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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: https://vimeo.com/183477292

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.”