As Satyarti is praised at UN, India affirms commitment to end child labour

United Nations:  A week after Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for championing the cause of children, a UN General Assembly (UNGA) committee approved a draft resolution strongly condemning violence against children and calling on countries to protect them.

Mayank Joshi, a First Secretary at India’s UN Mission, affirmed Thursday the nation’s strong commitment to the eradication of all forms of child labour and noted that recent amendments to laws prescribed stringent punishment to combat human trafficking, including the sale of children.

Norwegian delegate May-Elin Stener said that the Nobel prize awarded to Satyarthi and Yousafzai sent an important message of support and recognition to those around the world who worked in defence of children’s rights.

Saluting the two Nobel Prize winners, Brazil’s Antonio deAguiar Patriota said, “The award honoured many more Malalas who exist in all our countries but have not been visible or received the recognition they deserve.”

India, which was home to 472 million children making up one in five of all the world’s children, has taken several steps to enhance their status, Joshi said. The Indian constitution provides for free and compulsory education for children and having achieved near universal primary eduction, the government’s focus was on expanding secondary education and its accessibility to girls, he said.

The government had also undertaken measures to ban sex-selective abortion and child marriage, he said. Utilising information technology, India has launched an innovative “Mother and Child” tracking system to ensure the delivery of a full spectrum of health care services to pregnant women and immunization services to children up to the age of five.

The UNGA committee that deals with social, humanitarian and cultural issues also approved a draft resolution that would recommend reducing prison overcrowding and promoting alternatives to imprisonment .

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