Posts Tagged ‘Rafto award’

Rafto Prize 2022 to Nodjigoto Charbonnel of Chad

September 22, 2022

The Rafto Prize 2022 is awarded to Nodjigoto Charbonnel and his organization Association Jeunesse pour la Paix et la Non-Violence (AJPNV), “Youth for peace”, for their courageous struggle to abolish torture in Chad as well as internationally. In the context of authoritarianism, terrorism, war on terror and institutionalized violence, and at great personal risk, Charbonnel and his team assist survivors in rebuilding their lives after torture, and advocate the protection of human rights, and the prevention
of torture and sexual violence by providing human rights education for youth and civil society.

For more on this award and its laureates, see: https://www.trueheroesfilms.org/thedigest/awards/A5043D5E-68F5-43DF-B84D-C9EF21976B18.
Since the year 2000, AJPNV has conducted programs for the rehabilitation of victims of torture, the promotion of peace and non-violence and the prevention of torture in Chad. The need is overwhelming: in 2021, the organization treated 575 torture survivors. AJPNV provides medical, psychological, and legal support, free of charge, to victims of torture and sexual violence to reduce its somatic, psychological, and social harm. They assist the reintegration of victims of sexual violence through vocational training and prevent torture through education on the effects of torture on the individual and on the society.

Nodjigoto Charbonnel became familiar with the long-term harm and suffering caused by torture after his father survived mistreatment by state authorities. This experience motivated Charbonnel to found AJPNV. For 8 years he worked as an engineer at an international oil and gas production company, but in 2012 they terminated his contract because of his human rights work.
Charbonnel serves as the Sub-Saharan Africa Council member of the International Rehabilitation
Council for Torture Victims and as a regional leader of the Global Human Rights Project. Due to his work, Charbonnel has been detained and imprisoned three times. He and his family have also suffered harassment by state agents. Despite the political repression, Charbonnel and his AJPNV team maintain a clear voice for the victims of torture and sexual violence: “We reaffirm our commitment to shed light on those who commit torture, to expose their violation, to prevent future acts of torture, to ensure justice

https://www.rafto.no/en/news/raftoprisen-til-nodjigoto-charbonnel

see also: https://www.hrw.org/news/2022/09/23/chad-security-force-abuse-amid-national-dialogue

Nominations for Rafto Prize 2022 now open

January 14, 2022
Raftoemblem Test

You can now nominate a candidate for the Rafto Prize, meant for a person or an organization who stands up for human rights and democracy. Annual deadline is 1 February. For more on this award and its laureates, see: https://www.trueheroesfilms.org/thedigest/awards/A5043D5E-68F5-43DF-B84D-C9EF21976B18

  • A candidate should be active in the struggle for the ideals and principles underlying the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
  • A candidate’s struggle for human rights should represent a non-violent perspective.
  • A candidate may be a person or an organization, and two or more candidates may share the prize.

Deadline for nominations: 1 February 2022. Nominations received after 1 February will be taken into consideration for the Rafto Prize the following year.

For questions regarding nominations, please contact the Secretary of the Committee, Liv Unni Stuhaug, e-mail: livunni.stuhaug@rafto.no

Nominate a candidate

Annual Report 2020 RAFTO foundation

April 14, 2021

Annual Report 2020 Human rights work in a challenging year

The Rafto Foundation’s Executive Director Jostein Hole Kobbeltved summarizes last year’s efforts to promote human rights and support human rights defenders.

2020 did not turn out as planned, for anyone. The global Covid-19 crisis is not just a health crisis, but also a human rights crisis. Emergency laws have been used to suppress human rights defenders. According to Human Rights Watch, more than 83 countries have introduced laws restricting freedom of expression. This often occurs where civil society is already under pressure. At the same time, human rights defenders have started to use new and creative tools to be able to continue their work.

