Social reformer Mr. Kailash Satyarthi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his ‘struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education’ in 2014. He has been a tireless advocate of children’s rights globally for over four decades. His fearless and unrelenting policy advocacy efforts towards elimination of violence against children have resulted in path-breaking legislations globally.
Through his organization, Bachpan Bachao Andolan, Mr. Satyarthi has liberated more than 100,000 children from child labour, slavery, trafficking and other forms of exploitation and developed a successful model for their education, rehabilitation and reintegration into the mainstream society. The Global March Against Child Labor, which he led, galvanized support in 103 countries resulting in the adoption of ILO Convention 182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labor, which went on to become the only universally ratified convention in the history of the ILO.
He is also the founding president of the Global Campaign for Education, an exemplar civil society movement working to end the global education crisis. He successfully spearheaded a countrywide movement to make education a Constitutional Provision which subsequently paved the way for the Right to Free and Compulsory Education in India in 2009. Mr Satyarthi is credited for establishing GoodWeave International (previously known as Rugmark), a first of its kind certification and social labelling mechanism for child labour free carpets in South Asia. He has worked to advance ethical business practices, to help businesses liberate their supply chains from child labour.
He has been at the forefront of driving child related agendas into the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which resulted in the UN Secretary General appointing him an SDG Advocate in 2021. Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation is ensuring an end to exploitation of children in India and around the world by addressing the inequality, injustice and discrimination that lie at the core of child labour. Mr Satyarthi has dedicated his life to realizing his vision of ending violence against children and building a world where every child is free to be a child.
In 2016, Mr Satyarthi launched Laureates and Leaders for Children, a platform bringing together Nobel Laureates and leaders committed to working together for the world’s most vulnerable children. Alongside former child labourers and students, he also launched the 100 Million campaign in 2016 to inspire and mobilize young people to stand up and act for their own rights and the rights of their peers.
A global thought leader, Mr Satyarthi has been at the forefront of demanding social protection for vulnerable children living in African nations and other low income countries. For him, every minute matters, every child matters and every childhood matters.
Mr Satyarthi has received several prestigious awards including Parliamentarians for Global Action Defender of Democracy Award (2009-USA); Alfonso Comin International Award (2008- Spain); Robert F Kennedy Human Rights Award (1995-USA); Medal of the Italian Senate (2007-Italy); and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Human Rights Award (1999-Germany); Wockhardt Foundation, Lifetime Achievement Award (2019), Mother Teresa Memorial Award for Social Justice (2019) among many other accolades. In 2017, he received the Guinness World Record for Largest Child Safe Guarding Lesson.