Kailash Satyarthi asks Trump to revise refugee policy

Haridwar: Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi on Saturday asked US President Donald Trump to reconsider his decision to put a ban on entry of refugees from some countries saying all hearts, doors and borders should be open for children everywhere in the world.

“I have seen the condition of children in refugee camps in Germany, Turkey and Austria. Children are made refugees by the socio-political circumstances prevailing in their countries in which they have no role. They are helpless victims of their circumstances and deserve compassionate treatment,” Satyarthi told PTI in an interview.

“I have always believed that all hearts, doors and borders should be open for children all over the world and there should be no discrimination. I had said this while addressing Austrian Parliament when it had decided to shut its doors on refugees and I repeat this for the Trump administration,” he said.

Also expressing concern over Trump administration’s decision to widen the net of deportations for illegal immigrants, Satyarthi said it may create many complications for the children of illegal immigrants born in foreign lands in settling anywhere.

He demanded that the Trump administration should draw up a holistic plan for the protection of the rights of children of the so-called illegal immigrants so that they don’t suffer.

Satyarthi who was here to address the fifth convocation of Dev Sanskriti Vishwa Vidyalaya (DSVV) said the number of child labourers had declined substantially all over the world from 26 crore in 2000 as per a UN data to 16.8 crore at present.

“That means a movement like the Bachpan Bachao andolan started by me in 1980 is on way to achieving its objective of total elimination of child labour from the face of the earth,” the child rights activist said.

“The declining trend is what makes me optimistic. It has to be a gradual process but it will finally happen with children all over the world breaking free from exploitation of all kinds,” he said.

Speaking of his unique global initiative named ‘100 Million For 100 Million’ which will provide young people all over the world a forum to do their bit to end violation of child rights making optimum use of the social media, he said launched in December last year by President Pranab Mukherjee, thousands of people across the world were associating themselves with the campaign on a daily basis.

“This unique initiative is a step towards globalisation of compassion. Economic globalisation may have been a western concept accepted by the east but the path to globalisation of compassion goes from East to West,” he said.