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Children’s rights activist Kailash Satyarthi awarded 2014 Nobel Peace Prize

Congratulations to 2014 Nobel Peace Prize winners Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi, two individuals whose causes closely reflect the 2015 Commonwealth Theme: A Young Commonwealth.

Indian children’s rights activist Kailash Satyarthi is the Chair of Global March Against Child Labour, and the founder of Bachpan Bachao Andolan, a grassroots movement for the protection of children.

The Commonwealth Foundation is particularly proud to support his work by funding a project led by Global March through our grants programme: Forging civil society action against child domestic labour.

This project will address the problem of child domestic labour in South Asia, in particular in Pakistan and Bangladesh, by strengthening the knowledge and capacity of civil society to carry out advocacy initiatives relating to child domestic labour and associated issues, such as trafficking, slavery and gender based violence. 

Satyarthi, a member of the High Level Panel on Global Education, said global goals on education can only be achieved if we collectively tackle child labour. In a recent visit to the Commonwealth Foundation, he reminded us that 85m children are currently working in extreme labour conditions around the world.

‘There are 197m young unemployed people in the world, but 168m children in full-time jobs – it’s a vicious circle,’ he explained. ‘We want to move from the exploitation of child labour to decent productive work… Strengthening social protection and civil society organisations is the way forward.’