UAE-based Indian girl wins Children's Peace Prize
December 03, 2016  00:23
A 16-year-old Indian environmental activist based in the UAE has won this year's prestigious International Children's Peace Prize for her fight for climate justice and combating environmental degradation. 

Kehkashan Basu was presented the award by Bangladesh's Nobel peace laureate Mohammad Yunus at a glittering ceremony in The Hague.

Yunus, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for his efforts for economic and social development, underlined the urgency and importance of Kehkashan's work, as more than three million children under the age of five die every year from environment-related diseases and many more suffer deeply from environmental issues.

"It is a great achievement for such a young person to already have such reach and impact with her important message," Yunus said.

"A healthy environment is essential for the survival, wellbeing and development of children, and therefore it is a precondition for the realisation of the rights of the child. Kehkashan teaches us that we all have a responsibility to work towards a sustainable future," he said.

After receiving the prize, Basu said she would "keep campaigning to encourage children and adults to create a more sustainable future".

"I call upon everyone to think of how they can contribute to the preservation of the environment... Time is not on our side -- we have to act now, or we will have polar bears under palm trees," she said.

Image: Kehkashan Basu, 16, receives the International Children's Peace Prize from Nobel Peace Laureate Muhammad Yunus in the Hague, Netherlands, December 2 2016. Photograph: Courtesy KidsRights Foundation
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