OSLO, Norway, Oct. 10 (UPI) -- The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded Friday to 17-year-old Pakistani youth education activist Malala Yousafzai and 60-year-old Indian children's rights activist Kailash Satyarthi.
"The Nobel Committee regards it as an important point for a Hindu and a Muslim, an Indian and a Pakistani, to join in a common struggle for education and against extremism," Committee chairman Thorbjorn Jagland said in his announcement.
"It is a prerequisite for peaceful global development that the rights of children and young people be respected. In conflict-ridden areas in particular, the violation of children leads to the continuation of violence from generation to generation."
The Committee recognized Malala's advocacy on behalf of equal education rights for girls "under the most dangerous circumstances." In 2012, at the age of 15, she was shot by the Taliban on her return home from school in the northwestern Swat District. "Through her heroic struggle she has become a leading spokesperson for girls' rights to education," noted Jagland.
Satyarthi was commended for "maintaining Gandhi's tradition" in his leadership of peaceful protests and demonstrations "focusing on the grave exploitation of children for financial gain" and for his contributions "to the development of important international conventions on children's rights."
Malala and Satyarthi were chosen from among 278 candidates, including 47 organizations. In 2013, the award was given to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and in 2012 to the European Union.
Malala is the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.