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Shalini Singh
Shalini Singh


Kailash Satyarthi to hold summit against child exploitation, violence

Kailash Satyarthi-3 Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi addressing the press conference in New Delhi | Shalini Singh

Focussing on his core cause, Nobel peace laureate Kailash Satyarthi will hold a gathering, 'Laureates and Leaders for Children Summit', in Rashtrapati Bhavan on December 10 and 11 this year. Announcing this as a call to the world's “highest moral authorities”, Satyarthi said at a press conference on Thursday, “I ask myself and to you, why is it that despite the institutions of governance and faith, laws and conventions, millions of children are still being deprived of their childhood? It is because of the serious moral deficit that results in social apathy and lack of political will for our children."

It could be considered the first ever such event in India where global leaders -- nearly 25 confirmed so far -- will come together for a common cause of protecting children. President Pranab Mukherjee will inaugurate the global initiative, which includes another 150 eminent figures from the fields of academia, corporate, sports, media and civil society who will join hands to issue a “clarion call” for prioritising children's issues in political and social discourse worldwide.

The idea, Satyarthi said, was to build a “strong moral platform for protection of children all over where every child is free, safe, healthy and educated.” This would help in preventing them from falling into terror traps of all kinds. Some of the attendees include His Holiness The Dalai Lama, Julia Gillard (former prime minister of Australia), Dr Yuan Lee (1996 Nobel prize in chemistry), Tom Harkin (former US senator), Princess Charlene of Monaco, Ratan Kumar Nag (Grameen Bank).

The summit will witness the launch of the '100 million for 100 million campaign' -- similar perhaps to the One Billion Rising for women -- which aims to mobilise 100 million young people for 100 million underprivileged children across the world to end violence against children, over the next 5 years. Currently, almost 168 million or 10% of the world's population between the ages of 5-17 are trapped in labour and over half are exposed to hazardous work.

Millions of children are losing their childhoods in conflict-zones: in Syria, an entire generation is being deprived of their rights. “Harnessing laureates across different fields, this summit needs to put a spotlight on the greatest moral challenge of our times, the need to protect and educate every child,” he said. “We intend to move with the sentiment of vasudhaiva kutumbukam or universal familyhood, a virtue which finds its roots in our country,” he added. 

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