New Delhi: The United Nation’s Secretary-General António Guterres on Friday appointed Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi as Sustainable Development Goals Advocate. It is an integral role for advancing the 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development.
It is UN International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour. At present, the world is seeing the first rise in child labour in two decades. Sathyarthi’s appointment is seen a significant step towards improving the situation.
The world’s promise to eliminate child labour by 2025, as it was committed in UN SDG 8.7, is now at risk as there are 160 million in child labour and the situation is exacerbating with the Covid-19 pandemic.
Satyarthi has been working towards building a global movement to advance children’s rights and eliminate child labour and slavery in the last four decades.
“On behalf of the children of the world, I am honoured to accept this appointment. In the four years prior to the pandemic, 10,000 additional children between the ages of 5 and 11 became child labourers every day. This increase took place during the first four years of the UN SDGs and is an unjustifiable development that is an early warning to the potential failure of the 2030 agenda,” stated Kailash Satyarthi.
“The children who are in child labour are not in school, have limited or no access to healthcare and water and sanitation, remain in a cycle of abject poverty and face intergenerational racial and social discrimination,” he added.
“As a pioneer and leader of the global movement to end child slavery and to protect the rights of children to quality education, Mr Satyarthi is uniquely placed to promote the SDGs, thus bringing them to the forefront of global attention,” stated UN Secretary-General Guterres.
“I applaud Mr Satyarthi’s unwavering commitment to give voice to children around the world. It is imperative that we come together, collaborate, build partnerships, and support one another in accelerating global action towards the SDGs,” he said.