The Norwegian Nobel Committee cited the two “for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education.“
Malala, now 17 and the youngest recipient of the Nobel prize, is an education campaigner in Pakistan who was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman two years ago.
She was at school in the city of Birmingham in central England when she was told she had won the Nobel Peace Prize, a spokeswoman said.
“Malala is at school as normal today,” she said, adding that the 17-year-old would hold a press conference later on Friday.
She attends Edgbaston High School, a private school in an upmarket part of Birmingham. After being shot by the Taliban in October 2012, Malala was treated at a hospital in Birmingham. She started at her school in the city in March last year.
Satyarthi, 60, has maintained the tradition of Mahatma Gandhi and headed various forms of peaceful protests, “focusing on the grave exploitation of children for financial gain,” the Nobel committee said.
“It’s an honour to all those children still suffering in slavery, bonded labour and trafficking,” Satyarthi told TV news channel CNN-IBN.
Common struggle for India and Pakistan
The Nobel Committee said it “regards it as an important point for a Hindu and a Muslim, an Indian and a Pakistani, to join in a common struggle for education and against extremism.“
The founder of the Nobel Prizes, Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel, said the prize committee should give the prize to “the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.“
The committee has interpreted those instructions differently over time, widening the concept of peace work to include efforts to improve human rights, fight poverty and clean up the environment.
Malala, who was also a favourite last year, was in the running along with Pope Francis for his defence of the poor, Edward Snowden, and a Japanese pacifist group.
Nobeliana.com, a website run by leading Norwegian Nobel historians ranked Malala as their top candidate ahead of Snowden, for her fight for girls’ right to an education around the world.
Malala is the second Pakistani to have won the Nobel Prize after renowned scientist Abdus Salam won it for his contribution in the field of Physics in 1979.