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Young global citizens have the optimism and power to end child labour in our lifetime, says Nobel Peace laureate Kailash Satyarthi


Nobel Peace laureate Kailash Satyarthi who is in Doha for the screening of The Price of Free (USA/2018) at the Ajyal Film Festival, says the documentary that follows his life and work will “ignite consciousness in the minds of young people to drive the positive transformation of the society.”

The winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival 2018, The Price of Free was released globally on November 27, and has already gained over 2.5 million views. The film also received terrific response at Ajyal Film Festival, with Satyarthi celebrating its success with over 550 young Ajyal Jurors.

In an enthusiastic and inspiring discussion with the jurors moderated by Emmy-nominated journalist Ahmed Shihab-Eldin, Satyarthi urged them all to hold on to their childhood as “a child is simple, honest, curious and truthful. That kind of optimism is what makes the world a more peaceful place.” Asked about his own outlook on the fight against child labour, Satyarthi said: “I have no doubt in my mind that youth have the optimism and power to end child labour in our lifetime.”

Speaking to media, Satyarthi said child trafficking is today a $150 billion illicit industry, and it “requires political will, resources, sense of urgency and coordination among various stakeholders to address it. It is a very serious issue globally with children, girls and women being easy prey for traffickers. Ironically, the new phenomenon of children on move — meaning, illegal migration, refugee crisis and mass displacement — all have added to the situation of child trafficking.”

He added that he was moved by the film because “they had been following and filming me for over two and a half years. There are many incidents in the film that are very emotional, especially the killing of my colleagues. Personally, I feel that whenever the evil forces have tried to kill me, I felt more powerful because I realised they were frightened by our work.”

“Ajyal Film Festival is quite unique and I applaud this initiative as it creates an unprecedented space for raising the vital issues of the world at one place engaging young people,” said Satyarthi. “Change begins with consciousness and if you are able to ignite the minds of the people, especially young people, nobody can stop the transformation of the society. I am very hopeful that the film will help create positive consciousness, empower citizens, build responsibility among businesses and promote ethical consumerism,” he added.

Documenting the noble and selfless mission of Satyarthi, who exposes the plight of young children who are trafficked for forced labour, the 87-minute documentary has live raid operations conducted by him and the relentless work of Bachpan Bachao Andolan, founded by Satyarthi to protect the rights of the most marginalised children.

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