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Kailash Satyarthi calls for enforcement of Juvenile Justice Act

KOLKATA: Nobel Peace Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi has said that there is a very strong provision under Juvenile Justice Act in the country to stop children taking to criminal activities.

"There is a very strong provision under the Juvenile Justice Act which needs to be enforced. If we are able to comply and enforce the provisions, the scenario will change," Satyarthi told reporters here last night.

"If we properly take care of all juveniles who are in need of protection, the scenario will change," Satyarthi, who shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan in 2014, said while answering a question about the rise in juvenile crime rate.

"And again if we are able to ensure their right to education and properly implement social security programmes like the mid-day meal, then children won't be forced to become slaves, prostitutes or turn to violent acts," he pointed out.

"You should not put the blame on children who are already the victims," he said.

To a question about children seen carrying arms in religious processions he said, "We have to differentiate if they are being forced to participate or doing it willingly. If force is used, that is not the right thing."

Talking about the situation across the world, Satyarthi exhorted nations to take collective responsibility in order to end child labour and slavery.

Satyarthi, whose activism had made the International Labour Organization (ILO) adopt Convention No 182 on the worst forms of child labour, said, "We need the highest level intervention to put an end to child labour and slavery. Slavery and civilisation cannot go hand in hand."

"No foundation of sustainable development can be built on the miseries of children," Satyarthi, who was interacting with media after being conferred P C Chandra Puraskaar 2017, said.

Stating that "230 million children are now living in violent war zones across the world" the 2014 Nobel laureate said, "I demand that the UN set up a high power committee under the Security Council to address the issue."

Speaking at another programme organised by a pre-school, the child rights activist exhorted the parents of well-to-do families to take up the cause of deprived children.

Satyarthi urged the parents present at the programme to be very sympathetic to those who did not have the fortune of attending schools.

He said that he has drawn up a programme where 100 million privileged children would take care of another 100 million underprivileged.

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