The 2020 Rafto Prize, which was awarded to the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms (ECRF), [see: https://www.trueheroesfilms.org/thedigest/laureates/cb80c53f-6f2a-473d-a3a1-03993cc6a5c6] spotlighted the reign of terror and continuing absence of a constitutional state in Egypt ten years after the Arab Spring. It shone a light on the brave human rights defenders of the ECRF who, at particular personal risk, document human rights abuses and support those being persecuted by the increasingly authoritarian Egyptian authorities. Because of strict travel and meeting restrictions, both the announcement and presentation of the Rafto Prize were made digitally. What started off as a challenge became an opportunity to reach a wider international audience than ever before.

The 2020 Rafto Prize awarded to Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms (ECRF)
The 2020 Rafto Prize awarded to Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms (ECRF)

Support for Rafto Laureates and human rights defenders

The Rafto Foundation continued its targeted efforts to support our Rafto Laureates, in Poland where the pressure on the constitutional state is only growing [https://www.trueheroesfilms.org/thedigest/laureates/dac46850-c254-11e8-8caa-a5bb244824e6]and in Kashmir where the persecution of human rights defenders is simply alarming [https://www.trueheroesfilms.org/thedigest/laureates/81468931-79AA-24FF-58F7-10351638AFE3]. We have also helped the network of Rafto Laureates and our network of women human rights defenders to continue their work by strengthening their digital infrastructure and security. We have supported Rafto Laureates under pressure and highlighted the human rights situation in a number of our Rafto Prize countries, including Belarus, Iraq, Uganda, China and India.

#1000RobesMarch in Warsaw on 11 January 2020 where Rafto organised a Norwegian delegation that participated in the demonstrations.
#1000RobesMarch in Warsaw on 11 January 2020 where Rafto organised a Norwegian delegation that participated in the demonstrations.

Increasing human rights competence among businesses

Together with businesses, we have continued to develop our sector-specific work in the finance, seafood, construction and maritime industries. We have leveraged the synergies between our local presence in the Human Rights City Bergen and our international partnerships. 2020 saw the launch of FUTURE-PROOF, a regional collaboration platform for business and human rights, for which engagement among businesses in the Bergen region has continued to rise. We scaled up our cooperation with the CEMS network and our first fully digital Masters in Business and Human Rights attracted a record number of participants. [see: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2019/05/01/applications-open-for-raftos-business-and-human-rights-course-in-norway/]

The KAN coalition, which is campaigning to establish Norwegian human rights due diligence legislation for business and which the Rafto Foundation helped found, was officially launched in autumn 2020 with a number of Norwegian businesses as members. The development aid programme to combat modern slavery, to which the Rafto Foundation has contributed, was launched and represents a welcome boost to Norwegian initiatives in this area.

Outdoor school at the Human Rights Cairn at Vidden in Bergen.
Outdoor school at the Human Rights Cairn at Vidden in Bergen.

Education adapted to a new era

For our democracy and human rights education, it has been important to support schools and teachers in handling the challenges presented by the pandemic. We have revised our programme to include digital education, outdoor courses and training adapted to infection protection at both the Rafto House and in schools. This has enabled us to reach more than 7,500 students and teachers over the whole of western Norway in the most demanding of years. We have also increased the focus on our education platform, the Rafto model, and signalled the need for more resources to meet the growing demand from schools following the launch of our new curricula.

DOWNLOAD THE ANNUAL REPORT 2020: DOWNLOAD THE ANNUAL REPORT

Rafto Prize for 2020 goes to the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms (ECRF)

September 25, 2020

The Rafto Prize for 2020 is awarded the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms (ECRF) for their persistence in bravely resisting Egypt´s state of fear. For more on this award see: https://www.trueheroesfilms.org/thedigest/award/A5043D5E-68F5-43DF-B84D-C9EF21976B18

ECRF documents, reports and raises awareness about the grave human rights violations in Egypt and beyond, and provides legal support to victims of human rights abuses. Almost ten years since the Arab Spring, it is more pressing than ever to focus on the alarming state of basic human rights in the Middle East. ECRF was founded by Mohamed Lotfy and Ahmed Abdallah in the wake of the coup d’état in 2013. In a relatively short time ECRF has grown to a team of more than 50 lawyers and researchers as well as about 1000 volunteers. The aim of their work is to provide non-partisan support to human rights defenders. Despite working under extremely harsh conditions, the ECRF uses the parts of Egypt’s judiciary, which are still functioning, to defend human rights for political prisoners, prosecuted human rights activists and protestors and victims of disappearances and torture. In this state of fear, the work of ECRF stands out as a beacon of hope for human rights.

