Tag Archive for: Kailash Satyarthi


Help the CLC Celebrate World Day Against Child Labor at Our June 16th Event Featuring Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Kailash Satyarthi


Join NCL’s Child Labor Coalition for a Congressional Briefing

US Policy and its Impact on Child Labor and Trafficking with 2014 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Kailash Satyarthi

In cooperation with the Congressional Caucus on Human Trafficking

When: Friday, June 16, 2017 | 1pm – 2pm
Location: Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2172

Please join the Child Labor Coalition, the Alliance to End Slavery and Trafficking, and the Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation, for a briefing in honor of the World Day Against Child Labor (June 12), featuring Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Kailash Satyarthi. The briefing will discuss child labor, child slavery, and child trafficking, and explore solutions that will help eliminate these blights on society. Mr. Satyarthi will speak on the need to protect children from child labor in times of crises.

Keynote: Kailash Satyarthi, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate


  • Ana Flores, Recently a child worker in North Carolina’s tobacco fields
  • Jo Becker, Advocacy Director of the Children’s Rights Division, Human Rights Watch
  • Kevin Willcutts, Deputy Director of the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs, the Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Human Trafficking

Satyarthi has been a tireless advocate of children’s rights for over three decades, and recently launched the 100 Million for 100 Million Campaign – history’s largest global youth-for-youth mobilization. He has liberated more than 86,000 children from exploitation and developed a successful model for their education and rehabilitation. In 2014, he was jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize with Malala Yousafzai.

RSVP to Shasti Conrad at shasti@satyarthi.org.


About the Child Labor Coalition

The Child Labor Coalition was established in 1989 by the National Consumers League and today is co-chaired by NCL and the American Federation of Teachers. It has 35 member organizations that represents consumers, labor unions, educators, human rights and labor rights groups, child advocacy groups, and religious and women’s groups.


CHILD LABOR COALITION PRESS RELEASE: Advocates join Nobel Laureate Satyarthi in plea to President to ratify UN Convention on Rights of the Child

For immediate release: June 13, 2016
Contact: Reid Maki, Child Labor Coalition, (202) 207-2820, reidm@nclnet.org

Washington, DC—With many World Day Against Child labor (officially June 12) events observed today and tomorrow around the globe, the Child Labor Coalition (CLC), representing 40 groups and millions of Americans, joins Nobel Peace Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi in his recent appeal to President Barack Obama for the U.S. ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).

Adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on November 20, 1989, the Convention on the Rights of the Child is a human rights treaty that promotes the rights of all children worldwide. The CRC recognizes all children’s rights to develop physically, mentally, and socially to their fullest potential, to express their opinions freely, and to participate in decisions affecting their future. The CRC is the first legally binding international instrument that incorporates the full range of human rights—civil, cultural, economic, political, and social—into a single text.

The United States of America played a pivotal role in the long process of drafting the CRC, and yet, now is the only country in the United Nations that has not ratified the convention.

In an interview with Minnesota Public Radio this week, Satyarthi, who won the Peace Prize in 2014 along with teen education activist Malala Yousafzai, appealed to President Obama, also a former Nobel Peace Prize laureate, to take action before he leaves office: I would humbly appeal to the outgoing President Obama to leave a great footprint…by way of ratifying [the] U.N. Convention on the Right of the Child in the United States in the Congress and the Senate.

Satyarthi, who has freed more than 80,000 child slaves in India, said he spoke for “millions of American children and young people” whose basic human rights would be better safeguarded with a ratified CLC.

“There are dozens of groups in the US that want to begin ratification work on the CRC,” said Reid Maki, coordinator of the CLC, “but the treaty must be sent to the Senate for that work to truly begin.”

“The CRC will help ensure basic human rights for the world’s 2.2 billion children,” said Sally Greenberg, co-chair of the Child Labor Coalition and executive director of the National Consumers League (NCL).  “It’s time to ratify the CRC so that all children and their families have the opportunity to thrive and succeed. NCL has long supported the rights of children across the globe and the US needs to join the rest of the world in protecting their well-being. Moving to ratify the CRC would be a great legacy for President Obama.”

“President Obama is ideally placed to move the ratification of the CRC forward and to bring the U.S. in line with the rest of the world. This is not an area where U.S. exceptionalism brings positive connotations,” said Judy Gearhart, executive director of the International Labor Rights Forum.



Child Labor – A Non-negotiable Evil

Despite several Constitutional provisions and laws that safeguard the rights of all children, India has the dubious distinction of having the largest number of child labourers in the world. If one were to believe Government’s estimates, there are about 1.20 crore economically active children below the age of fourteen. However Non-Governmental sources estimate a staggering 6 crore children engaged as labourers across the country. Almost 70 percent of these children work in the agricultural sector, while the rest continue to languish in the informal & unorganized sectors like garment, embroidery, carpet weaving, glass bangles, brass ware, shellac jewelry, sporting goods, leather, plastic goods, stone quarries, mica & coal mining, tea plantation, brick kilns, construction sites, roadside restaurants and domestic work.
India is the breeding ground for the worst forms of child labour. At least one crore or one out of every six child labourers is trapped in slavery as bonded labourer. Tens of thousands of children are trafficked from one state to another on tall claims and false hopes of a decent life. Several others are trafficked across the national borders. India is known to be a destination for large number of Nepalese and Bangladeshi children. Child prostitution, child marriages, “Devdasis”, forced amputation and beggary, children misused or abused by militant groups are some of the many forms of contemporary slavery that widely persist.
The push factors behind this social evil include abject poverty, illiteracy, lack of awareness, gullibility of parents, child un-friendly mindset prevailing in the communities, socio-cultural discrimination, gender bias, poor outreach of legal safeguarding & ensuing development, absence of or poor education facilities, State’s incapability to effectively handle natural disasters like flood, earthquakes droughts & famines, development disasters like deforestation, mining and displacement are largely responsible for children falling prey to child labour. On the other hand, the insatiable greed on the part of employers who always scout for vulnerable, docile and cheap workforce, prevalence of corruption and apathy among the law enforcement agencies coupled with connivance between traffickers and employers are some of the key pull factors resulting in child labour.
Children are preferred over adults because they are unable to unionize, they do not demand decent work and never do they retort to strikes despite all sorts of abuses and exploitation. We should remember that each child is employed at the cost of an adult’s job. India has 6 crore child labourers and about 6.5 crore unemployed adults. Several studies have revealed that most of the jobless adults are the very parents of full time child labourers. This is a vicious circle. No country could ever possibly solve the problem of poverty, unemployment and illiteracy without eliminating child labour.
Globalization, privatization and liberalization have fuelled the massive demand for cheap and docile labour in production supply chains. Similarly the ever-expanding middle class is always on a watch out for a poor and docile child to employ them as domestic help for looking after their own children besides performing the usual household chores without a whimper.
A common notion that prevails is that poverty is the root cause of child labour, but it is a half baked truth because the fact of the matter is, that child labour creates and perpetuates intergenerational poverty. Child labourers are cursed to reel under poverty for the rest of their lives. In most cases, inhuman working conditions severely affect children’s tender organs thereby drifting them towards occupational diseases. Children engaged in agriculture are exposed to pesticides, insecticides and heavy machinery. Such children gradually acquire incurable ailments and often meet with accidents that render them physically crippled. Many children handling toxic chemicals in factories and workshops are susceptible to similar risks. Children producing fire crackers to amuse and entertain others more often than not meet with devastating accidents. Sivakasi, Virudhunagar and Sattur are infamous for such accidents. Similarly, children working in stone quarries and mines are diagnosed with tuberculosis and silicosis. Thousands others are compelled to work under inhuman conditions in glass bangle factories of Firozabad and brass & metal workshops in Moradabad, Aligarh & Delhi only to burn their lungs and little fingers.
I have personally come across thousands of cases where children weaving carpets in Mirzapur – Bhadohi belt were diagnosed with chronic lung diseases that cut their lives short, unfulfilling their dream to sit on the plush carpets that they produce. Children stitching foot balls and other sporting goods seldom get an opportunity to play with them. Those slogging endlessly in garment sweatshops never get to see their mothers and sisters adorning the beautifully and intricately embellished ensembles produced by them. What a shame!!!
Prevalence of child labour is nothing short of utter disrespect not only towards the Constitution but also towards all the International Declarations, Treaties and Conventions that have been promulgated in the past. Child labour and slavery are worst of human rights’ violation. It is a crime and a social stigma. Child labour is the biggest obstacle in the way of education and development. It is a slap across the face of civilizations, cultures and religions. Child labour is an evidence of serious lack of political will and social concern. Child labour denies freedom, justice, dignity, equal opportunities and fulfilled childhood simultaneously endangering child’s present and future.
India has several legislative provisions aimed towards the children. There is a specific law; Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986 which is objectionable and incomplete. It does not prohibit all forms of child labour thereby posing serious contradiction to the recently passed Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 which calls for compulsory schooling for all children up to the age of 14 years. How can one law be in contravention to the other law that allows children to remain at work places instead of classrooms???Kailash Satyarthi
* Author is the founder of Bachpan Bachao Andolan, founding President of Global Campaign for Education and Chairperson of Global March Against Child Labour. He is world’s foremost leader in the fight against child and bonded labour. He is a distinguished social activist and has freed thousands of bonded and child labourers.

