Kailash Satyarthi at the summit

New Delhi: Nobel laureates, world and youth leaders came together to discuss the rapidly emerging global child rights crisis resulting from COVID-19 during an online summit, “Fair Share for Children”, on Friday.

Making a statement at the laureates and leaders “Fair Share for Children” Summit, its founder Kailash Satyarthi said: “The moral commitment and compassion demonstrated by the speakers at the summit has emboldened the call for a Fair Share for Children in the COVID crisis-relief measures. The global response has been disgracefully unequal, unjust and immoral: the Fair Share Report issued by the Laureates and Leaders for Children has revealed that only 0.13% of the $8 trillion global COVID response has been allocated to the most vulnerable.”

The two-day summit held on September 9 and 10 discussed on the adverse effects faced by the children all around the world due to the pandemic which has affected both economically and socially.

The “Fair Share for Children” report was released during the summit that stated that child poverty, children out of school, child marriage, child labour and slavery are all set to increase as direct results of the pandemic. If the futures of the most marginalised children do not become a priority for governments, millions of lives will remain in jeopardy.

The Laureates and Leaders for Children Summit was organised keeping in view the pandemic and the resulting economic impacts that are exacerbating systemic inequalities and creating an unprecedented child rights crisis.

The summit concluded by providing a path forward for the world to ensure that an entire generation of children is not lost. A call to action was issued specifically demanding US$1 trillion to address the urgent needs of the world’s 20% most marginalised children and communities.

The call to action includes an open call for signatories that will be collected and presented during the United Nations General Assembly later this month.

Smriti Irani, minister for textiles and women & child development, while addressing the summit said, “In the Ministry of Women and Child Development we are undertaking an exercise to present to Parliament the most stringent law possible on Trafficking of Women and Children. To address child labour, action needs to begin now, and I say this on behalf of the organisations that I lead and I serve, especially in the Textile Sector. There is an understanding that the Indian government and the Indian Parliament has banned child labour and that punishments will be the strictest faced by a corporate entity or by a manufacturing unit.”

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