Child rights activists India’s Kailash Satyarthi and Pakistan’s Malala Yousafzai on Tuesday said the Nobel peace prize gives them tremendous opportunity in their fight and struggle for children’s rights.
“Even if one single child is in danger then the entire world is in danger,” Satyarthi said at a joint press conference with Malala on the eve of award ceremony.
Satyarthi, 60, and Malala, 17, will share $1.1 million Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo on Wednesday.
“This prize is very important for millions and millions of children who have been denied their childhood... As I am talking to you there are millions of children who are denied this freedom, we need to work for them,” he said.
“There are children who are sold like animals... children who are forced into prostitution.. The children who are made hostages. The children who are made child soldiers,” he said, adding that this Nobel peace prize gives tremendous opportunity in the fight and struggle for children’s rights.
Satyarthi gave up his job as an electrical engineer to run NGO Bachpan Bachao Aandolan in India for rescuing children from forced labour and trafficking. “We have to work towards peace for children and children for peace...We have to create such a world,” he said.
Describing Malala as his daughter, he said she is the bravest child one can think of.
Malala, who survived a near-fatal Taliban attack two years ago with determination advocating education for girls, said she is proud to be a Muslim.
“We strongly believe in Islam. Islam is a religion of peace, but unfortunately there are people who don’t know about this religion,” she said, referring to Taliban militants.
Malala said that education is not restricted to a group, it’s essential for everyone. “It is a necessity of life.”
“Why are we fighting for something which we deserve? It is our right to go to school. Why should we fight for something we deserve?” she asked. “Children don’t ask for iPads, they just want a book and a pen,” the Pakistani child rights activist said.
“You have to speak for yourself, learn to fight for yourself,” she said, adding that “when you take a step, raise your voice, then things change.”
Since 1901, the Nobel Prizes have been presented to the Laureates at ceremonies on December 10, the anniversary of Alfred Nobel’s death.
The Nobel Peace Prize will be presented by the Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee in the presence of King Harald V and Queen Sonja, the government, representatives of Storting -- the supreme legislature of Norway -- and an invited audience.
Image: Nobel Peace Prize laureates Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai smile during a news conference in Oslo. They will be awarded the prestigious award on Wednesday. Photograph: Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters