Parliamentarians from around the world today concluded the deliberations for the first ever ‘Parliamentarians Without Borders for Children’s Rights’ (PWBFCR) meet. This is a joint initiative by Nobel Peace Laureate, Kailash Satyarthi and former Chairperson, Global March Against Child Labour and Brazilian Senator Cristovam Buarque Phd. The parliamentarians united to create a strong group of legislators who would engage with their constituents on children rights and work together with multiple stakeholders to eliminate pressing concerns such as child labour and child slavery nationally and globally.
The initiative was kicked off by Hon’ble Speaker of Constituent Assembly of Nepal, Subash Chandra Nembang. He was joined by Kailash Satyarthi who, in his inaugural address said, “In the last 35 years of my experience as a child rights activist, the lack of global political will, besides many other shortcomings, is a major cause for child exploitation. Our initiative of ‘Parliamentarians Without Borders for Children’s Rights’ will help in mobilising political support to make a safer and better world for children. I call upon the United Nations and the governments to include abolition of child slavery and strong commitment for eradication of child labour and education for all in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”
The forum witnessed the participation of over fifteen parliamentarians from nine countries who discussed a range of issues concerning the elimination of child labour, child slavery and trafficking; the need for equitable, inclusive and quality education for every child and the promotion of laws that protect children from “all forms of violence”.
Focussing on the role of Parliamentarians in furthering children’s rights within the purview of the SDGs, Ms. Amina J. Mohammed, Special Adviser to UNSG for Post-2015 Development Planning, said, “Members of Parliament are key players in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.” She further elaborated on the need to domesticate the SDGs in their countries once finalised and to lay down their vision for the same.
Summing up the objective of the initiative, Christovam Buarque said, “Every child should belong to the world, not to their countries alone. Parliamentarians Without Borders must therefore assume as a core issue, regardless of their countries, the attention of all children. Our purpose must be to debate and influence policies to effectively eliminate the unacceptable situation that affects millions of children around the world.”
First meeting of PWBFCR ended with a pledge to specifically focus on protecting and promoting children’s rights at regional, national and international levels by working closely with government and coordinating agencies.