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Today it was revealed that Manuel Rodrigues, a blind child rights activist from Guinea-Bissau, has been selected by children around the world to receive child rights award the World’s Children’s Prize (WCP), often called the ‘Children’s Nobel Prize’ by the global media. Manuel was honoured in recognition of his work for children with disabilities who face being kept hidden or abandoned to die. Millions of children participated in the Global Vote, the culmination of the World’s Children’s Prize-program, the world’s largest annual educational initiative for children on rights and democracy.
Two other child rights activists, 90-year-old Rosi Gollmann from Germany and Molly Melching from the USA and Senegal, are also being honoured today: Rosi Gollmann’s work includes rescuing tens of thousands of girls in India from being killed at birth, and Molly Melching has led pioneering initiatives to tackle female genital cutting and child marriage in West Africa. Both will receive the World’s Children’s Honorary Award. 26 April 2016
26 April 2016Blind Child Rights Hero honoured by millions of children for his work
Prize laureates honoured in Sweden
All three nominees for the award were honoured at a ceremony today at Gripsholm Castle, Mariefred, Sweden, where children from 15 countries were assisted by H.M. Queen Silvia of Sweden in presenting the prizes. The prize money, totalling SEK 700,000, is split between this year’s child rights hero (SEK 350,000) and the two honorary award laureates (SEK 175,000 each) and is to go towards the prize laureates’ work with children.
Empowering vulnerable children
The majority of the millions of children who participate in the program live in countries affected by poverty and conflict, such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Pakistan and Zimbabwe. Through the WCP program they have learned that they have rights and been able to make their voices heard, many for the first time. Since the year 2000, 40,6 million children participated in the program. The WCP is supported by almost 70,000 schools in 115 countries, and by over 750 organisations, institutions and departments of education. Since the launch of the program, half a million teachers have been trained to teach on child rights and democracy in their schools.