— Observes 2014 Nobel Peace Laureate Saryarthi
The 2014 Nobel Peace Laureate, Kailash Satyarthi , says Liberia is experiencing an influx of child labor and child slavery, which he stressed the need for the government to take urgent approach to tackle the growing practices.
Satyarthi said child labor is rampant in Liberia, and it requires political and religious priorities to find solution.
In 2014, Kailash Satyarthi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize jointly with Malala Yousafzai, for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people, and for the right of all children to education.
The Indian Nobel Peace Laureate made the disclosure on Monday, December 2, when he interacted with students of the Aware International School, an Indian-run institution on GSA Road in Paynesville, outside Monrovia.
Satyarthi is in the country as a guest of the Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa, to share his experiences with Liberian children at a program marking the Youth Leadership Peace Jam.
He said that workable solutions will be in sight when government and other stakeholders, including the parents, prioritize collectively to fight the growing epidemic before the country can receive donor support in the fight against child slavery and child labor.
“The denial of childhood is the biggest crime against humanity,” Satyarthi said.
“Your government needs to act now, because this situation needs urgent solution. Your young girls are getting too much involved with prostitution, and others have been used to sell on the street, and some have been victims of illicit drugs trafficking,” Satyarthi told the students.
The Indian Nobel Peace Laureate used the occasion to remind stakeholders, including parents to encourage their children to be focused on their education that would make them productive and peaceful citizens.
“It is now time that government focuses its policy on the protection of children that will give them a better future,” The visiting Indian Nobel Peace Laureate suggested.
Satyarthi continued, “Faith-based institutions should also joins hand with government to campaign against child slavery and labor.”
Kailash Satyarthi was born in the Vidisha district of Madhya Pradesh in India. After completing an electrical engineering degree, he worked as a teacher in the area. In 1980, he left teaching and founded the organization Bachpan Bachao Andolan, which has freed thousands of children from slave-like conditions. He has also been active in a wide range of other organizations working against child labor, and for children’s rights to education. He is married and has a son and a daughter.
Much of the world’s population, especially in poor countries, is made up of children and young people. To achieve a peaceful world, it is crucial that the rights of children and young people be respected. Following the tradition of Mahatma Gandhi, Indian activist Kailash Satyarthi has waged a peaceful struggle to stop children being exploited as labor instead of attending school. He has also contributed to the development of international conventions on the rights of children.