Human Rights Award – Call For Nominations

The 9th of November 2015 is the nomination deadline for the 2016 Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders.

The Award, handed out by the Martin Ennals Foundation, is granted annually to an individual, or exceptionally an organisation, in recognition of their commitment and ongoing efforts in the defence and promotion of human rights. Nominees must be currently involved in work for the promotion and protection of human rights.

Special account is taken of those who are at risk and have demonstrated an active record of combating human rights violations by courageous and innovative means. The Martin Ennals Award aims to encourage individuals or organisations, particularly those who are working in conditions hostile to fundamental human rights and who are in need of protection.

The selection of the winning candidates is made by the Jury of the Martin Ennals Foundation. Civil Rights Defenders is one of the members of the Award’s Panel of Regional NGOs and support the Jury with regional knowledge.

Nominations can be submitted electronically at

On the 5th of October, the Jury selected Ahmed Mansoor from the United Arab Emirate as 2015 year’s Laureate. Since 2006, he has focussed on initiatives concerning freedom of expression, civil and political rights. Ahmed Mansoor is one of the few voices within the United Arab Emirates who provides a credible independent assessment of human rights developments.

He regularly raises concerns on arbitrary detention, torture, international standards for fair trials, non-independence of the judiciary, and domestic laws that violate international law. He has faced repeated intimidation and harassment, including imprisonment in 2011 after being convicted of “insulting officials” and sentenced to three years’ in prison, although he was released after eight months.

The Award is selected by the following Organizations:

International Commission of Jurists
Human Rights Watch
Human Rights First
Front Line Defenders
EWDE Germany
Amnesty International

The present value of the annual Award is 20’000 Swiss Francs, to be used for further work in the field of human rights. The Ceremony is hosted by the City of Geneva in late 2016. They provide each of the final three nominees with project funds of 11’650 CHF and a 5’000 CHF travel grant.

Martin Ennals (1927-1991) was instrumental to the modern human rights movement. He creatively pursued ideas ahead of his time and was the driving force behind other organisations. His deep desire was to see more cooperation among NGOs.

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Tags: Martin Ennals Award.
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