20 October 2009, New Delhi: Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA) will present the 2009 Defender of Democracy Award to Mr. Kailash Satyarthi from India who is the Chairperson of the Global March Against Child Labour and Founder of Bachpan Bachao Andolan.
The awards ceremony will take place in the evening of October 20, 2009 at the United States Library of Congress in Washington D.C. in conjunction with PGA’s 31st Annual Parliamentary Forum which is being hosted at the US Congress by PGA’s International Councilor, Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and its congressional members, Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Washington), Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-New York) among others.
Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA) is a non-profit, non-partisan international network of over 1,300 legislators in more than 100 elected parliaments around the globe. It aims to promote peace, democracy, the rule of law, human rights, sustainable development and population growth issues. PGA is honouring Mr. Satyarthi for his life-long work and commitment to end child labour in India and around the world, and his global campaign for education rights for children.
Mr. Satyarthi gave up his lucrative career of technical engineer to work for child rights. For nearly three decades, Mr. Satyarthi has campaigned courageously to end child labour in his own country and around the world, rescuing more than 77,000 bonded and child labourers. He traveled with many child core marchers for 80,000 kilometers for the 'global march against child labour'. The global march culminated in Geneva where the United Nations created an international law against child labour and the worst forms of child labour, ILO Convention 182. He is the Founder of Bachpan Bachao Andolan and Chair of Global March Against Child abour, and the creator of the Rugmark label; the universally recognized symbol that certifies that rugs have been made without the use of exploitative child labour. Since 2001 Mr Satyarthi, who is also president of the Global Campaign for Education, has been leading an effort for education for children by 2015. Mr Satyarthi also launched the Global March’s World Cup Campaign, convincing the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) to agree to the elimination of child labour in the manufacture of soccer balls.
Since 1996, PGA has held the Defender of Democracy Awards in conjunction with its Annual Parliamentary Forum. The Defender of Democracy Award is presented to individuals who, through their own commitment and active engagement, have made significant progress in strengthening democracy and democratic practices. Some past recipients include H.E. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia, Ms. Mary Robinson, former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and Mr. Lakhdar Brahimi, former Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Afghanistan.