Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi has advocated setting up a national children’s tribunal, on the lines of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), to deal with cases of crime against children in a time-bound and expeditious manner. Citing recent incidents of sexual abuse of minor girls, the child rights activist said such cases give the country a “bad name”.
“Today incidents of rape of minor girls are being reported. In the national capital an eight-month-old girl was raped. Such incidents give the country a bad name. Besides the government, the society should also think about it,” said Satyarthi in an interview to PTI.
The 2014 Nobel Peace Prize winner said, “There are laws, such as the POCSO Act, to deal with child rights violation and sexual abuse of children. The POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act is a good law. But the problem is, hearing of cases do not happen in a time-bound manner.”
“In most cases, completion of trials and conviction take several years. Therefore, a national children’s tribunal should be constituted to ensure cases related to children are disposed of in a time-bound manner,” he said. Born in 1954 in Madhya Pradesh, Satyarthi as a grassroots activist has led the rescue of over 80,000 child slaves and developed a successful model for their education and rehabilitation. He is also the founder of the Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA), according to his website.
“It should be ensured that the tribunal for children is as powerful as the NGT. Things related to the environment are changing because the NGT has been given powers. The NGT has instilled fear among those who try to hurt the environment,” he said.
“If there is an empowered national children’s tribunal, there would be effective and expeditious disposal of cases related to children and child rights would be better protected,” the Nobel laureate said.
Expressing concern over the menace of child pornography, the child rights activist emphasised the need for an international convention against it.
Last month, during the “Laureates and Leaders for Children” summit in Jordan, Nobel laureates, including Satyarthi, and world leaders had called for a global convention against child pornography.
“Child pornography is a global menace and it is increasing with the expanding reach of the Internet. There is a need for an international law against it.
“Hence, we (at the summit) urged that an international law be formulated through the United Nations so that the spread of child pornography and violation of child rights on the Internet can be checked,” he said.
Satyarthi, as a global campaigner, has been the architect of the single largest civil society network for the most exploited children, the Global March Against Child Labor, which is a worldwide coalition of NGOs, teachers’ union and trade unions, the website said.