Updated 2:47 p.m. Moscow Time
STOCKHOLM, October 10 (RIA Novosti) – The 2014 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded jointly to Indian activist Kailash Satyarthi and Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzay "for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education," the award committee said Friday.
“Showing great personal courage, Kailash Satyarthi, maintaining Gandhi’s tradition, has headed various forms of protests and demonstrations, all peaceful, focusing on the grave exploitation of children for financial gain. He has also contributed to the development of important international conventions on children’s rights,” the committee said in a statement.
“Despite her youth, Malala Yousafzay has already fought for several years for the right of girls to education, and has shown by example that children and young people, too, can contribute to improving their own situations. This she has done under the most dangerous circumstances,” the statement reads. “Through her heroic struggle she has become a leading spokesperson for girls’ rights to education.
According to the Nobel Committee, through her heroic struggle, 17-year-old Yousafzai "has become a leading spokesperson for girls' rights to education".
Norway's Prime Minister Erna Solberg was the first world leader to post her congratulations online.
"Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai for their important work to secure education for children. Congrats!" Solberg wrote on Twitter Friday.
At the age of 12, Yousafzai started writing about her life in a BBC blog, describing horrifying living conditions under the rule of Taliban forces, known for their brutal treatment of women. After seizing control of much of Pakistan in 2009, the Taliban launched a campaign against female education, closing numerous schools and prohibiting girls from taking part in educational activities.
Two years ago Malala was shot in the head by the Taliban on her way home from school. The activist survived the attack and continued with her fight for human rights, bringing the issue of education for girls into the global spotlight.
Yousafzai has become the youngest Nobel Prize winner, bypassing Australian-born British scientist Lawrence Bragg, who received the Physics Prize at the age of 25.
Kailash Satyarthi, 60, is an Indian children's right advocate.
He has been active in the Indian movement against child labor since the 1990s and in 1998 initiated an annual global march against the practice.
Satyarthi's organization, Bachpan Bachao Andolan, or Save Childhood Movement, has freed over 80,000 children from various forms of servitude.
The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded in Oslo, Norway, early on Friday, which is the anniversary of prize founder Alfred Nobel's death in 1896. The next award, the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, will be announced on October 13.