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11 million children award outstanding contributions to the rights of the child
Detail: 11 million students at 20,000 schools in 82 countries participate in the World’s Children’s Prize for the Rights of the Child (WCPRC), an initiative that empowers children and young people all over the world so that they can make their voices heard and demand respect for their rights in accordance with the UN Child Convention. An international child jury – consisting of children who are experts on the rights of the child through their own experiences as soldiers, refugees, street children or slaves in brothels or on farms – chooses the recipient of the World’s Children’s Prize for outstanding contributions to the rights of the child. Over 300 organizations all over the world support the WCPRC, which also collaborates with many Departments of Education and youth media projects worldwide.

WCPRC attracts several high profile patrons such as Queen Silvia of Sweden, Nelson Mandela, President Xanana Gusmão of East Timor, former Executive Director of Unicef Carol Bellamy, former UN Under-Secretary-General Olara Otunnu, and Nobel Prize Winner in Economics Joseph Stiglitz.

The prize money, SEK 1 million (USD 140,000), is to be used in the recipients’ work for the rights of the child and will help some of the world's most vulnerable children. The WCPRC was founded by the Swedish organization Children’s World, and is a Swedish National Millennium Project. This year’s prize ceremony will be held on 16 April at Gripsholm Castle in Mariefred, where HM Queen Silvia will help the children to give out the prizes. All three final candidates will be honored.

This year’s three finalists are:

• CYNTHIA MAUNG, Burma, who has fought for the health and education of hundreds of thousands of refugee children for 20 years, both under the military dictatorship in Burma and in refugee camps in Thailand.

• INDERJIT KHURANA, India, who has run over a hundred schools and two phone help lines for 21 years, helping the poorest, most vulnerable children who live and work on station platforms.

• BETTY MAKONI, Zimbabwe. After being abused as a child, Betty began to fight to give girls the courage to demand their rights. She supports those who are exposed to abuse and protects others from assault, forced marriage, trafficking and sexual abuse.

For more information contact:

Magnus Bergmar, +46(0)159-129 00, +46(0)70-515 58 39

Date: January 29 2007