OSLO - Malala Yousafzai vowed Wednesday to struggle for every child’s right to go to school as she became the youngest-ever Nobel laureate, sharing the Peace Prize with Indian campaigner Kailash Satyarthi.

“I will continue this fight until I see every child in school,” the 17-year-old Pakistani schoolgirl told an audience in Oslo City Hall after receiving the award.

Malala became a global icon after she was shot and nearly killed by the Taliban in October 2012 for insisting that girls had a right to an education.

In a speech peppered with self-deprecating humour, she used the award ceremony to call not just for education but also for fairness and peace.

“The so-called world of adults may understand it, but we children don’t. Why is it that countries which we call ‘strong’ are so powerful in creating wars but so weak in bringing peace?,” she said.

“Why is it that giving guns is so easy but giving books is so hard? Why is it that making tanks is so easy, but building schools is so difficult?”

Malala, who described herself as the “first recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize who still fights with her younger brothers,” triggered applause and also frequent outbursts of laughter during her speech.

But the underlying message was that a world that may soon be able to send a person to Mars still allows millions to suffer from “the very old problems of hunger, poverty, injustice and conflicts.”

“It is very easy to arm a person by giving him gun but it is hard to educate a person by giving him books and pens,” she remarked.

Malala said she was thankful to her father who did not clip her wings and guided her with the best of his ability.

She said this award was not only for her but it was an award of all those who had raised their voice for education and children rights.

“It is not my voice but rather it is the voice of 66 million girls across the globe who are thirsty for knowledge and waiting for the help of international community for financial and infrastructural support,” she maintained.

She also spoke against forced marriages, which is the main hurdle in the way of a woman’s education.

She said Islam is the religion of peace and it does not allow a human being to be killed by another without any reason and Islam has attributed the killing of one person with the killing of entire humanity.

She said: “Let this be the last time that a boy or a girl spends their childhood in a factory. Let this be the last time that a girl gets forced into early child marriage. Let this be the last time that an innocent child loses their life in war. Let this be the last time that a classroom remains empty. Let this be the last time that a girl is told education is a crime and not a right. Let this be the last time that a child remains out of school. Let us begin this ending. Let this end with us. And let us build a better future right here, right now.”

Moments after Malala received the prize, a man carrying a Mexican flag walked towards her, but was caught by security. The motives of the man, who was later identified as a student and asylum seeker from Mexico, were unknown.

Before the ceremony, Malala and Satyarthi met with 7,000 Norwegian children aged between six and 14 in the heart of Oslo.

“You have given me so much energy,” Malala said.

“You might not know but there are so many girls who cannot go to school, there are so many boys who cannot go to school,” she said.

“They have never dreamed of any iPad, any PlayStation, any Xbox. The only thing that they dream of is a school, is a book and is a pen.”

Satyarthi, 60, was recognised by the Nobel committee for a 35-year battle to free thousands of children from virtual slave labour.

“I refuse to accept that the world is so poor, when just one week of global military expenditure is enough to bring all of our children into classrooms,” he said after receiving the prize.

“I refuse to accept that the shackles of slavery can ever be... stronger than the quest for freedom.”

The pairing of Malala and Satyarthi had the extra symbolism of linking neighbouring countries that have been in conflict for decades.

After she was named as the winner, Malala said she wanted both states’ prime ministers to attend the prize-giving ceremony in Oslo.

Although the leaders of the two South Asian arch enemies were not present in Oslo Wednesday, Malala expressed optimism for her region.

“I am... glad that we can stand together and show the world that an Indian and a Pakistani can be united in peace and together work for children’s rights,” she said.

Satyarthi’s organisation Bachpan Bachao Andolan (Movement to Save Childhood) prides itself on liberating more than 80,000 children from bonded labour in factories and workshops across India and has networks of activists in more than 100 countries.

According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) there are about 168 million child labourers around the world.

Nobel winners receive eight million Swedish kronor ($1.1 million, 862,000 euros), which is shared in the case of joint wins.

The Peace Prize is the only Nobel award handed to recipients in Oslo.

The other prizes - also featuring the literature prize winner, Frenchman Patrick Modiano, and his compatriot Jean Tirole with the economics award - will be awarded in Stockholm later Wednesday.

The award could also help the Norwegian Nobel Committee repair its reputation, damaged by controversial awards in recent years to the European Union and US President Barack Obama.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif felicitated Malala Yousafzai on receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. He, in a message, said Malala is a Pakistani peace ambassador for the whole world.

He also congratulated Kailash Sathyarti on receiving the Nobel Peace Prize along with Malala.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also congratulated 2014 Nobel Prize winners Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai.