Jordan: Landmark summit to address impact of forced migration on children

Monday’s Second Laureates and Leaders for Children Summit 2018  will be held under Royal patronage

By Rana Husseini – Mar 24,2018 – JORDAN TIMES

HRH Prince Ali holds a joint press conference with stakeholders on Second Laureates and Leaders for Children Summit 2018, to kick off on Monday, at the Dead Sea on Saturday (Petra photo)

DEAD SEA — Global leaders, Nobel Laureates, children and the youth will gather in a summit at the lowest point of Earth on Monday to develop a plan of action to address the challenges faced by children impacted by forced migration.

The event, which will be held under the patronage of His Majesty King Abdullah, is the Second Laureates and Leaders for Children Summit 2018 that will take place for two days at the King Hussein Bin Talal Convention Centre at the Dead Sea.

 The aim of the summit is to ensure that every child, including and especially children in the most vulnerable sections of the world are free, safe, educated and healthy, said HRH Prince Ali on Saturday.

Prince Ali was speaking during a press conference held at the convention centre and attended by Nobel Laureate and founder of the Laureates and Leaders for Children movement, Kailash Satyarthi, in addition to the First Lady of Panama Lorena Castillo de Varela and Kerry Kennedy, president of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights.

This year, the summit will centre around protecting children on the move, particularly in light of global forced migrations that are only expected to increase over time, HRH Prince Ali said.

“Given the central role Jordan is playing in mitigating the forced migration crisis impacting the region, including hosting the second largest number of refugees per capita in the world, the summit will tackle a number of issues that are relevant to the Kingdom’s current reality and future prospects, laying the foundations for viable strategies for addressing those issues,” Prince Ali told the gathering.

 The most damning indictment of this so-called techno-civilised world can be summed up in three stark and savage words: slavery still exists, Satyarthi said, adding that “what is even more shameful is that children constitute a large proportion of modern day slaves”.

“We cannot wait because children have never been responsible for conflicts, wars natural disaster or any other human tragedy, but are the worst sufferers. It is our political and moral urgency to ensure and secure the present and future of every child,” according to Satyarthi.

 Satyarthi added that “the summit at the Dead Sea will witness the testimonies of around 100 children who are suffering from various abuses.  Our hope for the summit is to give life and hope to millions of children worldwide”. 

The summit will revisit the definition and key drivers of children on the move and in crisis and will examine specific achievable actions to prioritise and protect children from exploitation, trafficking, slavery, abuse and ensure their education, according to Castillo de Varela. 

Castillo de Varela told the gathering that the summit is an important opportunity to “raise our voice to guarantee that all children enjoy a life without violence and discrimination”. 

Also addressing the gathering, Kennedy noted that “50 million children worldwide are on the move navigating dangerous migration routes, while 75 million children need the world’s help to continue their interrupted education in 35 crisis-affected countries”. 

“Around 152 million child labourers toil at the expense of their education for the profits of others, while 263 million children are not learning in school because of poverty and other crisis,” Kennedy stated. 

Kennedy stressed that it is “our duty to address and repair the damage done by the adult world to the innocents. That’s what the Laureates and Leaders conference is all about”.  

This summit will revisit the definition and key drivers of children on the move and in crisis, by tackling achievable actions to prioritise and protect children from exploitation, trafficking, slavery and abuse, while ensuring they continue their education, Kennedy added.

Prince Ali, who is co-hosting the event, stressed at the end of the conference that the recommendations of the summit will be sent to “international organisation, including UN agencies, and world leaders for adoption and implementation in their respective countries”. 

The first Laureates and Leaders for Children Summit, held in 2016, was hosted by the President of India Pranab Mukherjee. Twenty one Nobel Laureates and world leaders joined 400 distinguished thinkers and influencers from academia, business, entertainment, government and civil society, all committed to working together to prioritise the world’s children in their spheres of influence. 

Laureates and Leaders for Children is a unique movement that mobilises Nobel Laureates, youth, celebrities and other leading thinkers and influencers across disciplines and generations who are champions for children. 

The movement was conceived as an engaging platform to establish the groundwork for a more sustainable and forward-thinking leadership capable of safeguarding the future of the world’s children, particularly in the face of global challenges and chronic social predicaments impacting communities worldwide.


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