GREEN Party Euro-MPs Jean Lambert (London) and Keith Taylor (South-East England) have joined a cross-party group of MEPs from across Europe in nominating Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai for the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize.
Malala, 14, hit the headlines last year when she was shot and nearly killed by Taliban supporters for the ‘crime’ of advocating girls’ right to education in Pakistan.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights guarantees the right to education for all – indeed universal access to primary education is a key UN Millennium Development Goal.
But when in control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, the Taliban banned girls from attending schools – and Malala wrote about her experiences for an international media company before being shot by Taliban supporters in October last year.
Ms Lambert, who chairs the European Parliament’s Delegation to South Asia, said: “Malala should be given the Nobel Peace Prize in honour of her outstanding bravery in standing up for a basic human right – and in fighting gender discrimination.
“Her inspiring story personifies the work of many thousands of human rights defenders working in some of the world’s most dangerous places and taking enormous personal risks day in day out: and awarding the prize to Malala would recognize the work and bravery of them all.”
Mr Taylor added: “Malala nearly died in her efforts to champion Pakistani girls’ right to education – a selfless action that should be recognized at the highest level.
“Human rights defenders like Malala face danger every day, whether in Pakistan or elsewhere. We have nominated Malala both to recognize and honour her bravery but also to bring attention to those countless others like her, who place working for a fairer world before their own personal safety.”