2014 Nobel Peace Prize and Campaign for Child Rights
By admin October 21, 2014

Child Labor On the 10th of October, 2014, the Nobel Peace Prize was award to Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi for their actions as child rights campaigners. Pakistani teenager, Malala Yousafzai, who is the youngest recipient in the Peace Prize’s history, was shot in the head by the Taliban in 2012 for advocating for girls rights to education. Ever since then, Malala has emerged as a vocal advocate for the rights of all children to win an education and receive basic rights and protections. Kailash, less known before, is one of India’s most prominent anti-child labor activists who staged raids on factories employing children and freed 80,000 children from slavery and labor. It is widely noted that the joint selection of Malala and Kailash signifies an important nod towards the ongoing global efforts to bring peace to Pakistan and India’s long-standing conflicts. Both winners indicated their intention of using the award to bring two countries close to peaceful conversation. More importantly, the Norwegian Nobel Committee’s determination of giving the Nobel Peace Prize to two child rights advocators to raise attention of the issue of child rights is not unique but a reflection of the increasing awareness of child rights among the international society. Refusal of access to child education and child labor has received increasing attention in recent years. International Organizations, such as the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), have repeatedly helped sensitize public opinion regarding the working conditions of young children. As estimated by UNICEF, more than 85 million children are subjected to physical labor, exploitation and trafficking. Freedom from child labor and the right to an education represents two of the most important challenges to child rights campaigns around the world. The issue of child labor is essential on two counts: in the short-term it is the immediate unpalatable human aspect of a very young person having to do manual work beyond his/her physical capability or willing and in the long term, by virtue of being a laborer at young age, children are disinvesting in human formation that hurt them in the future. In the public’s view, the mass phenomenon of child labor is partly a product of avaricious entrepreneurs seeking cheap labor and occasionally selfish parents who would prefer enjoying leisure while their children work. However, the fundamental cause of child labor issue rests in poverty and inequality in terms of income distribution. Even in emerging markets, such as India, there are about 60 million domestic child slaves despite India’s glorious economic development and rapidly expanding middle class. It is widely agreed that education transforms lives and breaks the cycle of poverty, therefore, ensuring child access to education is essential in ending the vicious cycle that continuously affects a large proportion of the world population.  The decision of granting Malala and Kailash the Nobel Peace Prize will certainly boost global concern and protection in regards to child rights, but protection of child rights needs long-term cooperation among all levels of the global community. For more information:

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