LONDON: Pakistani schoolgirl and education rights campaigner Malala Yousafzai and American singer, human rights and social justice activist Harry Belafonte were today jointly announced as the recipients of Amnesty International’s Ambassador of Conscience Award for 2013.
The Award will be presented at a ceremony on Tuesday evening at the Mansion House, Dublin, Ireland.
The Ambassador of Conscience Award is Amnesty International’s highest honour, recognizing individuals who have promoted and enhanced the cause of human rights through their life and by example.
“Our two new Ambassadors of Conscience are different from each other in many ways, but they share a dedication to the fight for human rights everywhere and for all,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.
“Harry and Malala are truly Ambassadors of Conscience, speaking up for universal rights, justice and human dignity and inspiring others to follow their example.”
Malala Yousafzai, 16, is an advocate for equal access to education. Her 2009 diary for the BBC detailed her frustrations with the Taliban’s edict to shut down all girls’ schools in her native Pakistan. In 2012 she was shot and severely wounded in an attack claimed by the Pakistani Taliban.
Malala will be presented with the Award by Bono accompanied by Azar Nafisi, author of ‘Reading Lolita in Tehran’.
On receiving the accolade Malala Yousafzai said: “I am truly honoured to receive this award and would like to take the opportunity to remind everyone that there are many millions of children like me across the world who fight every single day for their right to go to school. I hope that by working together we will one day realise our dream of education for every child, in every corner of the world.”