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World's Children's Prize - 2002-04-12

The World's Children's Prize - dubbed the Nobel Prize for children - has been awarded posthumously to 12-year-old South African AIDS activist Nkosi Johnson. Nkosi was honored along with the the Nepali organization, MAITI NEPAL, which campaigns against the salve trade of girls sold to brothels in India.

The World's Children's Prize was established by the Swedish Children's World Organization three years ago. It was presented Monday, April 15th by Queen Silvia of Sweden at Gripsholm Castle in Mariefred.

Nkosi Johnson and MAITI NEPAL were chosen by a jury of 14 children from around the world, who after eight hours of deliberations could not choose a single winner.

Nkosi died last year from the complications of AIDS. He had been infected with HIV at birth. Nkosi spoke at the 13th International AIDS Conference in Durban in July of 2000 to help dispel the myths and stigma associated with the disease. The jury described him as a "role model for children with AIDS."

Sixteen year old Laura Hannant of Ottawa, Canada is the chairperson of the jury that chose the winners. From Mariefred, Sweden, she spoke to English to Africa Joe De Capua about the difficulty in choosing this year’s recipients. (Click the above links to listen to the interview)