The Norwegian Nobel Committee has awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2014 to India’s hindu Kailash Satyarthi and Pakistani Muslim teenager Malala Yousafzai “for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education.” “Children must go to school and not be financially exploited. In the poor countries of the world, 60 per cent 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 Norwegian Nobel Committee opined.
Kailash Satyarthi has been declared as the Nobel prize recipient for showing great personal courage. The committee said that Satyarthi maintained Mahatma Gandhi’s tradition, has headed various forms of protests and demonstrations, all peaceful, focusing on the grave exploitation of children for financial gain. “He has also contributed to the development of important international conventions on children’s rights,” the committee said.
On the other hand, Malala Yousafzai has been awarded for having fought for several years for the right of girls to education, and showing by example that children and young people, too, can contribute to improving their own situations. “This she has done under the most dangerous circumstances. Through her heroic struggle she has become a leading spokesperson for girls’ rights to education,” the committee said.
The Nobel Committee also said that it is 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. It has been calculated that there are 168 million child labourers around the world today. In 2000 the figure was 78 million higher. The world has come closer to the goal of eliminating child labour,” the committee said.
“The struggle against suppression and for the rights of children and adolescents contributes to the realization of the “fraternity between nations” that Alfred Nobel mentions in his will as one of the criteria for the Nobel Peace Prize,” the committee said.