News Release

Nobel Prize: * Child Labor * Peace?


Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai were named recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize this morning “for their struggle against oppression of young people and children and children’s right to education,” Thorbjørn Jagland, chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee announced this morning. Nobel Committee’s Geir Lundestad stated in a video highlighted at that: “This is a combination of a human rights and humanitarian work Prize.”

Broad has known Satyarthi for many years. She served on the board of GoodWeave, which Satyarthi founded, until this year. She is professor of international development at American University and has worked extensively on labor rights and child labor. Her books include Development Redefined: How the Market Met Its Match.

Author of The Nobel Peace Prize: What Nobel Really Wanted, Heffermehl said today: “Malala Yousafzai is a courageous, bright and impressive person, education for girls is important and child labor a horrible problem. Worthy causes, but the committee once again makes a false pretense of loyalty to Nobel and confuses and conceals the plan for world peace that Nobel intended to support. If they had wished to be loyal to Nobel they would have stressed that Malala often has spoken out against weapons and military with a fine understanding of how ordinary people suffer from militarism. Young people see this clearer than the grown ups. She even, when she met U.S. President Obama, gave him a stern warning against drone warfare and said it only served to increase hatred and the number of terrorists.

“I do hope that Malala will stick to her early concerns of the problem of militarism. There are signs that her helpers and advisors have turned her away from the delicate issues of militarism and over to the safer issue of education. By moving her away from the Nobel idea of global disarmament she has become more palatable to the Nobel committee.

“Once again the Norwegian awarders have got it wrong. They have a person-focus not an idea-focus. Nobel’s intention was not a prize for nice people doing fine things, but for persons promoting a specific approach to world peace.”

Heffermehl notes that Nobel wanted to reward “the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.” He also used the term “champions of peace.”

See: “Malala Yousafzai tells Obama drones are ‘fueling terrorism’.”