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U of T alumna and Hiroshima survivor with nuclear disarmament group to accept Nobel Peace Prize

U of T alumna Setsuko Thurlow is a Hiroshima survivor and campaigner for the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. She gives a speech during the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony Dec. 10 in Oslo, Norway (photo by Nigel Waldron/Getty Images)

Setsuko Thurlow survived the attack on Hiroshima in 1945.

Thurlow, who married a Canadian, moved to Toronto in the 1950s and obtained a master's degree in social work from the University of Toronto, was in Norway earlier this month to accept the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). She was featured on CBC News.

The 85-year-old has worked tirelessly to campaign against nuclear weapons, and ICAN says Thurlow has been a leading figure in its movement, playing a key role to push the United Nations to adapt a landmark treaty outlawing nuclear weapons. 

Two other U of T graduates – Ray Acheson and Allison Pytlak – work for ICAN and also took part in United Nations treaty talks to ban nuclear weapons.

Read more about Acheson and Pytlak

Thurlow, who was made a member of the Order of Canada in 2006 for her outstanding contributions to social work and her activism against nuclear weapons, said she was “deeply humbled” to be asked to accept the prize on behalf of ICAN with executive director Beatrice Fihn on Dec. 10.

Nobel recognized ICAN for its work in drawing attention to the “catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its groundbreaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons.”