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Countries worldwide must put children first: Satyarthi

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Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi today said he will write to the heads of government of all 193 United Nations member countries asking them to ensure adequate financial and human resources for the effective implementation of child-friendly sustainable development goals (SDGs).

“The world has again acknowledged and reaffirmed that sustainable development is not possible without seriously addressing the issues of children.

“We are going to write to government leaders of all 193 member countries of the UN to act vis-a-vis prioritising the child-friendly SDGs to ensure adequate financial and human resources for their effective implementation.

“We will also reach out to each state in India to implement child-friendly initiatives,” said Satyarthi, who shared the Nobel Peace Prize for 2014 with Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai.

He added that civil society should come out more strongly in this regard and ensure that these SDGs related to children are accomplished.

Satyarthi last week addressed the United Nations General Assembly Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Summit where he highlighted the need for governments to put children first and prioritise the child-related SDGs.

Talking about the roadmap for facilitating effective implementation of the SDGs, Satyarthi said he plans to involve 100 million youths to become the “champions” of the cause of “left out” children.

The Nobel prize winner’s organisation, Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA), is credited with rescuing over 80,000 children since the late 1980s.

“What we see today is that, on the one hand, almost 100 million children are victims of various forms of violence, exploitation and abuse but, on the other hand, hundreds of millions of children want to do something good for society. Youth power has to be harnessed for the betterment of the world,” he said.

Satyarthi said involving the youth was necessary to prevent them from coming under the sway of negative ideologies.

Satyarthi also talked about the setting up of a policy research institute which will work in the field of child rights and ensure holistic development of child-friendly policies, practices and institutional framework.

The institute, under the aegis of Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation (KSCF), would also undertake world-class research to identify, document and disseminate best practices and innovations for ending violence against children.

He also urged spiritual leaders to take up the issue of child rights and spread awareness about the same.