When the Nobel Peace Prize was conferred on Kailash Satyarthi in 2014, along with Malala Yousafzai, he said, “There are children who are bought and sold like animals. This (Nobel Prize) is very important for millions and millions of children who are denied their childhood, who are denied their freedom, who are denied their education and health”
Working relentlessly towards the cause of children for decades, Satyarthi is credited for being instrumental for the International Labour Organization adopting Convention No. 182 on the worst forms of child labour, which is now a principal guideline for governments around the world. He quit a 30 long year career in engineering and founded ‘Bachpan Bachao Andolan’ in 1980, which has since then spearheaded activism with respect to child rights, protecting the rights of around 83,000 children in 144 countries.
In this ongoing crusade to protect child rights and ensure a healthy childhood for children across the planet, Bachpan Bachao Andolan yesterday issued a fresh call to action-this time against the issue of Child Sexual Abuse (CSA), by launching a campaign called, ‘Full Stop’.
As the name suggests, Full Stop seeks to break the silence that haunts the grave issue of CSA and the entailing stigmatisation of victims, Full Stop is India’s first national campaign against Child Sexual Abuse organised by the Bachpan Bachao Andolan (“Save The Childhood”) movement. Our goal is to raise awareness about CSA as well as to empower and educate survivors and child victims and their loved ones. We also provide resources for teachers, social workers, medical professionals and the police.”
Full Stop seeks to reach out to a wide network of people by tapping into social media and encourage people to raise their voice. In its bid to do so, Full Stop has already organised an Instagram campaign with the hashtag #fullstop, where people are required to click a picture of their hand after the fashion of the Full Stop logo. This has attracted the support of many, including celebrities like Kalki Koechlin.
Along with this, Full Stop released a harrowing short film on CSA on YouTube two days back depicting the lack of dialogue between a parent and child and our blindness to the face of signs of child sexual abuse.
Full Stop also seeks to dispel the myth about child sexual abuse being gender specific, and noticeably uses a male child in the video to enact the role of an abuse victim.
Defined by UNICEF in 2003 as, “contacts or interactions between a child and an older or more knowledgeable child or adult (a stranger, sibling or person in position of authority, a parent or a caretaker), where the child is being used as an object of gratification for the older child’s or adult’s sexual needs”, the trauma related to CSA does not cease with the act of abuse itself but has long term, grave psychological implications. “Survivors of child sexual abuse are at a heightened risk of developing alcohol related disorder(s), more so if the sexual abuse occurred earlier in their childhood. The impact of child sexual abuse can therefore be far-reaching: survivors’ lives are characterised by frequent crises for example, job disappointments, frequent relocations, failed relationships and financial setbacks. The reasons are complex, but for many survivors, ongoing chaos prevents the establishment of regularity, predictability and consistency in their lives. They may function in ‘crisis mode.’”
For more details on Full Stop and to know how you can support, volunteer or donate, visit the website.