Kailash Satyarthi

  • Child Rights Activist | Nobel Peace Laureate

2014 Nobel Peace Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi is a tireless global advocate of children’s rights. He has been leading the fight against exploitation of children for four decades now. And is renowned for bringing child labour issues to global social and political agendas.

After leaving a lucrative career as an Electrical Engineer, Mr. Satyarthi started ‘Bachpan Bachao Andolan’ (Save the Childhood Movement) to rescue children and their families from the shackles of slavery, paving way for their reintegration into mainstream society. Under his aegis, the movement has rescued over 87,000 children from the scourge of bondage, trafficking and exploitative labour, till date.

In 1998, Mr. Satyarthi conceived and led the largest civil society network for the most exploited children, the “Global March against Child Labour” that traversed across 103 countries covering 80,000 kms, mobilizing unions, civil society and most importantly, children with a sole demand for an ILO Convention on Worst Forms of Child Labour. This march led to the adoption of ILO Convention 182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labour which went on to become the fastest ratified convention in the history of ILO.

Mr. Satyarthi is also the architect of the “Global Campaign for Education”, an exemplar civil society movement working to end the global education crisis. He is credited for the first-ever civil society and business coalition by establishing Rugmark (now known as Good Weave), a first of its kind certification and social labelling mechanism for child labour free carpets. This mechanism was engineered by Mr. Satyarthi much before the phrase Corporate Social Responsibility was even coined.

In 2014, he 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 2016, he founded a novel and unique initiative “Laureates and Leaders for Children” that has brought together several Nobel Laureates and leaders from across the globe to build a sense of urgency, collective responsibility and a strong moral voice to galvanise political will for ensuring the rights and safety of world’s children and young people.  

Mr. Satyarthi’s unrelenting efforts to end child slavery, trafficking, forced labour and violence received international support when he succeeded in getting child protection and welfare-related clauses included in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations back in September 2015.

With the vision of a world where the youth realizes its truest potential as the agent of positive social transformation, he launched the “100 Million for 100 Million Campaign” in December 2016. This campaign is a global intervention to mobilize 100 million youth for shaping a better future for 100 million children who have been denied their rights and liberties. 

Mr. Satyarthi has also raised a demand for a new legally binding UN convention against online child sexual abuse and pornography and is now working with the Heads of States and other influencers like International Organisations, Faith Leaders, Civil Society and Youth Organisations to see it through fruition.

To realize his vision of ending violence against children, he founded Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation to work towards a child-friendly world where all children are free, safe, healthy and educated.

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