New Delhi: The government is doing little to end exploitation of children and ensure the rehabilitation of rescued juveniles, senior Supreme Court judges on Saturday said as they offered support to Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi in efforts to secure children's futures.
"As and when things come before us, we will be very keen to push it. Legally we would go to any extent to tackle the issues related to child abuse," said Justice TS Thakur.
Maintaining that "child labour and human trafficking is a very huge problem", the judge said the restoration of freedom of the child was of utmost importance.
"We want to see that the child labour menace is removed," Justice Thakur said at a lecture organised by the Delhi High Court Bar Association for lawyers on 'Child Rights- Protection from Abuse- Role of Judiciary'.
Justice Thakur said that there was a need to develop the sensitivity in the country that child labour cannot be tolerated and economic compulsion should take a back seat.
He also said that the role of police was important in curbing child trafficking and it has to be made more accountable.
Satyarthi said that child labour cannot be eradicated unless some accountability is fixed covering the government as also the lower judiciary, which has to be more responsible and take quick decisions.
"You and I can wait, but childhood cannot wait. Once it is gone, it will never come back. So it's time to rise and protect each child," the 2015 Nobel Peace prize winner said.
Stating that every hour, 15 children go missing, Satyarthi
added that "we all know that both girls and boys are sold like animals in the market".
"We have no right to call ourselves part of the civilised society until and unless each and every child on earth gets his or her fundamental rights," he said.
He also expressed concern over the boys and girls being captured by ISIS militants.
Delhi High Court Chief Justice G Rohin said, "We should not lose sight of the fact that children are the supreme assets of the nation."
another apex court judge,
Justice AK Sikri, said that though judiciary will play its role on the issue, society at large has to come forward and take responsibility.
"We will do whatever we can do to protect the right of the children, who are the future of the country. But in the end, society has responsibility towards the issue," he said.