Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl who was shot for promoting girls' education, has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize this year.
The 15-year-old was shot by a Taliban gunman at point blank range as she travelled on a bus to school on October 9, targeted for promoting girls' education.
She has since become an internationally recognised symbol of opposition to the Taliban's drive to deny women education, and against religious extremism in a country where women's rights are often flouted.
"A prize to Malala would not only be timely and fitting with a line of awards to champions of human rights and democracy, but also ... would set both children and education on the peace and conflict agenda," said Kristian Berg Harpviken, head of the Peace Research Institute of Oslo.
Others known to have been nominated are human rights activists whose names have been mentioned in previous years, including Belarussian human rights activist Ales Belyatski - currently behind bars - and Russia's Lyudmila Alexeyeva.
Belarus, which former US President George W. Bush's administration had branded as the "the last dictatorship in Europe", is governed by authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko, who has cracked down even further on opponents of late, rights groups charge.
In neighbouring Russia, authorities "unleashed the worst political crackdown in Russia's post-Soviet history," according to Human Rights Watch (HRW).
Trying to predict who will win the Nobel Peace Prize is a difficult task, complicated by the fact that the list of nominees each year is kept secret for 50 years.
But thousands of people are eligible to nominate candidates -- including former laureates, members of parliament and government around the world, some university professors, and members of certain international organisations -- and they are allowed to reveal the names they have put forward.
This year's award will be announced in early October, but speculation was already underway as the deadline for nominations ran out on February 1.
The Nobel Peace Prize will be announced in early October and will be handed over at a formal ceremony in Oslo on December 10.