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Kailash Satyarthi was awarded the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize together with Malala Yousefzai.
Satyarthi is a pioneer in the fight against the exploitation of children and the battle against illiteracy. He is renowned for the inclusion of child labour issues on global social and political agendas, and for leading the movement for education for all.
In 1998, Satyarthi organised the Global March Against Child Labour across 103 countries with the participation of 7.2 million people and 20,000 civil society organisations which 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 organisations, teachers’ unions and trade unions, all 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.
Satyarthi founded the grassroots movement Bachpan Bachao Andolan, in India in 1980 which has rescued over 80,000 children from the scourge of trafficking and exploitative labour. He successfully spearheaded a countrywide movement to make education a Constitutional Provision paving the way for the “Right of Children Act” and “Free and Compulsory Education Act” in 2009. In 2013, his unrelenting efforts led to defining and criminalising people trafficking within Indian criminal justice system, and in putting the spotlight on missing children through research and legal action.
He is credited for the first ever certification and social labelling mechanism for companies in South Asia that are not using child labour. 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.
He has been honoured with many awards including the Defenders of Democracy Award (2009), Alfonso Comin International Award (2008), Medal of the Italian Senate (2007), Heroes Acting to End Modern Day Slavey by US State Department (2007).