Nobel Peace Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi has been conferred with Harvard University’s prestigious humanitarian award for this year, in recognition of his continuing contribution to the cause of child rights.
The annual award by the prestigious university is given to an individual whose works and deeds have served to improve the quality of lives and have inspired us to greater heights. Satyarthi is the first Indian to have been given this award.
The university said the ‘Harvard Humanitarian of the Year’ has been awarded to Satyarthi for his contributions in the field of child rights and abolition of child slavery. Satyarthi recently succeeded in getting child protection and welfare-related clauses included in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations, which aim to end slavery, trafficking, forced labour and violence.
“I humbly accept the award on behalf of millions of left out children, for whose rights we strive to work for. Let us all pledge together to eradicate child slavery from the world,” the social activist said in his acceptance speech yesterday.
“Even developed countries, including the Unites States, have hundreds of slaves who are forced into labour, pushed into sex trade or trafficked into domestic labour. Undocumented immigrants, people in the margins of the society are pulled into a circuit of slavery,” he said.
In the past, this award has been conferred upon luminaries such as Martin Luther King Sr, Secretaries-General of the United Nations: Kofi Annan, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Javier Perez de Cuellar, and Ban Ki-moon; Nobel laureates: Jose Ramos-Horta, Bishop Desmond Tutu, John Hume, and Elie Wiesel; Ethel Kennedy, R C Gorman, artist and Thorbjorn Jagland, head of the Nobel Peace Prize committee, to name a few.