Mandela, Machel for children’s rights prize
STOCKHOLM: Nelson Mandela and his wife Graça Machel were yesterday named winners of a children’s rights prize in a vote involving over 7 million children worldwide.
“We are extremely honoured to have been voted as the Decade Child Rights Heroes,” Mandela and Machel said in a statement.
“For both of us this award is very, very special given the place children occupy in our hearts and lives,” they added.
Mandela and Machel were selected among 13 former winners of the World’s Children’s Prize, organisers said.
The prize was worth a total of 1.1 million krona (R1.2m) of which Mandela and Machel were to receive 500 000 krona. The other 12 nominees were to share the rest of the prize sum.
The award ceremony was set for April 26 in Stockholm, Sweden next year.
The announcement was made in conjunction with the 20th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Mandela was cited for his “lifelong struggle to free the children of South Africa from apartheid, and for his unwavering support for their rights”.
Machel was lauded for her work for vulnerable children, not least in her native Mozambique and has championed the right for girls to go to school.
Patrons of the World’s Children’s Prize include Queen Silvia of Sweden, Mandela, East Timor President Xanana Gusmao, Carol Bellamy the former head of Unicef, and Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz.
The award was established in 2000 by the Swedish non-governmental organisation, Children’s World.
For mer winners include Betty Makoni of Zimbabwe and Somaly Mam of Cambodia. – Sapa-DPA