Recently, I watched a documentary about the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Kailash Satyarthi, from India. He shared the Nobel Prize money worth USD 1.1 million with Pakistan's Malala Yousufzai, only 17 years old. While we have seen a lot in the news about this amazing young lady, Malala Yousufzai, I had never heard of Kailash Satyarthi.
Kailash Satyarthi is an Indian children's rights advocate and an activist against child labor. He founded the Bachpan Bachao Andolan in 1980 and has acted to protect the rights of more than 83,000 children from 144 countries. He also founded Bal Ashram in 1998, in Rajasthan, India, which is a transition center where newly-freed slaves are taught basic skills (www.balashram.in/home.html).
Companies that have child slave labor, he said, include carpet makers, diamond miners and even firms that make footballs. He has endured death threats and attempts at incarceration, and two of his colleagues were even murdered. But he continues with his campaign because, as he said, "Somebody has to accept the challenge whatever dangers are there."
In one clip, Mr. Satyarthi was surrounded by many children he had freed. One little boy looked up and told him, "I am just a slave." Mr. Satyarthi looked at the little boy and reminded him several times, "You are not a slave." Many parents feel they have no other choice but to sell their children or send them off to slave labor because of their dire situations.
Despite his best efforts, he said, "It has only become worse." India still has millions of child laborers; official estimates make the number at 5 million. Mr. Satyarthi says it is as high as 60 million.
Child slave labor does not only exist in India, as I personally witnessed it when I travelled to Guatemala several years ago. I still remember one little boy about 12 showing his little brother, who was about 8, how to shine shoes for a living.
As I am writing this article the news hit, Dec. 16, 2014, that an assault led by the Taliban on a Pakistan military-run school left 141 people dead, 132 of whom were children. Officials said it is the worst attack to hit the country in years. The Taliban are claiming revenge against the Pakistani schoolgirl activist Malala Yousafzai, who shared the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize with Kailash Satyarthi.
Ms. Yousafzai became famous when she was shot in the head by militants in 2012 and almost lost her life for encouraging children, girls and women to go to school. You can read more about this amazing young lady at www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-23241937.
While these two Noble Peace Prize winners are bravely trying to fix the problem, they can't fix it alone in a world ruled by evil. More than the evils of slavery and oppression, this world is controlled by Satan, as the news reports prove! After all, who can murder children or enslave them to hard labor except those inspired by such profound evil? Even so, people like Mr. Satyarthi and Ms. Yousafzai, along with the efforts of people like ourselves, must not give up helping as much as possible to make a difference.
However, we know there is only One who can fix it all! That hope is in Revelation 19:16. Jesus Christ will intervene in our crazed world and carry the title "King of Kings and Lord of Lords." Things will not get worse on His watch. So the last ultimate Nobel Peace Prize goes to Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace! He will make a lasting difference! Isaiah wrote a beautiful prophecy about His reign of peace: "They will neither harm nor destroy on my entire holy mountain, for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea" (Isaiah 11:9). For the sake of mankind and the children, may that time come soon!