SHARJAH, 12th October 2016 (WAM) – Nobel Peace laureate Kailash Satyarthi will be the keynote speaker at the second edition of ‘Investing in the Future’ (IIFMENA) conference in Sharjah. Satyarthi will be speaking at the conference’s opening ceremony on 19 October.

The renowned child right activist has been at the forefront of the global movement to end child slavery and exploitative child labour since three decades.

The second IIFMENA conference titled: ‘Building the Resilience of Women and Girls in the Arab Region’ is being organised by The Big Heart Foundation (TBHF), a Sharjah-based international humanitarian body dedicated to aiding vulnerable people worldwide. The event, being conducted in collaboration with the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), is being held in Sharjah on October 19 and 20.

Held under the patronage of H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah; and his wife, H.H. Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Chairperson of TBHF and Chairperson of the NAMA Women Advancement Establishment (NAMA), the IIFMENA conference will provide a platform for engaging discussions highlighting the need to incorporate women and young girls into decision-making through economic empowerment, paying attention to their specific needs in education, skills-training and employment.

Mariam Al Hammadi, Director of Salam Ya Seghar – a TBHF initiative – said: “We are glad to have Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi among our distinguish speakers list. Satyarthi who is a veteran in the field of rights advocacy and education has personally rescued thousands of children from the clutches of child labour and slavery in spite of several attacks on him. He has not only helped them re-establish trust in society but enabled them to get promising futures for themselves.

Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi has been a tireless advocate of Children’s right for over three decades. The grassroots movement founded by him, Bachpan Bachao Andolan (Save the Childhood Movement), have liberated more than 85,000 children from exploitation and developed a successful model for their education and rehabilitation.

As a worldwide campaigner, he has been the architect of the single largest civil society network for the most exploited children, the Global March Against Child Labour, which is a worldwide coalition of NGOs, Teachers’ Union and Trade Unions active in 140 countries. Satyarthi’s efforts led to the adoption of ILO Convention 182 on worst forms of child labour in 1999. He was also the Founding President of the Global Campaign for Education, a civil society movement working to end the global education crisis, and GoodWeave International, which was one of the first consumer awareness programmes and the earliest examples of modern corporate social responsibility.

Kailash Satyarthi underlined that his participation at the IIFMENA Conference will help him highlight the issue of Trafficking and child slavery particularly focusing the young girls. He would also highlight on areas that ensure protection and education for them as he rightfully thinks that children who are not able to attend school will not acquire the necessary knowledge and skills needed by their communities to achieve development and progress.

The two-day forum will bring together government officials, representatives of international and non-governmental organisations, advocates of gender equality, academics and a number of experts and media personalities from across the world.

The second edition of the IIFMENA conference will strive to further cement the grounds that are being laid for women to be recognised as equals and as agents of change for peace and economic prosperity. The conference aims to support all women, including refugees and displaced persons, by working to meet their needs and to ensure full rights and justice for them.