New Delhi: Attacks on children take us back several steps in our actions towards collective progress of securing child rights across the globe, said child rights champion Kailash Satyarthi Friday.
He regretted incidents like attacks on school children in Peshawar, kidnapping of girls by Boko Haram and ISIS and the Maoist attack in Assam.
In a communication on the eve of the seventeenth anniversary of his organisation - Global March Against Child Labour - Satyarthi, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize last year, said the new year was not the time to lose hope.
"It is a time for us to put in our resources for the betterment of our children," he said.
Giving details about the hardships being faced by children across the globe, he said the Nobel prize has reinforced his belief that working together "we can surely end slavery and change children`s lives for the better".
"From child soldiers to trafficking for labour and sex, from inter-generational bonded labour to girls forbidden to attend school, the list of appalling injustices committed against children is, unfortunately, a long one. Yet, we must remain optimistic and unite with the children to protect their fate and preserve their innocence," he said.
Satyarthi, who shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani activist for female education, said any big goal set by anybody would be meaningless without addressing the issue of child labour.
"I have consistently argued since the Millennium Development Goals were announced that without abolition of child labour, many development goals including education, poverty reduction, health and gender equity could not be achieved. I am glad that the Sustainable Development goals have included child labour, laid emphasis on education and violence against children which we have been struggling for several years," he said.
The Global March Against Child Labour is a worldwide network of trade unions, teachers and civil society organisations that work together for the shared development goals of eliminating and preventing all forms of child labour and ensuring access to free, meaningful and good quality public education for all children.