For more than 35 years, Kailash Satyarthi has fought for children’s rights in his native India and around the world. Satyarthi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 in recognition of his ongoing efforts to eliminate child labor and for the right of all children to an education.
Satyarthi is currently the global chair of the Kailash Satyarthi Children's Foundation, whose vision is a world where every child has the fundamental right to enjoy their childhood, live freely, be healthy, and receive a quality education. It was established to take the 35 years of 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 with his nonprofit organization Bachpan Bachao Andolan, or Save the Childhood Movement. Through his efforts, often at great risk to his own life, Satyarthi has helped free more than 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. This statute 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. He also served as the president of the Global Campaign for Education, from its inception in 1999 to 2011.
Plenary Excerpt from NAFSA 2016
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