Posts Tagged ‘Martin Ennals Foundation’

Former MEP Barbara Lochbihler about her human rights work

July 13, 2020

On 10 July 2020 the Martin Ennals Foundation published an interview with new Board member Barbara Lochbihler, former Secretary General of Amnesty International Germany and Member of the European Parliament (2009-2019):

  1. What motivated you to join the Martin Ennals Foundation?

During the past thirty years, in my role as Secretary General of Amnesty International Germany and before with the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom in Geneva, and then later on as Member of the European Parliament, with a focus on human rights, the work and expertise of human rights defenders were and became central to me. The increasing challenges and threats they face demanding better protection of the rights of their fellow human beings is still very worrisome and needs all our attention and solidarity. 

  1. Why did you choose to join the UN Committee against Enforced Disappearance?

After ending my mandate in the European Parliament in Brussels, I was looking for a way to continue my human rights engagement. The United Nations human rights work in Geneva is at the centre of developing international protection mechanisms and norms.
Since a year now, I’m an independent expert in the UN Committee against Enforced Disappearance. It monitors the implementation of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance and takes up individual cases. I’m enjoying the great teamwork with colleagues in an international context.

  1. 2020 has been so far a year of global upheaval. What is your advice to human rights defenders across the world?

The work of human rights defenders is essential to improve the situation on the ground, by factual reporting of cases, by analysing the root causes of human rights violations, by demanding political change and proposing better legal protection mechanisms. In 2019, Front Line Defenders registered 304 cases of human rights defenders who were killed. Increasingly human rights defenders are under threat, they experience violence and oppression. It is urgent to continue our international support and solidarity with human rights defenders, in order to counter and defend the space for civil society actors.

https://www.martinennalsaward.org/barbara-lochbihler-interview/

Changes in the governance of the Martin Ennals Foundation

February 23, 2020

Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders

Having just reported on the laureate of the Martin Ennals Award 2020 [ https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2020/02/22/huda-al-sarari-is-the-laureate-of-the-2020-martin-ennals-award-for-human-rights-defenders/], I should add that the Martin Ennals Foundation has undergone several changes in its managment. A new Chairman, Philippe Currat, a well-known Geneva lawyer (see: https://www.martinennalsaward.org/boards/philippe-currat/), takes over from Dick Oosting (Oosting is a former Amnesty International staff member who worked closely with Martin Ennals himself as deputy SG). At the same time a new vice-chair was appointed: Barbara Lochbihler, a prominent human rights expert from Germany who last year completed ten years in the European Parliament and is now a member of the UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances. Since last summer, Isabel de Sola is the new director (see: https://www.martinennalsaward.org/boards/isabel-de-sola/). Together with a new team at the Ville de Genève, good progress was made to redesign the award ceremony of 19 February. This year’s finalists are offered so-called ‘residencies’ to benefit from their presence in Geneva and Switzerland as well as to be able to share their experiences more widely. First steps were taken to open up local educational activities. Communications have been significantly upgraded.

Dick Oosting said that the hand-over marks a broader process of change in the way that the foundation operates. In sharpened its strategy in several ways: by developing activities and profile in Geneva; by exploring the scope for more sustained work with past laureates and finalists; by working more closely with the jury organizations; and by strengthening overall communications.

Philippe Curat was present at the press conference of this year and stated: “The Martin Ennals Foundation is particularly proud to honour and support three resilient women human rights defenders this year, our laureate Huda Al-Sarari, as well as our two finalists Sizani Ngubane and Norma Librada Ledezma for their achievements. We hope that the award will shed a light on their achievements, and strengthen protection mechanisms around them”.

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Martin Ennals Foundation in Geneva seeks part-time Coordinator – deadline 29 April

April 4, 2019

With the departure of Michael Khambatta – planned for June 2019 –  the Martin Ennals Foundation (MEF) seeks a part-time Coordinator to lead a new, restructured team of (part-time) posts in Geneva.

Part-time 60 % (3 days per week, flexible). Languages: Fluent French and English. Start date: June/July 2019

The MEF has a Board of up to 12 members, led by a Chairperson elected by the Board. It includes a Vice-Chairperson, a Secretary and a Treasurer who together make up the Governance Committee that is entrusted with overseeing the routine business of the Foundation. The Coordinator is the executive arm of the MEF working on a part-time basis until additional resources can be found to strengthen staff capacity. Other staff include (as at June 2019) a Communications Manager and a Programme Officer (also part-time positions).

