Andhra Pradesh

Satyarthi offers to help TS, A.P. fight child exploitation

Many are now for action on issues concerning children, says Kailash Satyarthi.- Photo: Mohammed Yousuf  

Nobel Peace Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi has volunteered to help the newly bifurcated States of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh in tackling exploitation of children.

Terming both States a destination of child trafficking, he expressed his willingness to work with the new State governments to formulate guidelines that will help prioritise child rights.

Mr. Satyarthi, who spoke to the media here on Friday, said that the Nobel had helped change the outlook towards childhood exploitation.

“There is more awareness now and many are for pro-action on issues concerning children,” he said. He also lauded some of the recent court judgements and government action that seemed positive towards protecting children’s rights.

‘Amend child

labour laws’

The founder of NGO Bachpan Bachao Andolan was critical of the existing Child Labour Act and hoped it would be amended in the upcoming Parliament session.

“The present child labour law is obsolete and contradictory to Right to Education and Juvenile Justice Act. It does not prohibit all forms of child labour but only hazardous forms. Twenty per cent of child labour still is not covered. This is where the paradox lies because RTE makes education mandatory till 14 years and Juvenile Justice Act says complete protection till the age of 18 years. We want the new child labour laws to ban all forms of labour till age 14 and sync it with the existing laws,” he said.

Mr. Satyarthi said 168 million children the world over had fallen victim to various forms of exploitation, including prostitution. Indians had a moral responsibility on the issue as “children are still being sold for less than cattle in the country to be employed as domestic helps or in commercial establishments.”

The Nobel laureate recollected his journey from a magazine writer to a globally recognised child activist by sharing some memorable anecdotes. Talking about his engagement with the Millennium Development Goals, Mr. Satyarthi said he would strive to end child labour by associating himself with the initiative.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2021 8:14:44 AM |

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