Nobel Peace Prize winner who frees children from slavery to speak at UK

Kailash Satyarthi, the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize winner, will speak at UK on Thursday.
Kailash Satyarthi, the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize winner, will speak at UK on Thursday. University of Kentucky

Kailash Satyarthi left a job as an electrical engineer in India to campaign for an end to child slavery, and in 2014, his efforts were celebrated with the Nobel Peace Prize.

On Thursday, Satyarthi will speak at the University of Kentucky’s Gatton College of Business and Economics about how businesses can create social change, such as children’s education.

The event is free and open to the public; however, UK officials have warned that seating is limited and advanced registration is required. Registration is available on a first-come, first-served basis at

Satyarthi shared his prize with Malala Yousafzai, the young Pakistani education advocate who was shot by the Taliban for going to school. Together, they were recognized “for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education.”

“He has also helped companies identify exploitative practices in their supply chain and eliminate child labor,” Gatton College Dean David Blackwell said. “That relates to the social responsibility that we try to teach here in the Gatton College.”

In 1980, Satyarthi founded the organization Bachpan Bachao Andolan in New Delhi, which has freed thousands of children from slave-like conditions around the world. He has also been active in a wide range of other organizations working against child labor and for children’s rights to education.

“Economic growth and human development need to go hand in hand,” Satyarthi said in his keynote address to the 2014 Jamnalal Bajaj Foundation Award ceremony in India. “Human values need to be advocated vigorously.”

Satyarthi’s visit is being co-sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences. He is the 2016 Chellgren Lecturer, and also will address UK’s 2016 Kalam Conference, an annual gathering of the A.P.J. Kalam India Studies Research Program which examines India’s role in international commerce.

Linda Blackford: 859-231-1359, @lbblackford