Enforced Disappearances

The ECRF works at ground level across Egypt, using peaceful and legal means. The organization conducts extensive documentation, monitoring and analysis of human rights violations. To do this, ECRF’s lawyers and researchers meet with victims, collect testimonies and analyse documents and court verdicts. ECRF has emergency hotlines where relatives and friends can report on arbitrary arrests, and receives on daily basis cases of enforced disappearance. The campaign “Stop Enforced Disappearances” documented 2723 cases over a five-year period. Through the documentation of cases, campaigning and legal aid, the ECRF has contributed to several reappearances. They use the documentation in court defences, as a basis for reports, policy papers, for advocacy, press statements and in social media campaigns to raise awareness around human rights issues. [see also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2019/11/28/egyptian-human-rights-defender-ibrahim-ezz-eldin-reappears-after-167-days/]

Egypt’s state of fear

After a political crisis in 2013, the Egyptian army took control again and General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has since ruled as president. Under his leadership, the worrying human rights situation in Egypt has deteriorated to a degree not seen before.

Government security forces frequently conduct mass arrests and enforced disappearances, and critical voices are detained incommunicado for long periods of time. Thousands of political opponents, including children, have been arrested in sweeping campaigns. The prisoners are often held in overcrowded prisons in poor conditions, without access to satisfactory medical care.

The regime has dramatically narrowed the space for civil society and dissent by imposinga number of restrictions on the population such as travel bans, targeting human rights defenders and a range of repressive measures. In August 2019, President el-Sisi approved a law that severely restricts NGOs’ independence. His government uses the “war on terrorism” as a disguise to conceal their abuses. In April 2017, the government declared a state of emergency, which gave the security forces unchecked powers. In 2019 the government passed constitutional amendments that consolidated the authoritarian rule, once again undermining the rule of law.

https://www.rafto.no/the-rafto-prize/the-rafto-prize-2020-to

Polish Ombudsman Adam Bodnar winner of 2018 RAFTO award!

September 27, 2018
Polish lawyer Adam Bodnar – Defender of minority rights and judicial independence in Poland (Photo credit: Kluczek/RPO.GOV.PL )

The Rafto Prize 2018 is awarded to the Polish lawyer Adam Bodnar and the institution he leads, the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights, for the important stance taken in the face of current political developments in Poland.  A key function of the Ombudsman, or the Commissioner for Human Rights, is to ensure that the public authorities secure and respect the human rights of all members of Polish society. As lawyer and Ombudsman, Adam Bodnar (41) has highlighted the crucial role played by independent Ombudsman institutions in safeguarding human rights in Poland – and other countries – where such actors and institutions  increasingly have come under attack.

Since Law and Justice (PiS) won the Polish election in October 2015, the party has used its majority in the National Parliament to adopt legislation that reduces the independence of the courts and centralizes state powers. New laws grant the government control of state media and place severe limits on freedom of information and political lobbying. The rights of vulnerable groups have been repeatedly ignored.  “The award is not just an award to my work and the institution, but mostly a support from your community given to the Polish civil society, academia, judges and lawyers fighting for rule of law, juridical independence, pluralism and protection of minorities in Poland,” said Adam Bodnar.

The Rafto Prize for 2018 to Adam Bodnar and the Ombudsman for Human Rights highlights the rolling back of democracy and human rights protections in Poland. The conflict over the Polish Constitutional Tribunal and the Supreme Court are important internationally because they are symbolic of an alarming tendency where the independence of courts increasingly is under political pressure. It is crucial that the international community, the EU, Norway and other European countries take a clear stance against human rights violations and attacks on the rule of law and minority rights that take place in our own region. Adam Bodnar, being the civil servant, cannot accept the prize money awarded along with the Rafto Prize. The Rafto Foundation will identify and donate the prize money to civil society working for human rights in Poland.

