Bharat Yatra (India March) - A clarion call to Make India Safe for Children.
Child Sexual Abuse and Trafficking – Why this issue is important:
Child sexual abuse, Sexual exploitation, assault and trafficking of children are issues one cannot ignore today with its ever increasing instance.
These numbers are a cold reminder of the horrors children face every day and the anxiety parents experiences as their child grows up today. Child Sex offenders and traffickers gain strength from our silence. Challenging them and calling them out is the way to change. Listening to our child, Speaking out, Reporting offenders is the way to stop them.
About the Bharat Yatra (India March) Campaign:
Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi today calls upon each citizen to take urgent action that will break the unacceptable silence and fear of stigma that surrounds the sexual abuse, exploitation and trafficking of children every day.
Starting from Kanyakumari on September 11, 2017, Nobel Peace Laureate Shri Kailash Satyarthi is launching the Bharat Yatra, with passionate marchers, change makers joining him and the Kailash Satyarthi Children's Foundation (KSCF). Through seven routes touching cities, towns and villages in 22 Indian states and Union Territories, this journey engages with policy makers, implementers, teachers, local leaders, women's groups, law enforcement personnel, the media, business leaders, faith leaders and most importantly with children and their parents. All to influence a social dialogue and raise an army that can protect children vulnerable within thier homes, communities, schools. The Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation team is using technology as well as the traditional and time-tested technique of social mobilisation by walking and connecting inter-personally on the streets, the Yatra includes gathering for events and awareness programmes and leveraging political leadership to mobilise action. Collaborations with local organisations at the state level are essential for effectiveness and impact. KSCF, as the national coordinator for the Yatra, is partnering with several civil society organisations for this purpose.
The Bharat Yatra is the first step towards:
It all started in 1980, when Shri Kailash Satyarthi started a Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA), to ensure . He felt that March would be great tool to reach out to heart of India. Thus he organized series of Marches mobilizing and sensitising people, which led to number of amendments in laws both at national as well as international level.
Significant impact of the Marches he has steered in the past have been:
The most significant component in these marches was that the child laborers, freed bonded children and their parents were among the key participants and leaders. This gave an enormous value to the events. Some 50-200 marchers participated as core marchers who are joined by hundreds and thousands of local marchers en route everyday.
Bharat Yatra, 2017
The campaign called Bharat Yatra seeks to create a paradigm shift in child protection and increased intervention in cases of Child Sexual Abuse and Trafficking. An innovative approach to child and public engagement with all stakeholders involved has been adopted for creating a sensitive and accountable environment for prevention of child abuse and ensuring access to justice and rehabilitation for victims.
Bharat Yatra seeks to ignite the conscience of Indians on child trafficking, child rape and sexual exploitation.
Why this issue is important:
Source: # Census 2011 *National Crime records Bureau
What actually is Child Sexual Abuse?
What can you do?
About Shri Kailash Satyarthi:
Nearly 37 years ago Kailash Satyarthi left his job as a promising electrical engineer to fight for the rights of children and rescue them from slavery and exploitation. He set up the Save the Childhood Movement or a movement Bachpan Bachao Andolan then in 1980 and ever since his vision has guided the movement and has been instrumental in improved regulatory framework and amending of laws in favour of protecting children. He has worked towards judgments that have banned child labour in exploitative industries like circus, brought attention and ensured access to education for children as a fundamental right, acted to get better compensation for child labour rescued through varied schemes, accountability on reporting missing children then to his own count and the organization he has rescued helped 86325 persons and children realise a life unshackled from exploitation as child labour, bonded labour and slavery. Today, these children are free to learn by being in school and live a safe and carefree childhood. The vision behind this change is Mr. Kailash Satyarthi. Acknowledging that action on ground alone is not enough to bring about long term change, Mr. Satyarthi has also inspired millions of people to come together and successfully call for policy change and legal reform to protect children.
He also heads the Global March Against Child Labour which represents child rights orgnisations, teachers associations and trade unions in 140 countries. It was in 1988 that Global March movement was initiated under his leadership with a physical march across the world. Over 7 million people marched along with Mr. Satyarthi spreading messages against child labour and expressing their support. It was due to the physical global march in 1988 that led to the formulation of ILO Convention 182 on ending the worst forms in child labour.
His campaigns over the years have ensured that children are not employed in circuses, as domestic workers, in the carpet industry or in other industries under hazardous conditions.
His movements have also successfully led to bring in new acts and laws for ensuring universal primary education and to put a total ban on child labour. The recent total ban on child labour till 14 years in India after years of struggle is what he considers as his big achievement.
But millions of children are still exploited and abused in India.
Many parents say that poverty forces to send their young children to work, while the campaigners say that child servitude is a reality and it will continue. But Mr. Satyarthi believes that these views are totally pessimistic.
“It is an absolute myth that poverty causes and perpetuates child labour. The reality is that child labour causes poverty and child labour perpetuates reality.”
“We must all be totally against child labour. I want to see in my lifetime that there is no child slavery in the world.”
Recognised with the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014, Kailash Satyarthi believes that the Nobel Committee representing the global thought leaders has noted not just his efforts but the continuing plight of children who are abused and exploited as child labourers, are inducted or born into bondage and mostly voiceless. Mr. Satyarthi’s struggle goes beyond just getting children released, he has pushed their rights to education, for rehabilitation and for enforcing child related laws. His dream of having a child labour free world seemed unrealisable to many but he has been able to put the child rights on the centre of the development agenda with that of the Indian government and the world.
The Nobel Committee made it very clear that this was why he was selected:
“Showing great personal courage, Kailash Satyarthi maintaining Gandhi’s tradition, has headed various forms of protests and demonstrations , all peaceful, focusing on the grave exploitation of children for financial gain. ”
The Nobel Peace Prize amplified Mr. Satyarthi’s resolve to eliminate violence against children and child slavery during his lifetime. In calling for an end to these heinous realities, an upscaling of policy and programme effort, research and evidence, and massive ground level behaviour and attitudinal change is essential. As response to this need, Mr. Satyarthi founded Save the Childhood Movement in 2004 and worked extensively with children working in the Mica industry and also formulated a ‘Child Friendly Village’ model called the Bal Mitra Gram. This transitioned in the Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation that began operation in 2015. Tackling the global roots of child exploitation, Mr. Satyarthi has engaged more than 45 million people worldwide for action and change. Under his leadership, communities, civil society, governments and business leaders have collaborated to raise global awareness and influenced policy to educate all children.
About Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation:
The Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation (KSCF) envisions a world where every child can live freely with dignity, where all children are free, safe, and healthy and educated thereby realising their real potential.
The vision for Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation (KSCF) is to eliminate violence against children globally from abuse, lack of education, lack of health.
1. Preserve “child rights” through holistically tackling violence against children – abuse, lack of education and lack of health
2. Be recognized as a “global voice for violence against children” through movement creation and research
3. Enable global and national policy and its implementation to protect children
4. Build capacity of all stakeholders – government, businesses/corporates, grassroots organizations/civil society to full potential
5. Become a global platform to recommend best practices in implementation, policy/regulatory frameworks and remove the trust deficit between various stakeholders