Oct 10, 2014
The South Asian duo has been awarded for their unrelenting efforts against the suppression of children and young people.
Oslo/New Delhi: Pakistani schoolgirl and education rights campaigner Malala Yousafzai and Indian children’s rights activist Kailash Satyarthi have together been awarded the prestigious Nobel peace prize for this year.
Pakistani teenager Malala became a symbol of the women's rights movement since the Taliban's life-threatening attack on her.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee decided to confer the Nobel Peace Prize for 2014 on Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people. The South Asian duo has been campaigning for the right of all children to education.
The Nobel committee observed that in the poor countries of the world, 60% of the present population is under 25 years of age. “It is a prerequisite for peaceful global development that the rights of children and young people be respected. In conflict-ridden areas in particular, the violation of children leads to the continuation of violence from generation to generation,” the committee said.
The panel underlined that Kailash Satyarthi has contributed to the development of important international conventions on children’s rights. The panel added that by showing great personal courage and maintaining Gandhi’s tradition, Satyarthi headed peaceful protests and demonstrations against the grave exploitation of children carried out for financial gain.
Lauding Malala Yousafzai for leading by example, the Nobel Committee noted that through her heroic struggle she has become a leading spokesperson for girls’ rights to education. The panel noted that despite her youth, Malala has fought for several years for the right of girls to education under the most dangerous circumstances.
The Nobel Committee said, “It as an important point for a Hindu and a Muslim, an Indian and a Pakistani, to join in a common struggle for education and against extremism. Many other individuals and institutions in the international community have also contributed.”
According to estimates there are 168 million child labourers around the world. In 2000, the figure was 78 million higher.
The panel stated that the struggle against suppression and for the rights of children contributed to the realization of the ‘fraternity between nations’ that Alfred Nobel mentioned in his will as one of the criteria for the Nobel Peace Prize.
The prize, worth about $1.1 million, will be presented in the Norwegian capital on December 10, the anniversary of the death of Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel, who founded the award in his 1895 will.
The London-based human rights watchdog Amnesty International said that the work of Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai represented the struggle of millions of children around the world. “This is an award for human rights defenders who are willing to dedicate themselves entirely for the promotion of education and the rights of the world's most vulnerable children,” the rights watchdog said.
“The Nobel Prize Committee has recognized the fundamental importance of child rights for the future of our world. The choice of winners shows that this is an issue that matters to us all, no matter what our age, gender, country or religion,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.