Yesterday, on International Human Rights Day, two of the world’s greatest children’s champions were awarded the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize in Norway. Thousands of youths gathered in Oslo as many celebrated the moment around the world.
This award for their “struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education” is a crucial moment for the rights of children around the world and the global education community.
The two awardees were Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi. Malala, who is 17, is the youngest person to receive the award. She was shot in the head by Taliban gunmen in 2012 as she rode on a school bus in Pakistan. Kailsash, 60, has worked for more than three decades with the movement he founded – Bachpan Bachao Andolan- which has rescued 80,000 children in India from slavery and child labour.
After the awards, over 6000 children gathered to celebrate Malala and Kailash. The Norwegian schoolchildren used the moment to call for action on global education and mark their support for the biggest petition in history. The campaign, supported by both Malala and Kailash, is appealing to millions of people to demand world leaders take immediate action to get 58 million children – currently excluded from school because of child labour, child marriage, discrimination or attacks on schools – into classes and learning by 2015.