Global March condemns attack on Child Rights activists in Delhi

Global March has learned that Chairperson Kailash Satyarthi and four other child rights activists have been injured during a rescue effort to save child bonded labourers from zari embroidery units in an area of New Delhi, India. The BBA rescue team, led by BBA Founder Kailash Satyarthi, was attacked by a group of local people and employers, some armed with knives. The four injured members of the rescue team have been hospitalised and two vehicles were also damaged in the attack.

BBA had secured the release of children through the appropriate legal channels and the rescue team was accompanied by the Sub-Divisional Magistrate of Gandhinagar. However, the police presence, consisting of only three officers and no senior officer, was too small given the sensitivity of the area and the tensions that were running high on the street. BBA had informed the police well in advance of the rescue attempt to try and ensure an adequate police presence for protection not only of its own team, but also the children being rescued.

Hundreds of people gathered as the rescue team emerged from the work premises with the children to transport them to safety and freedom. It was at this point that the group was attacked and the children were snatched away from the rescue team. The three police officers were overwhelmed and could not control the mob, becoming mere spectators of the violent attack. This is the third time in a span of five months and second time this week that BBA teams have been attacked during rescue operations. In addition, the BBA office was broken into and ransacked in November 2010.

Speaking following the attack, Kailash Satyarthi said: “Thousands of children are trafficked and enslaved in the capital of Delhi. In spite of strong directions by the Delhi High Court, human rights activists are attacked indiscriminately and are unable to gain cooperation from law enforcement agencies. The employers concerned and some sections of society appear to believe themselves to be above the law and carry out these attacks without fear of retribution.”

He continued: “These attacks are becoming more violent and more frequent and this cannot be allowed to continue. Human rights defenders need to be protected in their work. BBA will continue its important work to tackle child exploitation wherever it occurs and to work towards a society where children can live in freedom and safety and benefit from their fundamental rights. We will not be deterred in our mission by mindless violence and ignorance and we call on like-minded organisations around the world and all decent members of society to support global efforts to end child enslavement and child labour.”

For more information https://www.bba.org.in/news/170311.php

Abha Khanna
Communication Officer
Global March Against Child Labour International Secretariat