‘Let no one be forgotten’ – Malala’s speech

Malala Yousafzai speaks at Amnesty International’s Ambassador of Conscience Award ceremony in Dublin © PETER MUHLY/AFP/Getty Images

By Malala Yousafzai, Amnesty International Ambassador of Conscience 2013

This speech was originally delivered at the Amnesty International Ambassador of Conscience Award ceremony in Dublin, Ireland on 17 September 2013.

Dear respected brothers and sisters, Secretary General Salil Shetty, Lord Mayor, Minister for Education, Bono, Roger Waters and Harry Belafonte: It is a great honour for me to be here in Ireland again, where Irish eyes are always smiling and, you can hear the angels sing.

Last time I was invited to Tipperary, I saw natural beauty and that reminded me of my hometown Swat where you can find lush green hills, mountains with tall trees and crystal clear rivers. And we call Swat a paradise on earth. Ireland shares this beauty of Swat.

Apart from the fact of natural beauty, the most important thing for me is the love and kindness that the people of Ireland have shown me.

I would like to thank Amnesty International for their continued campaigning to protect human rights and for giving me this award for our global campaign for girls’ education. I am truly humbled to share this award today with not only the king of Calypso, but the king of campaigning for the rights of humans across the globe. I am truly in awe of you, Mr Harry Belafonte.

Dear sisters and brothers, as many of you may know, my beloved home country of Pakistan and its people are suffering at the hands of violent terrorists. War continues to be waged against the innocent civilians of Afghanistan, whilst girls around the world are deprived of their basic right to an education. Girls like 5 year old Sambul are a target of sexual violence. Human rights defenders are killed; like Sushmita Banerjee, a health worker and author who was shot dead in Afghanistan. We can see that the people of Syria are homeless and children are out of school. In India children are suffering from child labour and child trafficking.

In many countries, women have been victims of sexual abuse, early forced marriages and domestic labour. They are not accepted as human beings but inferior, neglected, and marginalized. Women are deprived of their basic right of equality and justice. I could go on and talk at length of the atrocities and human rights violations that are occurring every hour, every minute, and every second, of each passing day.

I know that every time a person comes, delivers a speech, the audience claps and that is the end. Dear brothers and sisters, I am not here to explain the issues that we are faced with in detail, rather we are here to find a solution to these problems. You may be asking yourselves, what is the solution? I believe the only solution is education….education….education!

With this powerful weapon we can fight against violence, terrorism, child labour, and inequality. The only tools that are needed are a pen and a book to guide us on our way to an enlightened future for one and all.

Today, I would like to ask each and every one of you to do one small thing after today’s event, this small thing is to put pen to paper appealing to your governments to focus on education and for them to take real action.

It is vital that education is their top priority.

I want to live in a world where free compulsory education is available everywhere to every child.

Let no one be forgotten.  

Read more:

Amnesty International announces 2013 Ambassador of Conscience Award (News story, 17 September 2013)
Ambassador of Conscience Award

Posted in Censorship and Free Speech, Children, Domestic Violence, Honour killings, Human Rights Defenders and Activists, Pakistan, Sexual Violence, Trafficking of Women and Girls, Women | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

  1. Rajan Naidu says:

    Thanks to Malala for making for us such a thoughtful, inspiring and pertinent address. I hope there will be mobilization to facilitate her suggestion that we all appeal to our governments to give education at all levels a new and high priority in the life of the nation and the world.

  2. shakil ahmed says:

    I believe it got to be kind of education that refines the minds and illuminates the souls and not the 3RS. There are bad educations too.

  3. Somenath Dasgupta says:

    Thanks Malala for using her powerful weapon for the betterment of the civilization with her powerful voice of protest.I acknowledge with her that not only in Pakistan in this global situation original empowerment can become only through education which can build confidence to fight with the criminals but ,
    If education is only the solution to fight against terrorism,violence against woman,child labor and trafficking or the perfect implementation of education for betterment of world can bring this power.We must not ignore those who are leaders of such criminals are educated but they implemented this vast power of education for the destroy.So I think that awareness against criminals will come with the perfect implementation of education.

  4. All thanks and glory be to almighty Allah who made everything possible, am really very happy with malala’s aim for empowering education which is the better solution to the problems we are facing, as wise men saying ” pen is mightier than sword” it’s quite alright sure that education is best solution. So may almighty Allah guide us o the right path. Wish u long life and prosperity.

  5. achu k baburaj says:

    Inspirational words…..time has come for change….

  6. Chanuri Kumara says:

    Thank you, Malala, for delivering such an inspiring speech. I wish you all the success in your fight for education, and pray for a better future for your country and all the girls who are deprived of education.

  7. Mokoena Lefu Richard, RSA says:

    It Is In Young Trees Of Humanity Like Malala Will Build Better Shadow For Future Generations Against All Bad Sun In An Earth. Strong And Inspiring Words. All Shall Come To Pass……..Our World Will Be Just One Day Not In Paper But In Practical. Educate Young Girls, Know You Educate The Soul Of The World. Thank You, God Bless

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