LONDON: Nobel laureate Malala Yousufzai tweeted on Tuesday that the youth will not accept a world where decisions of their future are made in rooms in which they cannot enter. She attended the United Nations Youth2030 conference held at the New York and congratulated the young leaders participating in the conference.
In October 2012, Malala Yousafzai — then 15 years old — was shot in the head at point-blank range by Taliban gunmen as she was returning from her school in Swat valley.
Earlier, in 2014, Yousafzai became the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize at the age of 17 in recognition of her efforts for children’s rights.
Meanwhile, Malala Yousafzai described as “cruel” a policy launched by US President Donald Trump to separate children of illegal immigrants from their families, during her first visit to South America to promote girls’ education.
More than 2,300 children were separated from their parents after the Trump administration began a “zero tolerance” policy on illegal immigrants in early May, seeking to prosecute all adults who cross the border illegally from Mexico into the US. Trump stopped separating families last month following public outrage and court challenges.
“This is cruel, this is unfair and this is inhumane. I don’t know how anyone could do that,” Yousafzai told Reuters on Wednesday. “I hope that the children can be together with their parents.”
Her stern words contrasted with her effusive praise last year for Canada’s embrace of refugees under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. At the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos this year, Malala also questioned Trump’s record on women’s rights.
Malala was visiting Rio de Janeiro to kick off the expansion of her education charity, the Malala Fund, into Latin America, starting with Brazil.
Her aim in Brazil, Latin America’s largest economy, is to advocate for more public spending on education, a tall task after the country passed a constitutional amendment freezing federal spending in real terms for two decades in order to reduce public debt.
She also hopes to get an estimated 1.5 million girls currently not in school into the classroom, with a special focus on minority groups who lag white children on key indicators like literacy and secondary school completion.