Record number of 120 children in contention for International Children’s Peace Prize 2016
International children’s rights activists say young changemakers bring hope in dark days
Amsterdam, 20 September 2016 – International children’s rights NGO The KidsRights Foundation has today set off on the road to the International Children’s Peace Prize 2016. This year a record number of 120 nominated children are in contention for the internationally acclaimed prize, which is awarded annually to a child who has fought courageously to promote children’s rights. International advocate Malala Yousafzai and KidsRights’ founder Marc Dullaert have welcomed the great influx of changemakers, stating that it gives hope in dark days for children’s rights. On 15 November, KidsRights will announce the three finalists. 2016’s winner will be announced on 2 December during an award ceremony held against the backdrop of the renowned Hall of Knights in international city of peace and justice The Hague, the Netherlands.
In 2016, children’s rights are in dire straits across the globe. Millions of child refugees face dangerous and outright appalling situations while travelling through Europe. In Syria and myriad other places in Africa and the Middle East, children suffer from hunger, thirst and other anguishes as a result of conflict and war. Internet bullying has sadly become a daily reality for millions of children worldwide. Under such testing conditions, it is inspiring to see how children and youth in many countries around the world are standing up to resist blatant violations of children’s rights. The record number of 120 nominees in contention for the International Children’s Peace Prize 2016 is proof of the resilience and willpower of our planet’s youngest changemakers.
Marc Dullaert, founder and chair of the KidsRights Foundation, is pleased with the great number of nominees: “In 2016 the plight of many children is arguably worse than ever. However, through the nomination process of the International Children's Peace Prize, we are also witnessing the rise of a record number of young changemakers. I look forward to congratulating the winner in December. But to me, these children are all winners, as is every child or youth in the world who decides to stand up and act to improve children’s rights.”
Global platform for inspiring changemakers
Every year, the message of the new young winner has enormous impact and demonstrates to millions of people globally that change is possible. However, regardless of who will win the prize in December, these contestants are all winners and as such will each receive a certificate as thanks and recognition for their efforts to promote children’s rights. More importantly, as all nominees deserve recognition and an international platform to carry on their respective advocacies and actions, KidsRights has launched an online platform to showcase the inspiring stories of nominees. We invite one and all to visit our website to read more about these brave changemakers and ways to support their tireless work: www.kidsrights.org/nominees. Please also take the time to watch this compilation video:
Malala Yousafzai, who won the prize in 2013 and went on to win the Nobel Peace Prize the very next year, has congratulated the nominees: “I strongly encourage everyone to read the stories of the brave children who are nominated for the International Children's Peace Prize 2016. They are proof that bravery and courage are not dependent on age. They demonstrate that anyone can act against violations of children’s rights and become a changemaker. They give us hope that change can happen.”
End of press release
About the International Children’s Peace Prize
The International Children’s Peace Prize is awarded annually to a child who fights courageously for children’s rights. Every year, the message of the new young winner has enormous impact and demonstrates to millions of people globally that change is possible. In 2016 the prize will be awarded for the 12th consecutive year. Previous winners include Nkosi Johnson, who fought for the rights of children with AIDS, and Malala Yousafzai, who won the International Children’s Peace Prize in 2013. Last year’s winner was Liberian Abraham M. Keita. By winning the award he has gained an international platform which enabled him to spread his powerful message of justice for children who are victims of violence among an audience of hundreds of millions of people worldwide.
The International Children’s Peace Prize was founded by Mr Marc Dullaert, founder and chair of the KidsRights Foundation. It was launched in 2005 during the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates in Rome, chaired by Mikhail Gorbachev. During the nomination process the expert committee of the prize receives nominations from countries all over the world. Very remarkable, but often unknown, brave children have been discovered through the annual nomination process.
Each year the International Children’s Peace Prize is presented by a Nobel Peace Laureate. The winner receives the statuette ‘Nkosi’, which portrays a child setting the world in motion, as well as a study grant and a worldwide platform to promote his or her ideals and causes for the benefit of children’s rights. Furthermore, KidsRights invests the sum of €100,000 in projects in the winner’s home country that are closely connected to his or her area of work.
Please visit the website for more information about the International Children’s Peace Prize: http://www.childrenspeaceprize.org.
About the nomination process
In the spring of 2016, KidsRights received a record number of 120 nominations from 49 countries around the world. Nominees can be nominated by any person or organisation. The top six nominating countries were India (10), Pakistan (9), Colombia (7), Afghanistan, Nigeria (6) and Palestine (5). Former International Children’s Peace Prize winners Chaeli Mycroft and Malala Yousafzai are notable examples of people who have nominated a boy or girl for this year’s Prize. Especially noteworthy in 2016 were the great number of nominations related to the rights of children in refugee camps. Moreover, many of the nominations relate to girls’ rights. Other themes include access to technology, child trafficking, poverty, hunger, children with disabilities and the environment. The selection criteria for the prize can be found here.
About KidsRights Foundation
KidsRights is an international non-governmental organization that promotes the wellbeing of very vulnerable children across the world and advocates the realisation of their rights. KidsRights strives for a world where all children have access to their rights and are enabled to realise the great potential they carry within them. KidsRights sees children as changemakers with the power to move the world, and facilitates in voicing their opinions and taking action in order to bring about change.
KidsRights supports children by commanding global attention for the realisation of children’s rights and acting as a catalyst to ignite change, together with children and youths. We support this with research and action. In order to gain insight into the status of children’s rights, KidsRights frequently conducts research. The foundation also finances local projects aimed at directly improving the rights of vulnerable children and stimulating child participation and change-making by youths. Please visit our website to find out more about KidsRights: http://www.kidsrights.org.
About ABN AMRO
ABN AMRO is a socially responsible company that invests in the future. Our sponsorship and Foundation activities focus on talent under the motto ‘Partner of the Future’. We are committed to discovering, developing and celebrating talent. We support people and organisations aspiring to achieve a goal, sometimes by offering a financial contribution and often by using our expertise and networks. ABN AMRO has been a partner of the Dutch children’s rights organization KidsRights since 2006, working together to enable the International Children's Peace Prize. Children set the world in motion; the International Children's Peace Prize provides them with a platform to make the world a better place. More information: www.abnamro.com/partnervandetoekomst.
Additional information for media (not for publication)
Please address questions or interview requests to KidsRights’ PR officer Jordi Bouman:
Please visit the newsroom for more information about KidsRights and our work: kidsrights.pr.co.
Or visit the online profiles of the nominees: www.kidsrights.org/nominees.