‘Children in northeast refugee camps impoverished’

September 10th, 2008 - 4:45 pm ICT by IANS  

Agartala, Sep 10 (IANS) Children in the northeastern states are living in poverty, and without proper health care, education and nutrition, a commission for child rights informed Wednesday. A five member team of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), led by Shantha Sinha, visited Assam, Manipur and Tripura to study the condition of children, especially those living in refugee camps.

Sinha said: “During our meetings with the chief secretaries and other officials of the three states, we have asked the state governments to look into specific needs of children.”

The NCPCR asked the state governments to protect the rights of these children.

A large number of children in Manipur and other northeastern states are living with HIV/AIDS.

“Only 1,100 children are getting Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) in Manipur while a large number of children are being deprived of proper treatment,” Sinha said.

She said that the condition of children living in the refugee camps in Assam and Tripura was pathetic.

“Over 7,000 children in six refugee camps in north Tripura have not been included in the ration card system, resulting in poor nutrition.”

About 35,000 Reang tribals (locally called Bru) have been sheltered in these refugee camps following ethnic clashes with the majority Mizos in Mizoram since October 1997.

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