Global March

Harkin Statement on Senate Passage of Resolution to Honor Child Labor and Education Activists

DECEMBER 17, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today released the following statement on the passage of his U.S. Senate resolution to honor Nobel Peace Prize Laureates Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai. The resolution is Harkin’s final legislative effort of his career and was the last item passed by the U.S. Senate in the 113th Congress. Harkin is a longtime champion for ending the scourge of child labor around the world and ensuring the right of children to an education. Harkin first nominated Mr. Satyarthi for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005 for his work in India and internationally to eradicate the worst forms of child labor.      

“I am pleased that the Senate has recognized these two amazing advocates for the rights of children,” said Harkin. “Their efforts have not only saved thousands of childhoods, but have also inspired countless others to take action in this critical fight. I hope that this leads to new emphasis from governments, civil society organizations, and all individuals on eliminating child labor and promoting education for children around the world.”

The text of the resolution is below.

Whereas, on October 10, 2014, the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize to Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai;

Whereas the International Labour Organization estimates that, worldwide, 168,000,000 children are exploited financially, with 85,000,000 children working in very hazardous environments and deprived of an education;

Whereas the United Nations Children’s Fund estimates that 101,000,000 children  are not in school;

Whereas Kailash Satyarthi and his organization, Bachpan Bachao Andolan, have rescued more than 82,000 children from the worst forms of child labor;

Whereas Malala Yousafzai has promoted education for girls in Pakistan since she was 11 years old and is an advocate for worldwide access to education;

Whereas Kailash Satyarthi has endured threats on his life as a result of such rescue efforts; and

Whereas the Taliban attempted to kill Malala Yousafzai on October 9, 2012, as a result of her efforts to encourage more girls to attend school: Now, therefore, be it resolved

That the Senate -

(1) recognizes Nobel Laureates Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai as symbols of peace and advocates for ending the financial exploitation of children and for the opportunity of all children to have access to education;

(2) commends all individuals working around the world to end the scourge of child slavery and to advance education for all children;

(3) recognizes the challenges that remain in ending the financial exploitation of children and providing access to an education for all children;

(4) urges all governments, civil society organizations, businesses, and individuals to unite in the common purpose of protecting children from losing their childhoods as well as   their futures; and

(5) recognizes the dedication and commitment to freedom, the rights of children, and the endurance of the human spirit, demonstrated by all individuals who make sacrifices to build a more peaceful world.



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