Kailash Satyarthi (born 11 January 1954) is an Indian social reformer who campaigned against child labour in India and advocated the universal right to education. In 2014, he was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, along with Malala Yousafzai, “for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education.” He is the founder of multiple social activist organizations, including Bachpan Bachao Andolan, Global March Against Child Labour, Global Campaign for Education and Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation.
Kailash Satyarthi and his team at Bachpan Bachao Andolan have liberated more than 90,000 children in India from child labour, slavery and trafficking. In 1998, Satyarthi conceived and led the Global March against Child Labour, an 80,000 km (ca. 49,710 mi)-long march across 103 countries to put forth a global demand against worst forms of child labour. This became one of the largest social movements ever on behalf of exploited children. The demands of the marchers, which included children and youth (particularly the survivors of trafficking for forced labour, exploitation, sexual abuse, illegal organ transplants, armed conflict, etc.) were reflected in the draft of the ILO Convention 182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labour. The following year, the Convention was unanimously adopted at the ILO Conference in Geneva.
He has served on the board and committee of several international organisations including the Center for Victims of Torture (USA), the International Labor Rights Fund (USA), and the Cocoa Initiative. Satyarthi was among Fortune magazine’s “World’s Greatest Leaders” in 2015 and featured in LinkedIn’s Power Profiles List in 2017 and 2018. Satyarthi led a nationwide march, Bharat Yatra, in India covering 19,000 km (12,000 mi) in 35 days, to demand for legislation against child rape, child sexual abuse and trafficking.