BORN: Jan. 11, 1954, in Vidisha, India.
EARLY YEARS: As a boy, Satyarthi was moved by other children who had to work, and whose parents were too poor to send them to school. He started a football club with membership fees paying the school fees of needy children. He and a friend collected donations of 2,000 schoolbooks in a single day, a project that eventually became a book bank in his town.
FIGHTING CHILD LABOR IN INDIA: Satyarthi has helped free children from slave-labor conditions and advocated for reforms, as director of the South Asia Coalition on Child Servitude and leader of Bachpan Bachao Andolan. In 1994, he founded a group now known as Goodweave, which certifies child-labor-free rugs and provides assistance to rescued and at-risk children.
GLOBAL MARCH AGAINST CHILD LABOR: In 1998, Satyarthi was chairman of a global march against child labor that wound through more than 60 countries around the world. Children rescued from jobs in Asia, Africa and Latin America were among more than 1,000 people who ended the march in Geneva, at a conference of the International Labor Organization. A year later, the ILO approved an accord designed to protect children from jobs that expose them to danger or exploitation.
AWARDS: Many, including the Aachen Peace Prize (1994), the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award (1995), Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Human Rights Award (1999), and Parliamentarians for Global Action's Defender of Democracy Award (2009).
FAMILY: Married with two children.
QUOTES: "I strongly feel that this is a big honor to hundreds of millions of the children who have been deprived of their childhood and freedom and education. So it's a big challenge and this will help in our fight against child labor and child slavery globally and particularly in my own country. And I am very proud to be an Indian, a son of the soil where Mahatma Gandhi and Buddha were born and they were always the great inspiration for me, in my life."
"Child slavery is a crime against humanity. Humanity itself is at stake here. A lot of work still remains but I will see the end of child labor in my lifetime."
Sources: Satyarthi's website (www.kailashsatyarthi.net ) and The Associated Press.