EU leaders congratulate Satyarthi and Malala

The European Union leaders have congratulated Indian child rights activist Kailash Satyarthi and Pakistani girls' education campaigner Malala Yousafzai on winning this year's Nobel Peace Prize.

PTI| Last Updated: Oct 11, 2014, 12:33 PM IST

Berlin: The European Union leaders have congratulated Indian child rights activist Kailash Satyarthi and Pakistani girls' education campaigner Malala Yousafzai on winning this year's Nobel Peace Prize.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and European Council President Hermann Van Rompuy spoke of the Nobel committee's decision as a "tribute to the indisputable right to education for all children, equal rights for women and the campaign against their oppression."

The EU is delighted that Satyarthi, who staunchly campaigns for children's rights across the globe, is sharing the Nobel Peace Prize with the Pakistani girl, who "courageously stood up for her rights and paid a high price for something, which is taken for granted in our countries," they said in a joint statement.

The awarding of Nobel Peace Prize to Satyarthi and Malala is a victory for millions of children around the world who are denied the right to education, the statement said.

German President Joachim Gauck eulogised the two Nobel laureates as examples for the whole world.

"With your engagement against child labour and oppression of children, you have awakened not only South Asia, but also many people in Europe and also in Germany," Gauck said in a message to Satyarthi.

"You made us to think over and also encouraged many people to take seriously their responsibility as consumers," he said.

"With your campaign against child labour and for children's rights for education, you have set a worldwide example as you remind us to engage ourselves more for the weakest in the society and not to forget them," Gauck said.

Gauck, who was an Evangelical pastor and civil rights activist in former East Germany, praised Malala's engagement for girls' education.

"With your courage to campaign for the right of girls for education, even risking your own life, you have set a global example for children and young people longing for education and for more fairness in opportunities as well as for those people fighting for that," the president said in his message to Malala.

Chancellor Angela Merkel hailed the Norwegian Nobel Committee's decision and said "today is a good day for children around the world."

Satyarthi and Malala have given a voice to children longing for the right for education and for protection against child labour and other forms of exploitation, Merkel told a news conference in Berlin on Friday.