Kailash Satyarthi Fighting Child Labour with the ILO

Kailash Satyarthi Fighting Child Labour with the ILO


Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi
share this year’s Nobel peace prize for their fight for children’s rights
to education and freedom. “We are going to conduct a secret raid… we got complains from some sources that a lot of children have been trafficked
from different places and are working in a small scale factory.” For Kailash Satyarthi, it has meant years of battle in the fields,
villages and back streets of India, rescuing children from child labour
and bondage and, on the world stage, pressing the case for global action. In 1998, Kailash Satyarthi led
the Global March against Child Labour to the grounds of
the International Labour Organization (ILO). A year later, an international treaty was
signed committing the world to eliminate the worst
forms of child labour as a matter of urgency. “When I started my fight against child labour,
nobody was prepared to listen. I had to go to the villages, talk to the people,
talk to the government officials and they assumed it is part of life,
it is nothing new. ‘Children have to work because they are poor.’ And that was the case in many countries,
most countries, I would say.” Progress has been made, but the number of children in child labour
stands at 168 million. That’s nearly one out of every ten children – a number that would equal
the 8th most populous country in the world. “Today, no country, no business, no society can ignore
the menace of child labour. It’s an issue that has to be dealt with,
with a sense of emergency.”

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