Nobel Laureates and World Leaders Call for US$1 Trillion to Protect the World’s Most Vulnerable Children
Laureates and Leaders Fair Share for Children Summit Concludes with an urgent Call to Action to Protect Millions of Children from the Worst Impacts of COVID-19
Washington, DC, USA & New Delhi, India: 10 September 2020 With necessary urgency, Nobel Laureates, world and youth leaders joined in common cause demand US$1 trillion for the world’s most marginalised children in the wake of COVID-19, at the end of the Laureates and Leaders ‘Fair Share for Children’ Summit. Held over two days the Summit discussed the rapidly emerging global child rights crisis resulting from COVID-19, and put forward united solutions.
Laureates and Leaders founder and 2014 Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi said: “The moral commitment and compassion demonstrated by the speakers at the Summit has emboldened the call for a Fair Share for Children in the COVID crisis-relief measures. The global response has been disgracefully unequal, unjust and immoral: the Fair Share Report issued by the Laureates and Leaders for Children has revealed that only 0.13% of the $8 trillion global COVID response has been allocated to the most vulnerable. We don’t have a choice but to act, and to act now. For our children, their rights, their freedom, their future – their fair share.”
The Summit shined a spotlight on a comprehensive set of challenges facing the world’s children resulting from the devastating economic and social impacts of the global pandemic. As stated in the Fair Share for Children report, released during the Summit, child poverty, children out of school, child marriage, child labour and slavery are all set to increase as direct results of the pandemic. If the futures of the most marginalised children do not become a priority for governments, millions of lives will remain in jeopardy.
HE Stefan Löfven, Prime Minister of Sweden: “I want to see an increase in our coordinated efforts so that we can ensure a fair, sustainable and democratic recovery from this pandemic. I welcome international initiatives and your commitment to protecting the world’s most marginalised and vulnerable children.”
Henrietta Fore, Executive Director, UNICEF: “We need urgent solutions to make this vision of a fair share for children a reality… we must stand behind communities that are struggling to build a better future.”
Guy Ryder, Director-General, ILO: “Any moral conscience would have to give absolute priority to end child labour.”
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization: “We cannot continue to fail our young global citizens. The post-COVID recovery must have our children as the central focus.”
HE Smriti Irani, Minister for Textiles and Women & Child Development, India: “We are undertaking to present to Parliament the most stringent law possible on Trafficking of Women and Children. To address child labour, action needs to begin now. The Indian government has banned child labour and punishments will be the strictest faced by a corporate entity or by a manufacturing unit.”
HE Sigrid Kaag, Minister, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, the Netherlands: “I support your efforts to ensure that COVID-19 relief funds have adequate attention for the most marginalised, with a special focus on vulnerable children and young people.”
HE Rula Ghani, First Lady of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan: “We are responsible for our children’s fate! The higher our position, the greater our responsibility. If we want our future to look better than our present than we need to start by planting the seeds of renewal in the rising generation.”
Gordon Brown, UN Special Envoy For Global Education and UK Prime Minister (2007-2010): “It is absolutely vital that we recognise that education is the best route out of child trafficking, child labour, and child marriage.”
HE José Ramos-Horta, Nobel Peace Laureate 1996 and President of East Timor (2007-2012): “If we fail, we are accomplice. We are guilty of betraying children. Please act together. Act now.”
HE Jose Angel Gurria, Secretary-General, OECD: “We call on all countries to ensure that children get their fair share of the global response to the pandemic. You can count on the OECD to support countries to put children at the centre of their social policies.”
Martin Chungong, Secretary General, Inter-Parliamentary Union: “All the recommendations in the Fair Share for Children report are in the realm of parliaments. I make a clarion call to parliaments: Allocate resources to protect children’s rights.”
Leymah Gbowee, 2011 Nobel Peace Laureate: “Our world is in a dire situation. It is my hope and prayer that we can find actions to bring our world closer to end child labour and child slavery.”
Kinsu Kumar, child rights activist and former child labourer: “I question governments and their lack of accountability for children – I question their conscience today, I question the death of morality, and I question your political will that values the economy much more than the lives of children!”
Lalita Duhariya, President, India National Children’s Parliament “If we as children can think of protecting the entire community from coronavirus, do adults like you have NO responsibility towards our protection?”
Demonstrating the critical nature of the issues and the gravity and expertise of the speakers, over 9,500 people have watched the Summit so far, with 5,000 participating live over two days, including government representatives from over 40 countries.
This 3rd Laureates and Leaders for Children Summit was organised in response to the pandemic and the resulting economic impacts that are exacerbating systemic inequalities and creating an unprecedented child rights crisis. Previous Summits were held in 2016 (New Delhi, India) and 2018 (Dead Sea, Jordan).
The Summit concluded by providing a path forward for the world to ensure that an entire generation of children is not lost. A call to action was issued specifically demanding US$1 trillion to address the urgent needs of the world’s 20% most marginalised children and communities. The call to action includes an open call for signatories that will be collected and presented during the United Nations General Assembly later this month.
Laureates and Leaders for Children is an initiative of the Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation US. Video playbacks of the Summit can be found at the KSCF India YouTube channel: youtube.com/c/KailashSatyarthiChildrensFoundation
(India) Paroma Bhattacharya: mobile: +919910940551, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
(US) Anjali Kochar: mobile: +1.917.969.2108, email: email@example.com
About the Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation US
The Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation (KSCF) envisages a world where every child is free to be a child. Our mission is to end slavery and ultimately violence against children. To make this a reality, we are scaling 2014 Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi’s almost four decades of work at both the grassroots and global policy level. His lessons learned guide the Foundation’s work to engage children and young people as part of the solution, build greater collaboration between governments, businesses and communities, ensure effective national and international laws, scale know-how, and replicate successful practices in creating partnerships with key stakeholders. Alongside young people, Mr. Satyarthi launched the 100 Million campaign in 2016 to support impassioned young activists to mobilise for the rights of the world’s most marginalised children. To learn more about the Foundation, please visit: http://www.satyarthi.org, or the 100 Million campaign, visit: www.100million.org