Following the announcement that Pakistani schoolgirl and education rights campaigner Malala Yousafzai and Indian children’s rights activist Kailash Satyarthi have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, Colm O’ Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland, said: “The work of Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai represents the struggle of millions of children around the world. This is an award for human rights defenders who are willing to dedicate themselves entirely to promoting education and the rights of the world’s most vulnerable children.
The Nobel Prize Committee has recognised 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.“
Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International, said, “Malala sets a powerful example that has inspired people all over the world, and which has been deservedly recognised by the Nobel Committee. The courage she has shown in the face of such adversity is a true inspiration. Her actions are a symbol of what it means to stand up for your rights – with a simple demand to fulfil the basic human right to education.”
“Kailash Satyarthi has dedicated his life to helping the millions of children in India who are forced into slavery and work in torrid conditions. His award is an acknowledgement of the tireless, decades-long campaigning by civil society activists on child trafficking and child labour in India.”
“On a personal level, I’m delighted that the prize has gone to two individuals I know and admire. Kailash is an old friend and fellow human rights activist, and it was a privilege to host Malala when she received the Amnesty International Ambassador of Conscience Award at an event in Dublin last year.”
Malala Yousafzai was awarded Amnesty International’s high honour, the Ambassador of Conscience Award, in 2013:
Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Laureate for “having contributed to securing the ground for freedom, for justice, and thereby also for peace in the world.”