To mark the 20th anniversary of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, PBI is championing the nomination of the global community of Human Rights Defenders for the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize. The award would mark a world first, moving away from the celebration of individuals towards a recognition that community itself is integral to the defence of peace and human rights. We need your support to make this happen.
Over 200 organisations from all over the world have signed on to this open letter endorsing the nomination. Among them is the Human Rights and Rule of Law Committee of the Faculty of Advocates, whose supporting statement can be read here.
The release of the open letter is accompanied by a public petition: Human Rights Defenders for the Nobel Peace Prize, which can be signed here.
Every day, Human Rights Defenders risk their lives to achieve freedom, justice and peace in the world. They are the people who speak out against injustice, discrimination and the abuses of power. They hold governments to account, protect fragile environments, and create innovative proposals for change. Our freedoms depend on their commitment and sacrifice.
Every day, Human Rights Defenders across the globe are attacked, imprisoned and killed. Those who suffer most are those activists working at grassroots and community levels, in isolated regions and from marginalised populations, who lack the networks and the resources to command international attention.
PBI has been standing shoulder to shoulder with at-risk Human Rights Defenders for over 35 years, in some of the most dangerous countries in the world. By championing this nomination, we seek to bring to the public eye the repression of activists that we have observed in the field. We hope to trigger new debates, and procure new policy commitments from States around the world. Securing the prize would challenge the growing discourse that dismisses and delegitimises non-violent activists as terrorists, anti-patriots, or threats to security and development. Ultimately, it would help to change the narrative regarding Human Rights Defenders, recognising them not as trouble-makers, but as peace-builders.
The nomination was made by Ann Clwyd MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Human Rights Group, at the request of PBI UK. It is gathering momentum all over the world, with the UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights Defenders, the French Government, and a growing coalition of NGOs all expressing their support. The winner will be announced on 5 October 2018 – we have until then to show the strength of the international movement standing shoulder to shoulder in defence of human rights.
On 4 July 2018, Tom Brake MP tabled an Early Day Motion (EDM) in support of the nomination of Human Rights Defenders for the Nobel Peace Prize. The EDM reads:
"That this House welcomes the announcement of the nomination of the global community of human rights defenders for the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of their contribution to defending fundamental freedoms, building pluralistic democracies, providing access to justice and upholding the rule of law; applauds the work of human rights defenders around the world; expresses grave concern that in many countries human rights defenders engaged in their work face harassment, attacks, intimidation, insecurity, forced disappearance and even extra-judicial killing; and encourages the Nobel Peace Prize Committee to give this nomination serious consideration."
Please write to your MP urging them to support EDM 1487. You can find out who your local MP is here. We have created a you can use.
Many thanks for your support.