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India's Nobel Peace Prize laureate hopeful of winning war against child slavery

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-10-13 09:03

India's Nobel Peace Prize laureate hopeful of winning war against child slavery

 Child-rights activists win Nobel Peace Prize

NEW DELHI - Kailash Satyarthi, co-winner of the Nobel Prize for Peace 2014, said on Sunday that he is hopeful of winning the war against child slavery.

In an exclusive interview with Xinhua, the child rights activist said he also hopes to enhance awareness of child slavery and inspire more individuals and organizations to free child slaves from yokes.

"Their faces, their names, their identities, their struggles, their causes are being recognized in the global arena," he said.

On his struggle to free tens of thousands of child slaves in India for over three decades, he said it is a journey from total ignorance of society about child labor to social awareness and consciousness, through many hardships, violence and retaliations.

"It has started with ignorance, then partial denial, partial acceptance and then complete denial. Then the third stage was acceptance more than denial and once the industry started accepting when they were exposed by the media through our efforts, then came the retaliation, then violence...killing of my people, looting my office, attack on my office, " he said.

He said now it is going through a time of social awareness and social action with concrete results and making laws and enforcement of laws.

"It's a journey against odds. It's all about risk and dangers and challenges on every step. There were several occasions where I could have been killed but I was sure that the people who were my colleagues who were following me they are not going to lose," he said.

He recalled how he lost two of his colleagues while he and all of his colleagues had been beaten up and injured.

"The biggest difficulty has been the fight against the mindset, social mindset, then another difficulty or obstacle was lack of political will, lack of social will," he said.

Satyarthi said the country's Child Labor Act of 1986, which only bans child labor in hazardous conditions up to 14 years, is already obsolete and his organization is working closely with the government to make a new law as soon as possible which will prohibit all forms of child labor up to the age of 14 and worst forms and hazardous of child labor up to 18.

"The problem has the structural issues, systematic issues and financial economic issues, political it's a combination of several things," he said while terming child labor as a "crime" and an "evil" which know no border.




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