of the innocent, impacted Children who are deprived of the love and affection of both their natural parents. Most often, deprived of their fathers, the children are growing up virtually like illegitimates.
Shared Parenting is the only alternative arrangement to spend quality time with both the parents. On the occasion of Children’s Day, we at CRISP renew our commitment to our children and further rededicate ourselves to our pledge to tirelessly work for their welfare, to bring them happiness, to revel in their joy and to leave a cherished legacy for them.
Children’s Day is all about celebrating the wonderful, pure and innocent childhood. A day dedicated to our children. In India also the Children’s day is celebrated on the 14th Nov, the birth anniversary of independent India’s first Prime Minister – Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru, as a tribute to him for his love for children and his ideals. Unfortunately ideals have remained just ideals.
Our tryst with destiny has found us failing our children. We the people, the legislature, the court systems and the executive, individually and collectively bear the responsibility in full measure for the failures.
The dwindling values in our family systems, social biases, the casual approach of the Government and our family courts, the outdated, grossly undermined laws and lack of respect for Child Rights (Human Rights) have all contributed to the abuse of children and the ever increasing crime against children. The divorce rates are going up substantially. There are more than 13,000 cases in the Family Courts of Bangalore alone, pending disposal and lakhs of cases in the country. CRISP is concerned with the growing custody battles between the parents and the ill effects on the children due to their parents’ separation.
On this day we would like to create awareness and highlight the abuse faced by LAKHS of CHILDREN due our country’s insensitive & biased laws in separation/ divorce cases involving child custody/ visitation rights cases, the serious effects of a fatherless society being imposed on our children due to the outdated and casual approach of the Family Courts system, the extremely urgent need for SHARED PARENTING and setting up special Guardian Courts in the interests of the children who have been denied their basic right of access to their parents.
We draw your attention to some of the important areas:
The Abuse of children in Matrimonial Cases
• Chidren used as mere pawns in the battle between parents to settle scores
• Parental Alienation – particularly from father
Impact on Children
• Child grows up virtually an illegitimate. A social outcast.
• Suffers severe childhood psychological trauma
• Permanent psychological & emotional damage – even developing several syndromes, collectively knows as a Spectrum of Parental Alienation Syndrome and Reactive Attachment Disorder
• Severely affects adult life.
Outdated Matrimonial Laws and the casual approach of the Family court systems
• No visitation rights or severely delayed (for several years) and crippled visitation
• Kills the child’s need to be parented by both parents.
• No idea of internationally researched and accepted practices. No understanding of Shared Parenting.
• No focus on the Rights of the Child to access both the parents and to preserve family relations. Non implementation of U.N’s Child’s Rights Convention (CRC) in 20 years!
• Deplorable understanding of the welfare of the child (understanding is limited to allocating a maintenance allowance and utmost, relegating a parent to a mere visitor).
• Suffer from outdated social concepts. Virtually condemns the child to almost an illegitimate.
• Current state of laws is detrimental to the child’s welfare, to say the least.
• No penalty for parental abuse – Virtually legalizes and abets parental abuse during divorce proceedings.
• Mediation is NOT arbitration.
There is nothing in our current laws that limit a judge from encouraging or enforcing joint parenting. Yet, this is not a default practice and hardly ever done!
The EXTREMELY URGENT need to implement SHARED PARENTING
• Implementation of SHARED PARENTING as a DEFAULT MECHANISM in court proceedings
• Educating and sensitizing the judiciary about aspects like PAS.
The un-alienated child may even have the positive effect of arresting the divorce.
Urgent need for Law Reforms and COMPREHENSIVE IMPLEMENTATION of Child Rights
Child Rights Initiative for Shared Parenting (CRISP), demands the following:
• Grant equal access to the separated parents who are keen to take care of their children as a practice and make this law mandatory. Implement U.N’s Child Rights Convention in letter and spirit.
• Educate the parents on shared parenting and benefits for the welfare of the child through compulsory counseling before the decree of divorce is granted.
• Punish persons who misuse 498A (Dowry Act) and Domestic Violence Act as a tool to deprive the father from child access.
• Set up special courts to deal with child custody cases and address the problems faced by the parents who have been deprived of the any visitation/joint custody.
• All custody/ visitation cases should be disposed off as a TOP PRIORITY, within 3 months of application.
• Ban child interviews when the children are of tender age, who have not had adequate access with the non-custodial parent.
• Parents who don’t follow court orders pertaining to children should be punished and also declared unfit to be a guardian for the child
• A separate Ministry for Children. De-link the same from the present Women and Child Development ministry, since the objectives are different.
• Evening courts should be set up so that litigants need not have to apply for leave
• Appoint psychologists as mediators. Should be trained as child psychologists to keep children’s interest in mind and encourage shared parenting and what is in the best interests of the child.
• No lawyers as mediators! They are suited for arbitration not mediation!
• Create a Family Court and make available all the information on this (emulate the High Court example)
• India should accede to United Nation’s Convention of International Parental Child Abduction
Kumar V Jahgirdar