On August 28, Ambassador Richard Verma visited Mukti Ashram, the transit rehabilitation center run by Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi and NGO Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA). Ambassador Verma and Kailash Satyarthi met with 52 rescued child laborers who currently reside at the center and witnessed the critical impact that BBA has had on their lives. The Ambassador congratulated BBA staff members for their service and the important contributions they are making to the welfare of vulnerable children. BBA through its innovative programs is an important example of the vital role that civil society plays in contributing to social welfare and economic development. The Ambassador noted that “some of my most rewarding moments here in India have been seeing how social innovators are working to improve lives in their communities.”
“Kailash Satyarthi is known throughout the world for the impact he has had on stopping human trafficking, protecting vulnerable populations and creating global awareness. It was an honor and privilege to meet with him, as well as the amazingly brave and resilient children who have been given a second chance,” said Ambassador Verma.
The Ambassador’s visit today underscored the active engagement of the United States government in working with partners around the world to end the scourge of human trafficking and modern slavery. As Secretary of State Kerry said in the State Department’s Trafficking in Person’s report this year: “Right now, across the globe, victims of human trafficking are daring to imagine the possibility of escape, the chance for a life without fear, and the opportunity to earn a living wage. I echo the words of President Obama and say to them: We hear you, and we will do all we can to make that dream come true. In recent decades, we have learned a great deal about how to break up human trafficking networks and help victims recover in safety and dignity. In years to come, we will apply those lessons relentlessly, and we will not rest until modern slavery is ended.”
The Ambassador thanked Mr. Satyarthi for his path-breaking work, and said he looks forward to continued collaboration with BBA.