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Friedensnobelpreis Verleihung Malala und Satyarthi 10.12.2014 Oslo
Image: picture-alliance/epa/C. Poppe

Malala, Satyarthi pick up Nobel Peace Prize

December 10, 2014

Teenage Pakistani activist, Malala Yousafzai, and Indian rights campaigner, Kailash Satyarthi, have received this year's Nobel Peace Prize for their advancement of children. Malala is the prize's youngest ever recipient.


The 17-year-old Malala and 60-year-old Satyarthi collected the award during a standing ovation at Wednesday's award ceremony in Oslo.

It followed the Norwegian Nobel Committee's initial announcement in October that the peace prize would go jointly to Satyarthi and Malala for "their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education."

Malala, who two years ago was shot and wounded in the head by the Taliban in Pakistan's restive northwestern town of Swat for working for girls' education, is the youngest recipient of the prestigious award. Satyarthi has been campaigning to help millions of child laborers in India for several decades.

The teen activist said she chose the latter of two options: "One was to remain silent and wait to be killed. And the second was to speak up and then be killed. I chose the second one. I decided to speak up."

Malala dedicated her prize to the "forgotton children who want education" said the life story she told was not unique but "the story of many girls."

Creating a global conscience

The Nobel Committee chairman Thirbjorn Jagland said the Indian and Pakistan duo "will for all the future form part of the row of gold that forms our Nobel history - the row of campaigning people. People who have created the 'global conscience' of which we can all be the bearers."

"A young girl and a somewhat older man, one from Pakistan and one from India, one Muslim, the other Hindu; both symbols of what the world needs: more unity," Jagland added.

He said Islamic extremist groups disliked knowledge because it is a condition for freedom. "Attendance at school, especially by girls, deprives such forces from power," he said.

Jagland referred to Satyarthi's vision of ending child labor and how he abandoned a career as an electrical engineer in 1980 to mount his campaign.

Satyarthi is credited with saving around 80,000 children from slave labour sometimes in violent confrontations.

"I've lost two of my colleagues," Satyarthi said just before receiving the prize.

In an interview with DW, Kailash Satyarthi said the award gave him "more strength and power in the fight against child slavery and exploitation, as it is the biggest recognition ever for the cause of child rights, particularly to eradicate child labor."

shs/ipj (AFP, AP)

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