Václav Havel Human Rights Prize
Strasbourg, 20.01.2014 – The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has today issued a call for nominations for the Václav Havel Human Rights Prize, which will be awarded for the second consecutive year on 29 September next in Strasbourg.
This Prize aims to reward outstanding civil society action in defending human rights in Europe and beyond. Candidates should have made a real difference to the human rights situation of a given group, been instrumental in uncovering systemic violations on a large scale, or have successfully mobilised public opinion or the international community for a given cause.
"In their daily struggle against injustice, arbitrariness and authoritarianism, human rights defenders work ceaselessly so that each citizen in Europe may one day aspire to our standards. We should encourage and place the spotlight on those who commit themselves to human rights," said PACE President Jean-Claude Mignon.
The Václav Havel Human Rights Prize, consisting of a sum of €60,000, a trophy and a diploma, is awarded annually by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, in partnership with the Václav Havel Library and the Charta 77 Foundation. The first Prize was awarded to Belarusian human rights activist Ales Bialiatski in September 2013.
The deadline for submitting nominations is 30 April 2014. Nominations should be sent to the Parliamentary Assembly by e-mail to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org, using the form available on the Prize website. They should be signed by at least five sponsors.
The Václav Havel Human Rights Prize is awarded each year by the PACE in partnership with the Václav Havel Library and the Charta 77 Foundation to reward outstanding civil society action in the defence of human rights in Europe and beyond.
The Prize is awarded in memory of Václav Havel, playwright, opponent of totalitarianism, architect of the Velvet Revolution of 1989, President of Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic and an enduring symbol of opposition to despotism. Nominations of any individual, non-governmental organisation or institution working to defend human rights are taken into consideration. The Prize consists of a sum of €60 000, a trophy and a diploma.
On 25 March 2013, the Václav Havel Human Rights Prize was launched at a ceremony in Prague with the signature of the Co-operation Agreement by the President of the Assembly, Jean-Claude Mignon, the Director of the Václav Havel Library, Marta Smolíková, and the Chair of the Steering Committee of the Charta 77 Foundation, František Janouch, in the presence of Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg.The Václav Havel Human Rights Prize replaces the Assembly Human Rights Prize, which was created in 2007 and awarded every two years, first in 2009 to "British Irish Human Rights Watch" and then, in 2011, to the Russian NGO "Committee against Torture".