WASHINGTON, December 8, 2015 – Nobel Peace laureate and longtime children’s rights activist, Kailash Satyarthi, will deliver the closing plenary address at the NAFSA: Association of International Educators 2016 Annual Conference and Expo. Satyarthi is currently the global chair of the Kailash Satyarthi Children's Foundation. He was jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 in recognition of his ongoing advocacy to eliminate child labor and expand access to education for all children.
“One of the main goals of international education, to create a more peaceful world through educational diplomacy, can never be achieved without first ensuring that the worlds' young people are given an opportunity to learn,” said Marlene M. Johnson, NAFSA Executive Director & CEO. “By working to remove Indian children from sweatshops and slavery and giving them an access to education, Satyarthi has set them, and us, on a path toward a better world.”
Satyarthi has been described as India’s modern day Mahatma Gandhi for his peaceful struggle to stop the exploitation of children. The Kailash Satyarthi Children's Foundation was established to take the thirty-five years of Mr. Satyarthi’s work in the field from rescuing and rehabilitating children to prioritizing children in national and international policy to building public and corporate awareness and scaling it from the grassroots to a global level.
A former electrical engineer and college lecturer, Satyarthi started campaigning against child labor abuses in India in the 1980s. Since then, through the efforts of his grassroots organization Bachpan Bachao Andolan (Save the Childhood Movement), he has helped free over 80,000 children in India from forced labor, trafficking and slavery. His activism was key in the adoption of Convention No. 182 by the International Labour Organization in 1999, which continues to serve as a guideline for governments on the issue of child labor. In 2015, Satyarthi became the first Indian to receive the “Humanitarian of The Year” award by the Harvard Foundation. Kailash Satyarthi will address the NAFSA conference on June 3, 2016 in Denver. Learn more about the complete schedule of plenary speakers at www.nafsa.org/ac16plenaries.