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$53bn additional investment needed to protect African children from abuse, mental health -Expert

Photo Credit: Renovat Ndabashinze/Anadolu Agency/Getty

By Lizzy Okoji

May 19, 2023

Abuja, Nigeria - Mr Kailash Satyarthi, Founder, Kailash Satyarthi Child foundation have said that an additional fifty-three billion dollars investment to the African continent can save, protect children in the region from all forms of abuse, child labor, mental health among others.

Satyarthi, a 2014 Nobel Peace Laureate made this known at the follow-up joint workshop with the theme “Eradication of Child Labor: Taking Stock and Sustaining the Commitments of the ECOWAS Parliament”.

The follow-up joint workshop was organised by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), and the International Labour Organizaion (ILO) in collaboration with the ECOWAS Parliament in Abuja.

Satyarthi urged the Parliamentarians to live beyond focusing on winning elections but use their positions to be the voice of the voiceless children, fight the injustice against the region and ensure that the children forced into child labor are brought back to the classrooms.

In his words Satyarthi said “use your positions to replace the guns in the hands of these children with books and computers”.

“Africa is the middle of the world, if the children are begging on the streets, forced into prostitution, holding guns in their hands, the world is not safe, the world is not civilised either. It is the responsibility of the international community to take care of these children.

“Suggestions I will like to make, when we talk of child labor, the world has 160 child labourers, 200 million children out of school. Children are chosen preferred because they are the cheapest source of labor.

“So if you find one child labourer it means one empty seat in the classroom, one lost future. If we eliminate child labor, and 160 million children are brought to their classrooms then we are going to create 160 million jobs, perhaps more.

“So why don’t we invest in that. My first proposition is invest in our children, that is the only investment for the future, for the present and not for only the next generation but other generations to come.

“If you are able to ensure protection, education, health care of this generation then the next generation will take care of themselves then we do.

“Report also suggested that only 53 billion dollars additional investment can save our children, can protect our children from mental abuses, can help in education, protection of our children in low-income countries and also help in addressing the problems,” Satyarthi said.

Satyarthi further urged the Parliamentarians to ensure the implementation of international conventions, and national laws, and policies that protect the children. He also admonished the implementation of social protection programmes that would have direct benefit on the children.

The Humanitarian Post

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