Press kit available here.
March For Our Lives wins International Children’s Peace Prize 2018
Amsterdam, Cape Town, 20 November 2018 – The March for Our Lives initiators, who started the American mass youth movement for safer schools and communities and against gun violence, have won the International Children’s Peace Prize 2018. Today, on Universal Children’s Day, David Hogg, Emma González, Jaclyn Corin and Matt Deitsch, received the prize from Archbishop Desmond Tutu during a special ceremony held in Cape Town, South Africa in the presence of distinguished guests and the world press. The International Children’s Peace Prize is an initiative of the international children’s rights organization KidsRights. The young winner’s message each year reaches millions of people worldwide.
During the ceremony, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who has been the patron of The International Children’s Peace Prize and KidsRights for more than a decade, said that March For Our Lives is one of the most significant youth-led mass movements in living memory. “The peaceful campaign to demand safe schools and communities and the eradication of gun violence is reminiscent of other great peace movements in history. I am in awe of these children, whose powerful message is amplified by their youthful energy and an unshakable belief that children can, no must, improve their own futures. They are true changemakers who have demonstrated most powerfully that children can move the world.”
March For Our Lives
David, Emma, Jaclyn and Matt co-initiated March For Our Lives alongside more than 20 other students, after their school was the scene of a mass shooting in Parkland, Florida this past February, with 17 fatal casualties. Personally affected by the tragedy, they responded by organizing the March For Our Lives event in the spring of 2018 to demand safer schools and communities and to protest gun violence. Hundreds of thousands participated in the rally and more than 800 sister marches took place that same day across the US and beyond. For David, Emma, Jaclyn and Matt, this was only the beginning. In the summer of 2018 the group took to the road, visiting 80 communities in 24 states leading discussions and advocating for the creation of safer communities. They lobbied, held town hall rallies, and motivated thousands of young people to register to vote. The March For Our Lives movement has continued to be highly vocal and very successful. Since its advent, over 25 US states have passed more than 50 pieces of legislation in line with their cause.
Please use the following link to view a short documentary about March For Our Lives: link
A call on the international community to halt violence in schools
Marc Dullaert, founder of KidsRights and the International Children’s Peace Prize, said that out of the extremely impressive group of nominees, March For Lives was this year’s most deserved winner, if only due to the sheer size of the movement that it inspired in 2018: “March For Our Lives has transformed a local community protest into a truly global youth-led and peaceful protest movement. The initiators have utilized the skills and knowledge of young people to generate positive change, whilst mobilizing millions of their peers, controlling the public narrative on the issues that matter to them, and making people in power listen. This will shape the way in which children’s rights are campaigned in the future.”
During the ceremony today, Mr. Dullaert called upon the international community to halt the surge in school violence witnessed internationally. “Schools must be protected as safe havens for children. KidsRights calls upon the international community to halt this issue and to prevent schools from becoming battlegrounds.”
Additional information and press accreditation (not for publication)
Additional background documents and information are available in KidsRights’ dedicated online newsroom: kidsrights.pr.co.
The ceremony will be broadcast via an online live feed: link
After the award ceremony HD video package will be made available comprising footage of the day’s highlights, the acceptance speech of the co-initiators of March For Our Lives, a short documentary about the movement, and information about KidsRights, among other things. The materials can be accessed here: link
Interview requests and other questions
Please address any interview requests to KidsRights’ media relations officer Diane van Hesteren:
M: +31 (0)6 50129811
T: +31 (0)20 3455088
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 2018 the prize will be awarded for the 14th consecutive year. Previous winners include Nkosi Johnson, who fought for the rights of children with hiv/aids, and Malala Yousafzai, who won the International Children’s Peace Prize in 2013. Last year’s winner was Mohamad Al Jounde from Syria, who was lauded for his tireless efforts to ensure the rights of Syrian refugee children. By winning the award he has gained an international platform which enables him to spread his powerful message 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.
Every 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 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 KidsRights Report 2018: Not a battleground – school shootings and the right to a safe and protective environment
In honour of the International Children’s Peace Prize 2018, KidsRights has written the report Not a Battleground: School Shootings and the Right to a Safe and Protective Environment. Schools must be a safe haven for children, and too often they are not. Children around the world are exposed to all kinds of violence at school, from bullying and peer violence, to attacks from armed militia. However, children living in conflict zones are not the only ones with reason to feel unsafe at school. School shootings have become disturbingly commonplace even in communities far removed from war. In the report, KidsRights calls for data collection at the national level, as well as research and funding to develop interventions to prevent violence in schools. The world needs to listen to children and young people, to respect their right to safety and to identify the way back to peace in schools.
About the KidsRights Foundation
KidsRights is an international non-governmental organization that promotes the wellbeing of very vulnerable children across the world and advocates the realization of their rights. KidsRights strives for a world where all children have access to their rights and are enabled to realize 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 realization 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 directly at 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: 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.