In the presence of the world press in The Hague, the Netherlands, Abraham M. Keita received the Prize from Nobel Laureate Leymah Gbowee, who in 2011 was the first Liberian to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for her non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in Liberia’s peace-building process.
Gbowee said, “It is a great honor to award the Prize. It is very special and inspiring that Keita, already at such a young age, demands that perpetrators and would be perpetrators be held accountable. I recognize in him a true change maker–fighting to end the extreme violence against children!”
In September, Keita was nominated by Nobel Peace Laureate Desmond Tutu, Patron of KidsRights and the International Children’s Peace Prize, together with Aziza Rahim Zada from Afghanistan and Jeanesha Bou from Puerto Rico. Keita’s tireless work as a campaigner, bringing attention to crimes against children and campaigning until the perpetrators are locked away, stood out and convinced the jury. He also played a leading role in the Liberian Children’s Parliament where he successfully lobbied the Liberian Parliament to adopt the Children’s Law to protect children’s rights.
The KidsRights Youngsters, the group of winners of the International Children’s Peace Prize, which includes Nobel Peace Laureate Malala Yousafzai, congratulated Keita wholeheartedly: “We are happy to welcome Abraham to the Youngsters. Together we will continue the fight to improve children’s rights and advocate for an immediate end to violence against children.”
Upon receiving the Prize yesterday, Keita confirmed that their work will continue: “Together with my peers and I have successfully lobbied for children’s rights laws, but they now need to be put into practice. Children worldwide are still exposed to violence and injustice while thugs often go unpunished. I want people across the globe to acknowledge that this is unacceptable and that every world citizen, whether young or old, can be an agent of change.”
The International Children’s Peace Prize is an initiative of KidsRights, the foundation committed to defending children’s rights worldwide. The award ceremony is held annually in The Hague, the Netherlands, the international city of peace and justice.
KidsRights Report 2015 – The Silent Majority: Justice for child victims of violence
To celebrate the 11th Anniversary of the International Children’s Peace Prize, the KidsRights Foundation in association with Leiden University Law School has published the report The Silent Majority: Justice for child victims of violence. The comprehensive report focuses on the rights of children as victims of violence, and how justice can be achieved to offer these children opportunities to recover and reintegrate into society, and to prevent violence against children in the future. The report can be found on KidsRights.org.