NEW DELHI: Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi underlined the need for an international child welfare agency for developing holistic policies for children, saying it was a "nightmare" to work with multiple organisations at the global and domestic levels.
Terming the European refugee crisis as an emergency, he appealed to the countries of the region to open their "hearts and minds" in dealing with the influx as children were most vulnerable.
Satyarthi's remarks come ahead of his scheduled address to a special summit on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on September 26 at New York as a part of the United Nations General Assembly.
He said Brazil stands out as an "example" in this regard while Argentina, Norway and other Scandinavian countries were also dealing with these issues in an impressive fashion. "Globally there is no holistic policy thinking towards children. Different UN agencies are responsible for different issues. Health is taken care by someone, child labour is ILO, UNESCO is lead agency on education but all these agencies have a big menu on their table.
"It is so compartmentalised with different agencies. If we rescue a girl who has been enslaved, trafficked, raped, who is denied education and she is suffering from different ailments. I had to deal with nine different agencies. How to coordinate with them, how to work with them, it is a nightmare even now," Satyarthi told PTI in an interview.
The child rights activist, who was jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize with teenage Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai last year, said formation of such a global agency has been one of his long-standing demands.
"We, the Kailash Satyarthi Children's foundation wanted to take up this. I have been demanding for quite sometime that there should be an international policy institute or think tank which can work in a more non-conventional manner," he said.
Satyarthi, whose organisation Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) is credited with rescuing over 80,000 children since the late 1980s, said he plans to involve 100 million youth to become the "champions" for the cause of "left out" children.
"They can become volunteers, petitioners, they can work on social media. They can do many things in harnessing their energy and feel good about what they have done. So, this is a very conventional way of teaching non-violence and peace," he said. Satyarthi said involving the youth was necessary considering they were fast taking a violent turn across the world due to lack of opportunities to prove themselves in a positive way.
"Because the youth sometimes are seen more impatient, more intolerant and sometimes more violent. School, university, college going students become more reactive and that is growing.
"Youngsters don't want to listen because they are more into social media and these kind of things and internet so what the temple priest, church leader or these kind of faith leaders say they do not care much about it," he said. Satyarthi said the contradiction of modern world was that in spite of "globalisation of knowledge and economy" there were no takers for "globalised outlook towards life and issues."