Our Founder

Mr. Kailash Satyarthi is one of the tallest leaders and the loudest voice in the global fight against exploitation of children. Not caring much about the life-threatening attacks that he has survived, Mr Satyarthi has personally rescued tens of thousands of children from the scourge of slavery. His fearlessness and unrelenting policy advocacy efforts towards elimination of violence against children have resulted in path-breaking legislations globally.
He left a lucrative career as an electrical engineer and started Bachpan Bachao Andolan (Save the Childhood Movement) to rescue children and their families from the shackles of slavery, paving the way for their reintegration into mainstream society with the help of state actors under India’s legal policy framework. Through his sustained policy advocacy efforts in India, Mr. Satyarthi played a pivotal role in mobilising support and ensuring the passage of the Child Labour Act in 1986, followed by its amendment in 2016. Under the aegis of Mr. Satyarthi, Bachpan Bachao Andolan has rescued over 90,000 children from the scourge of bondage, trafficking and exploitative labour over the last four decades.
In the wake of the brutal December 2012 gang-rape and murder of a 23-year-old paramedic student in Delhi, Mr. Satyarthi played a pivotal role in steering Indian civil society with the conspicuous demand for amendments to Indian criminal law to counter rape and gender-based violence that eventually led to the promulgation of the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013.
Mr. Satyarthi is renowned for the inclusion of child exploitation on the global socio-political agenda. In 1998, he conceived and led one of the largest civil society movements, the Global March Against Child Labour, traversing across 103 countries and covering 80,000 kms with the demand for an International Law on Worst Forms of Child Labour. This eventually led to the adoption of the ILO Convention No. 182 on the worst forms of child labour, which was formally acclaimed in 1999 and went on to become the fastest-ratified convention in ILO’s history.
Mr. Satyarthi is also the architect and leader of the Global Campaign for Education (GCE), a civil society movement working to end the global education crisis and ensuring that States deliver the right to everyone to free and quality public education. He successfully spearheaded a countrywide movement to make education a constitutional provision, which subsequently paved the way for the Right of Children for Free and Compulsory Education in 2009 in India.
He is credited for the first ever civil society-business coalition by establishing Rugwmark (now known as Good Weave) in 1994, which was a first of its kind certification and social labeling mechanism for child labour-free carpets in South Asia. Since then, he has been instrumental in promoting CSR initiatives in garment, mica mining, cocoa farming, the sporting goods sector among others.
My. Satyarthi’s contribution in the right against child slavery and bonded labour for close to four decades has been acknowledged internationally. He is the recipient of several prestigious awards, including Defenders of Democracy Award (2009, US), Alfonso Comin International Award (2008, Spain) and the Medal of the Italian Senate (2007, Italy), the Robert F Kennedy International Human Rights Award (US), the Aachener International Peace Prize (Germany), the Fredric Ebert International Human Rights Award (Germany) etc.
As one of the rare civil society leaders, Mr. Satyarthi has addressed the United Nations’ General Assembly, International Labour Conference, UN Human Rights Commission, UNESCO and several parliamentary hearings and committees in the US, Germany, the UK, Italy, Brazil, Panama, Nepal, Spain and Chile to name a few.

In 2014, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for the “struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education”.

Mr. Satyarthi’s sustained efforts to end child slavery, trafficking, forced labour and violence received international support when he succeeded in getting child protection and welfare-related clauses included in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations in September 2015.
Mr. Satyarthi is the Founder of Parliamentarians without Borders – a Movement that unites legislators across the globe in an endeavour to end violence against children. The first ever moral platform – Laureates and Leaders – which is the strongest podium for the cause of children across the globe, was Mr. Satyarthi’s brainchild.

Mr. Satyarthi envisions a world where the youth realises its truest potential as the agent of positive social transformation. With this aim in mind, he launched the 100 Million for 100 Million Campaign in December 2016. It is a global intervention to mobilise 100 million youth for shaping a better future for 100 million children who have been denied their rights and liberties.

In 2017, raising a clarion call against child sexual abuse, Mr. Satyarthi led the 12,000-km Bharat Yatra (from Kashmir to Kanya Kumari), taking along child abuse survivors, civil society organisations, politicians across party lines, bureaucrats, celebrities and faith leaders to put the national spotlight on this pressing issue.
To achieve his vision of a world free of violence against children – where all children are free, safe, healthy and educated, Mr. Satyarthi founded the Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation. The Foundation’s raison d’être is to advocate the creation and implementation of child-friendly policies, ensuring holistic development and empowerment of children across the globe.

Accolades

The life and work of Kailash Satyarthi has been the subject of a number of films, documentaries, television series, talk shows, advocacy and awareness films, magazines and news items of all leading print and electronic media worldwide. Mr. Satyarthi’s contribution has been recognized through several prestigious national and international awards. Some of these include:
  • Wockhardt Foundation, Lifetime Achievement Award (2019)
  • Santokhba Humanitarian Award 2018
  • Honoris Causa in Science, Amity University (2018- India)
  • Doctor Honoris Causa 2017, EL Rector Magnífico de la Universidad Pablo de Olavide
  • Guinness World Record 2017 for Largest Child Safe Guarding Lesson
  • Doctor of Law (LLD), West Bengal University of Juridical Sciences (2016-India)
  • Doctor of Humane Letters, Lynchburg College (2016-USA)
  • Member-Fellow, Australian Institute of Management (2016)
  • Harvard Humanitarian Award (2015-USA)
  • Nobel Peace Prize 2014
  • Defenders of Democracy Award (2009-USA)
  • Alfonso Comin International Award (2008-Spain)
  • Medal of the Italian Senate (2007-Italy)
  • Heroes Acting to End Modern Day Slavery by US State Department (2007-USA)
  • Freedom Award (2006-USA)
  • In October 2002, Satyarthi was awarded the Wallenberg Medal from the University of Michigan in recognition of his courageous humanitarian work against the exploitation of child labor.
  • Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Award (1999-Germany)
  • La Hospitalet Award (1999-Spain)
  • De Gouden Wimpel Award (1998-Netherlands)
  • Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award (1995-USA)
  • The Trumpeter Award (1995-USA)
  • The Aachener International Peace Award (1994-Germany)
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