2014 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Founder, Kailash Satyarthi Children's Foundation
In 1980, Kailash Satyarthi gave up a lucrative career as an electrical engineer to initiate a movement to end child labour, exploitation, and for education. He is internationally acclaimed child rights’ activist and pioneer in the fight against exploitation of children and illiteracy. He is renowned for inclusion of child labour to global social and political agenda, and for leading the movement for education for all.
In 1998, Kailash Satyarthi organised the Global March Against Child Labour across 103 countries. With participation of 7.2 million people and 20,000 civil society organisations, it is the largest people’s campaign on child labour and led to the International Labour
Organisation’s (ILO) Convention 182 for the elimination of the worst forms of child labour.
Today, Global March is the largest movement of civil society organisations, teachers' union and trade unions united in their determination to end child labour, and promote education for all children. He is also the initiator of the Global Campaign for Education, the largest education campaign coalition in the world.
In 1980, Kailash Satyarthi founded the grassroots movement Bachpan Bachao Andolan (trans. Save the Childhood Movement) in India, that has rescued over 80,000 children from the scourge of bondage, trafficking and exploitative labour till now. He successfully spearheaded a countrywide movement to make education a Constitutional Provision which subsequently paved way for the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 in India. In 2013, his unrelenting efforts led to defining and criminalising trafficking in persons in Indian criminal justice system, and in putting the spotlight on missing children through research and legal action.
Kailash Satyarthi is credited for the first ever certification and social labelling mechanism for child labour free carpets in South Asia - Goodweave (formerly Rugmark) 1994. Since then he has been involved in promoting ethical business and promoting child labour free supply chains in garment and textiles, mica mining, cocoa farming, sporting goods sector, among others.
In 2014, he was jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize 2014 with Malala Yousefzai.
On the 10th of December, a date celebrated as International Human Rights Day, as well as day of the annual Nobel Prize ceremony, a powerful moral voice rose from the highest pulpit of India, the Rasht...
Since my own childhood, I had a dream which later became the mission of my life and the core value of Bachpan Bachao Andolan. It was a very simple thought — every child should be free to be a child, free to laugh and cry, free to play and learn and above all, free to dream. To accomplish this vision of a child-friendly world we need child-friendly politics, child-friendly businesses, child-friendly faith institutions and child-friendly justice delivery mechanisms and establishments.
A young boy named Kalu, who had been rescued from a carpet-weaving unit in Bihar, once raised a compelling and very significant question when he met then-President Bill Clinton. In conversation with t...
For the first time ever, the international community will come together in Istanbul for the World Humanitarian Summit on 23-24 May, 2016, to discuss the serious humanitarian crisis that the world is facing. At the summit, the Kailash Satyarthi Children's Foundation, along with our partners, will bring together leaders at a discussion on protecting children. Through a high-level panel, we will aim to build a strong political will to bring the issues of child labour, slavery and deprivation from education during crises, into the mainstream humanitarian response mechanism.
The prevalent law in Brazil includes strenuous work and unacceptable, exhausting or degrading working conditions as a form of modern-day slavery. However, in the past few years, there have been strong appeals to introduce Federal Senate Bill No. 432. If passed, it would have demolished the strength of the labour force and diluted the slavery law. I was extremely fortunate to have arrived in Brazil just when it was undergoing discussion. My address to the Human Rights Senate Caucus (HRSC) turned out to be tremendously rewarding.
Our daughters are unsafe even before they are born, and at least 43.5 lakh children are being exploited as cheap labour every day. Today, we rank a distressing 135th on the Human Development Index. It is appalling and inexcusable to see that the largest democracy in the world struggles to reach even a mediocre level of human development.
A sustainable society stands on four pillars -- people, planet, prosperity and peace. Education is the seal that binds these pillars individually and jointly. Sadly, today less than 4% of global aid goes for education. We need US$22 billion to send every child to school. This equals 4.5 days of annual military expenditure. Do we need soldiers more than teachers, armies more than educated citizens?
Without re-inventing the wheel every time, we can learn enough from the successes already achieved in promoting education. From my experience as an activist for over 35 years now I would like to share with you the 10 success mantras that have stood the test of time in countries giving a big boost to education.
The most shameful commentary of today's society in one sentence is that slavery still exists and our children are the worst sufferers. You and I are born free and so are our 5.5 million child slaves whose freedom has been robbed.
Education is the most powerful weapon to fight extremism and terrorism. The forces attacking schools and killing our children are clearly feeling threatened and cornered. They are trying to demolish humanity at an insane and inhuman low, but the power of innocence, knowledge and compassion can never be undermined.
Childhood protected and nurtured will yield superior global human capital, while wasted childhood will erode all prospects of a promising tomorrow. Our tomorrow will be as good or as bad as how and what we do about our children today!!!