The young man risking his life for children's rights in Liberia
Lifestory Abraham M. Keita, Winner of the International Children's Peace Prize 2015
Abraham M. Keita is a Liberian anti-rape activist, and global campaigner to end violence against children. He is known mainly for fighting against sexual violence and demanding justice for its victims, who are mostly teenage girls. Over the past 10 years, he has led peaceful demonstrations, lobbied the Liberian government, and spoken out for free primary education for children. In spite of his young age, Keita’s
activism has already had major impacts. In 2012, Liberia became one of the first African nations to pass comprehensive legislation protecting children’s rights — driven in part by Keita’s persistent lobbying and peace marches at the national legislature. In 2015, his efforts were publicly honored when he was awarded the International Children’s Peace Prize – one of the top international prizes for peace activists. In October 2017, he was named One Young World Peace Ambassador.
As a young person, Keita is slowly changing his country and inspiring activists around the world. Despite a childhood filled with violence and poverty, he grew up to become a leading advocate for peace and children’s rights. In July 2016, former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon lauded Keita’s activism in a speech to launch the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children at the United Nations headquarters: “In a few minutes, we will show a short video featuring young champions of justice. One of them is named Abraham Keita. He won the Children’s Peace Prize last year. At that time, the United Nations congratulated him through my Youth Envoy, Mr. Ahmad Alhendawi. Abraham first started protesting violence against children when he was just nine years old. Now he is organizing Liberians for children’s rights – and inspiring people across the globe. Abraham once said he is fighting for a world where every child gets justice; every child is free from violence; and every child is empowered. I share this vision. And I have high expectations for ending violence against children through this new, action-oriented Global Partnership”.
Keita is still engaged in his change-making activities in Liberia and around the world, and inspiring millions of people.