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World Economic Forum: Satyarthi (Nobel Peace Prize), stop arms trade, invest in education

“So, what do we come to Davos for, then? I can’t think that all of us here, business and political leaders, cannot efface this bloodstain from the face of mankind. What we need is compassion”. This is what Kailash Satyarthi, an Indian activist who’s against child labour, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize along with Malala Yousafzai in 2014, stated with great emphasis in a fairly empty room of the World Economic Forum in Davos. At a workshop about “putting an end to modern slavery”, he said: “40 billion dollars a year would be enough to provide free compulsory education in the world”, and this would be a preventative solution to child exploitation and much more. Because, if children can go to school, everything changes, according to the Nobel Prize winner. That amount “is less than the world’s military expense for a week”. “What comes first? Our children or our arms?” Enslaving people is not only a breach of human rights and freedoms, it is an “attack on mankind”, stated Satyarthi, who also spoke of the need “for compassion to go global” and of breaking the culture of silence. In the debate, the guests also mentioned the need to “change the global business model” that produces pockets of exploitation: where the role of law is weak, there is no deterrence and “illegality” grows, as it happens with migration or work, “and smugglers feed on this”.

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