To apply please send:

1) a current CV and

2) a motivational cover letter of 500 words

to hr@martinennalsaward.org by 26 April 2019. Interviews will take place between 7-10 May 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

——- Read the rest of this entry »

Nominations for the 2018 Martin Ennals Award accepted

September 20, 2017

Having just announced the ceremony of the Martin Ennals Award of Human Rights Defenders for 10 October 2017, I now draw your attention to the possibility to nominate a candidate for the 2018 Martin Ennals Award. The Ennals Award is intended for human rights defenders (HRDs) who are defending the rights of others, while at risk. This could include physical danger, repressive legal processes, or other forms of harassment.

1. The HRD must be currently active (no posthumous nominations).

2. The HRD must be demonstrably at risk.

3. The HRD must work with non-violent means.

Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders

Note that the deadline is 9 November 2017.

Source: Nominate a Candidate for the 2018 Martin Ennals Award – Martin Ennals Award

Chair of Ennals Foundation calls on Museveni to veto anti-homo bill

February 13, 2014

The Chair of the Martin Ennals Foundation, Mrs Micheline Calmy Rey, has today called for President Museveni to veto the anti-homosexual bill passed by the Ugandan Parliament on 20 December 2013. The Martin Ennals Foundation has also called on the Ugandan government to take effective steps to protect LGBT persons from violence and discrimination. Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera was awarded the Martin Ennals Award in 2011 for her activities in support of Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender rights in Uganda.

via Welcome to Martin Ennals Awards – MEA.

Simia Ahmadi; defending the defenders

October 7, 2013

This blog tends to prioritize news on human rights defenders who are in trouble. This makes one overlook perhaps too often the contribution made by those who are working for the cause in other ways. To rectify I want to pay tribute to another woman who has  contributed enormously to the creation and growth of the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders: Simia Ahmadi. After 20 years she is leaving the Board of the Foundation on 7 October, just before the 20th ceremony tomorrow.

In 1992 Simia was a young, upcoming human rights worker who had just finished an internship with the UN. To her great regret she never met Martin Ennals in person. Her main motivation was that an award could be effective and volunteered to help it being set up. After successful initial fundraising she was the part-time Secretariat in the first year.

1994 march Harry Wu first MEA Laureate

(Simia, left of first Laureate Harry Wu in 1994, Geneva)

After that, she worked several years for the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH). Thereafter she was Programme Coordinator of the Legal and Human Rights Centre in Tanzania and from 2006-2009 she served as FIDH’s Representative to the UN in Geneva. After her move to Kenya in 2010, she served as the Chief of Party of the Public International Law and Policy Group in Kenya. Now she devoting her considerable energy to Kahesa, of which she is the Director-Founder and undertakes consultancy work such as evaluations KAHESA is a social enterprise that produces decorative and environmentally-sound paper through the employment of mentally-challenged Kenyans. Check out her www.kahesa.com and Facebook page: Kahesa paper

For being at the cradle of the MEA and making sure that the there is no grave for long time she deserve the deepest thanks from all especially Human Rights Defenders around the world.new MEA_logo with text

SAVE THE DATE: MEA 2013 CEREMONY ON 8 OCTOBER IN GENEVA

June 29, 2013

The City of Geneva and the Martin Ennals Foundation announce the 2013 edition of Martin Ennals Award, which will take place on Tuesday 8 October 2013 at 18h00 at the Uni-Dufour, Geneva. The Laureate will be announced Read the rest of this entry »

Upon handing over the Martin Ennals Foundation to Mrs Micheline Calmy Rey

April 24, 2012

Deutsch: Schweizer Bundesrätin de:Micheline Ca...

It took almost 20 years but I finally have been able to step down as Chair of the Martin Ennals Foundation. Yesterday the Board accepted my resignation and selected Micheline Calmy Rey as my successor (now that is upgrading!). In an hour from now she will be announced as such at the press conference in Geneva which is being streamed on http://www.martinennalsaward.org.

My departure has been carefully crafted since November last year but we have been most fortunate that in the meantime Micheline Calmy Rey left her government position and accepted the challenge to lead the MEA to its destiny as the most influential human rights award in the world. I realize that this is not a modest thing to say but I think that facts speak for themselves:

The MEA has a Jury composed of the world’s leading international human rights organisations, a unique cooperation among sometimes competing NGOs. The Laureates over the last twenty years have been outstanding examples and have all claimed that the recognition of the award has helped them in continuing their work.

The growth of the impact of the award has a lot to do, not only with its longevity, but also with the joining of forces by other entities, in the first place the City of Geneva which is now the main organiser of the ceremony at Victoria Hall.

I am sure that the foundation will be able to pursue the increased use of multimedia techniques for protecting the HRDs.  As this is often a question of resources, I will continue to advise the MEA in particular with regard to fundraising and publicity.

So, I am not really retiring; there are simply too many Human Rights Defenders out there who need support. This year’s nominees, who will be introduced to you in a few hours, illustrate the need for international recognition and protection.

Geneva, 24 April 2012