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Landmark Contributions

  • Back in early eighties, Mr. Kailash Satyarthi made child labour an issue at a time when it was not even considered a subject worth anybody’s time and mention in India. His interventions made child labour a human rights based issue which led to the promulgation of Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act in 1986.

  • Mr. Kailash Satyarthi established the ‘Triangular Paradigm’ in the global policy discourse linking child labour, illiteracy and poverty as causes and effects of each other forming a vicious circle.

  • In the nineties he led the first ever consumers’ campaign putting the spotlight on ethical consumerism as a demand side factor for inducing responsible business practices and supply chains.

  • He engineered the first ever social labeling initiative ‘Rugmark’ when Corporate Social Responsibility as a concept and phrase were not even coined. Rugmark now known as Good Weave ensured that the carpets were not made by children. This concept became very popular with more and more sectors willing to adopt similar mechanisms in their supply chains.

  • Government of Germany and Mr. Kailash Satyarthi while working on the consumers’ campaign and Rugmark together made a strong demand to ILO for progressive elimination of child labour, through strengthening the capacity of countries to deal with the problem and promoting a worldwide movement to combat child labour. This led to the creation of International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC) in 1992.

  • In 1998 Mr. Kailash Satyarthi conceived and led one of the largest civil society movements Global March against Child Labour traversing across 103 countries covering 80,000 km with a demand for an International Law on Worst Forms of Child Labour. This eventually led to the adoption of ILO Convention No. 182 on worst forms of child labour which was formally acclaimed in 1999 and went on to become the fastest ratified convention in the history of ILO.

  • Mr. Kailash Satyarthi founded the Global Campaign for Education (GCE) - the largest civil society movement working to end the global education crisis and ensuring that States deliver the right of everyone to a free, quality public education. By doing this he put the global policy advocacy spotlight on Right to Education for all children and the emergent need for its financing.

  • Mr. Kailash Satyarthi spearheaded a mass-movement and India wide campaign for making a constitutional amendment to make education a fundamental right. Not only was the constitution amended but the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education was also promulgated in 2009.

  • Mr. Kailash Satyarthi led the global civil society and got child protection and welfare related clauses included in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations to mobilize global support for sustained efforts to end child slavery, trafficking, forced labour and violence against children.

  • He launched the 100 Million for 100 Million Campaign in December 2016. This campaign is the biggest global intervention to mobilize 100 million youth for shaping a better future for 100 million not so privileged children and youth.

  • In 2017, raising a clarion call against child sexual abuse, Mr. Satyarthi led the 12,000 Km Bharat Yatra (from Kashmir to Kanya Kumari) taking along the child abuse survivors; civil society organizations; politicians across party lines; bureaucrats; celebrities and faith leaders to put the national spotlight on this pressing issue. Bharat Yatra led to the Union Cabinet approving The Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018 in February 2018. Subsequently the Bill was passed in Lok Sabha in July 2018. Bharat Yatra also led to the passage of Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2018 in both the houses of Indian Parliament.

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