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Friday 18 August 2017

Malala is youngest Nobel prize winner

Taliban attack survivor Malala Yousafzai became the youngest Nobel winner ever as she and Kailash Satyarthi of India won the Nobel Peace Prize for working to protect children from slavery, extremism and child labour, at great risk to their own lives.

By honoring a 17-year-old Muslim girl from Pakistan and a 60-year-old Hindu man from India, the Norwegian Nobel Committee linked the peace award to conflicts between world religions and neighboring nuclear powers as well as drawing attention to children's rights.

"Child slavery is a crime against humanity. Humanity itself is at stake here. A lot of work still remains but I will see the end of child labour in my lifetime," Satyarthi told erporters at his office in New Delhi.

Since 1980, Satyarthi has been at the forefront of a global movement to end child slavery and exploitative child labour, which he called a "blot on humanity".

News of the award set off celebrations on the streets of Mingora, Malala's hometown in Pakistan's Swat Valley, with residents greeting each other and distributing sweets.

At the town's Khushal Public School, which is owned by Malala's father, students danced in celebration.

When she was a student there, Malala (inset) was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman two years ago for insisting that girls as well as boys have the right to an education. Surviving several operation, she continued both her activism and her studies.

Appropriately, Malala was at school in Birmingham when the prize was announced and remained with her classmates at the Edgbaston High School for girls. Yousafzai, said the decision will further the rights of girls.

hnews@herald.ie

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