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Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi urges UN to prioritise abolition of child slavery

It was a proud moment for Global March Against Child Labour as their Chairperson and Nobel Peace Laureate, Mr. Kailash Satyarthi met with the UN Secretary General (UNSG), Mr. Ban Ki-Moon at the launch of the Young UN@70 in New Delhi and handed over the global petition in support of the inclusion of child slavery in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Mr Kailash Satyarthi also took this opportunity to engage in a constructive dialogue with the UNSG on furthering the rights of children globally.

The End Child Slavery Week (ECSW), an initiative by Global March Against Child Labour (Global March )and other anti-slavery organisations led by Kailash Satyarthi, is determined to end child slavery by bringing together trade unions, teachers unions, child rights organisations and global citizens, to stand up against child slavery.  The ECSW was launched in London on 19 November 2014. The ECSW demand for 2014 is to include the abolition of child slavery in the SDG.

Through the campaign, Global March with its partners has been able to mobilise 550,000 signatures for the petition with 1 person standing up for 10 child slaves. The petition included the exact text for inclusion in the Sub-goal 8.7 “Outcome Document” of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals.

In his opening address at the Young UN@70 conference, the UN Secretary General hailed Mr. Satyarthi’s lifelong fight and commitment to save children from slavery and wished that Mr. Satyarthi would continue to bring peace, hope and a happy childhood to them.

“The most shameful commentary of today’s society is that slavery still exists, and our children are the worst sufferers. Their innocence is exploited and future is jeopardised. There cannot be any excuse for this heinous crime against humanity. There must not be any delay in ensuring their freedom. We have to act now and create a future where all children are free to be children, “said Mr. Satyarthi addressing the gathering at the event.

Mr. Satyarthi’s voice found resonance amongst all present at the event, including the UN Secretary General and the UN Goodwill ambassadors, inspiring them to pledge their wholehearted support to the cause of ending child labour and child slavery.

Mr. Sachin Tendulkar, renowned sportsperson and one of the UN Goodwill Ambassadors made specific mention to the cause in his address. He remarked “Child labour and slavery have to end. It will require a mega effort, but we are ready to work together. The numbers of child labour and slavery are staggering. This is definitely one record we should not be proud of”.

The overwhelming support to the End Child Slavery Week in its first year itself is sure to pave way for a child friendly world in the days to come.

550,000 signatures and still counting.... Sign Now