Wednesday, December 10, 2014 2:28 pm
Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai became the youngest ever Nobel laureate Wednesday when she received the Peace Prize in Oslo, sharing it with Indian child rights campaigner Kailash Satyarthi.
“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. Fraternity between the nations!” said Thorbjoern Jagland, chairman of the Norwegian Nobel committee.
Malala, 17, who was given the prestigious award in Oslo City Hall, became a global icon after she was shot and nearly killed by the Taliban in October 2012 for insisting that girls had a right to an education.
Satyarthi, 60, was recognised by the Nobel committee for a 35-year battle to free thousands of children from virtual slave labour.
Malala was 15 when a Taliban gunman shot her in the head as she travelled on a school bus in response to her campaign for girls’ education.
Although she almost died, she recovered after being flown for extensive surgery in Birmingham, central England.
She has been based in the city with her family ever since, continuing both her education and activism.
Satyarthi’s organisation Bachpan Bachao Andolan (Movement to Save Childhood) prides itself on liberating more than 80,000 children from bonded labour in factories and workshops across India and has networks of activists in more than 100 countries.
According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) there are about 168 million child labourers around the world.
Nobel winners receive eight million Swedish kronor ($1.1 million, 862,000 euros), which is shared in the case of joint wins.