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Covid kids: Nobel laureates want $1 trillion for vulnerable children

Nobel Laureates and world leaders at the Fair Share for Children Summit have called for an urgent action plan to protect marginalised children from the devastating impact of Covid-19.

The leaders joined in the common cause to demand US$1 trillion to protect the world's 20 per cent most marginalised children. Held over two days, the summit discussed the emerging global child rights crisis due to Covid-19 and coming forth with solutions to deal with it unitedly.

Expert speakers discussed the gravity of the situation at the virtual summit. Over 9,500 people viewed the summit with 5,000 participating live over the two days. This included government representatives from over 40 nations.

Founder of the summit, 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.”

Smriti Irani, Minister for Textiles, and Women & Child Development, said, “In the Ministry of Women and Child Development we are undertaking an exercise to present to Parliament the most stringent law possible on Trafficking of Women and Children."

Following her comments, Henrietta Fore, Executive Director, Unicef, said: “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.”

Conversely, the issue also raised some heated comments from child right activist, Kinsu Kumar, who himself was a child labourer. He asked the delegates: "I question governments and their lack of accountability for children – I question their conscience today…(the) political will that values the economy much more than the lives of children!”

The summit focused on a comprehensive set of challenges facing the world’s children resulting from the devastating economic and social impacts of the global pandemic. A report launched at the event, highlighted child poverty, children out of school, child marriage, child labour and slavery are all set to increase as direct results of the pandemic.

The previous two summits were held in 2016 in India and in 2018 in Jordan..