Stockholm: With Kailash Satyarthi's Nobel Peace Prize win bringing the focus on rights of children in India, a leading rights group has called for robust means to act against child labour saying merely banning it is not a solution.
"India has strong legal instruments, but it is essential to have robust means to implement the act. For that, we need a societal shift, and clear commitment by the government. Merely banning child labour will not provide an answer," Amnesty International Secretary General Salil Shetty told PTI.
He says the Nobel Peace Prize Committee's decision this year recognises the fundamental importance of child rights for the future of the world.
"This is an issue that matters to every single one of us. I hope that the spotlight being shone on the exemplary work of Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai helps to energise others to join the struggle to protect the rights of all children globally," he said.
Shetty, who was at the Nobel Peace Prize presentation ceremony at Oslo yesterday, says about Satyarthi, "He has dedicated his life to helping millions of children in India who have been forced into slavery.
"His Bachpan Bachao Andolan has helped to champion the rights of children in India both by laying down laws against child labour and trafficking and by focusing on the importance of quality education. I am happy to support this important cause and would encourage others in India and around the world, to join child rights organisations," he said.
According to Shetty, 25 years have passed since the agreement of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and "yet we are seeing so many ways in which the convention is being contravened by states through juvenile death penalty; appalling practice of child labour; and failures to ensure access to a quality education for all among others".
Amnesty International is "calling on all governments to urgently reform their practices and live up to their commitments under the Convention", he said.
The Human Rights Education programme of Amnesty International works with schools to integrate human rights into schools' curricula, relationships, environment and governance.
"We would continue to work for children through this programme in India as it looks into the values and principles of human rights which align with the Constitution and legal instruments like Right to Education.
"Right to Education is a crucial provision that gives every child an opportunity to enjoy their childhood and get an education," he said.