Champion for trafficked girls elected Child Rights Hero

Champion for trafficked girls elected Child Rights Hero by millions

It was revealed that Rachel Lloyd, whose childhood was marked by violence and exploitation, has been chosen by children around the world as one of this year’s Child Rights Heroes and recipient of the Swedish World’s Children’s Prize (WCP), known as the “Children’s Nobel Prize” by worldwide media. 
   Rachel Lloyd, originally from the UK, is being honoured for her 20-year fight against domestic trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation of children in the US.

Millions of children took part in the Global Vote, many of them in Zimbabwe, which forms part of the World’s Children’s Prize programme. This educates and supports children in acting as changemakers and standing up for compassion, the equal worth of every individual, children’s rights, democracy and sustainable development. Since 2000, 42 million children have taken part in the WCP programme.

Two other child rights champions were also honoured today: Gabriel Mejía Montoya who has been fighting to protect vulnerable children in war-torn Colombia for 30 years, and Valeriu Nicolae, who belongs to Europe’s most marginalised minority, the Roma. He has been fighting for the rights of children in extreme poverty in Europe’s Ferentari ghetto in Bucharest.

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The three Child Rights Heroes had been nominated by a child jury with members who are experts in children’s rights from their own life experiences, including refugees, slaves and soldiers. One of the jury children, Kim, is from Zimbabwe.

WCP’s patrons include Malala Yousafzai, the late Nelson Mandela, Graça Machel, Desmond Tutu, Sweden’s Queen Silvia and Sweden’s Prime Minister Stefan Löfven.

Honoured in Sweden today
All three Child Rights Heroes were honoured today at a Ceremony at Gripsholm Castle in Mariefred, Sweden by children from ten countries with assistance by H.M. Queen Silvia of Sweden. The recipient of the World’s Children’s Prize received SEK 350,000 while the recipients of the World’s Children’s Honorary Awards received SEK 175,000 each. The prize money is to be used in their work for children.

Broad support 
The WCP program has the support of more than 70,000 schools in 116 countries, as well as over 778 organisations and education ministries and institutions. Since the start, half a million teachers have been trained in working with children’s rights and democracy in schools.
The initiative is run by the World’s Children’s Prize Foundation (WCPF), with the support of organisations including the Swedish Postcode Lottery, Sida, Forum Syd, Julia & Hans Rausing Trust, Queen Silvia’s Care About the Children Foundation and the Survé Family Foundation.

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