For more on this and other awards: http://trueheroesfilms.org/thedigest/awards/rafto-prize

https://www.rafto.no/news/the-2018-rafto-prize-to-ombudsman-adam-bodnar

Nominations for the Rafto Prize close on 1 February

January 17, 2018

Save the date: 2017 Rafto Prize ceremony on 5 November

June 28, 2017

Image from last year’s 30th Annviersary Ceremony in Bergen with 18 Rafto Prize Laureates taking part in the celebration.

The 2017 Rafto Prize is given every year since 1987 in Bergen Norway. It is a major award with many outstanding human rights defenders among its laureates. Last year I attended the anniversary event and was deeply impressed by the quality of the event and the commitment of the population of Bergen. So if you were planning to go in the nordic direction, make 5 November the date you are in Bergen. Venue: Den Nationale Scene, Bergen, start at 18h00. The Ceremony will feature honoring of the 2017 Rafto Laureate, as well as artistic performances with local and national artists. Torchlight procession shortly after the ceremony

Announcement of the winner of the 2017 Rafto Prize will be on 28 September at 10.00 AM. The announcement will be broadcasted on rafto.no and in social media: @RaftoFoundation #rafto1.

For last year’s award see:https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2016/10/01/iraqi-human-rights-defender-yanar-mohammed-laureate-of-2016-rafto-prize/ 

The day before the ceremony, on 4 November at 11:00, there will a public conference with topics related to the 2017 prize. Free entrance at Universitetsaulaen.

Event registration at rafto.no, opens shortly after the announcement on 28 September

http://mailchi.mp/rafto/raftoprisen-2017-rets-arrangementer-1158253?e=09975c365f

 

Call for nominations for two important human rights awards – deadline February 2017

December 14, 2016

 Rafto Prize. 

This Bergen-based award (established in 1987) is seeking candidates for its 2017 award. Candidates should be active in the struggle for the ideals and principles underlying the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and should represent a non-violent perspective. Nominations for the Rafto Prize are received and evaluated by the Rafto Prize Committee. Recipient(s) are selected by the Board of Directors in August. For questions regarding nominations, please contact the Secretary of the Committee, Liv Unni Stuhaug, e-mail: livunni.stuhaug(at)rafto.no. For 2016 award see: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2016/10/01/iraqi-human-rights-defender-yanar-mohammed-laureate-of-2016-rafto-prize/

Deadline for nominations: 1 February 2017

https://www.rafto.no/get-involved/nomination

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Front Line Defenders Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk.

Established in 2005 the award is to honour the work of a human rights defender who, through non-violent work, is courageously making an outstanding contribution to the promotion and protection of the human rights of others, often at great personal risk to themselves. A cash prize of €15,000 is awarded to recipient and his/her organisation in an effort to support the continuation of this important work. Individual nominees may not play a prominent role in a political party and must be currently active in human rights work (no posthumous contribution). Nominees must not be living in exile. For 2016 award see: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2016/06/10/ana-mirian-romero-environmental-activist-from-honduras-wins-2016-front-line-award/

Deadline: Friday, 3 February 2017

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/secure/nomination.php (English)

 

Rafto award 2015 goes to human rights defender and priest Padre Melo in Honduras

October 7, 2015

The 2015 Rafto Prize has been awarded to the Honduran priest, radio activist and human rights defender Ismael Moreno Coto, better known as Padre Melo. The Prize is awarded in recognition of his use of the media in defense of freedom of expression and fundamental rights in Honduras, a country plagued by extreme violence.

Activities around this important Norwegian prize are:

  • the 2015  Rafto Conference on Saturday 31 October 10 am at Radisson Blu Hotel Norge (the banquet hall) in Bergen [free of charge, but registration here before 28 October].
  • the 2015 Rafto Prize Award Ceremony on Sunday 1 November 6 pm at Den Nationale Scene, Bergen in honour of Laureate Padre Melo, with artistic contributions from Norwegian artists.

For more on this award: http://www.brandsaviors.com/thedigest/award/rafto-prize

For any inquiries, please contact Project Coordinator Liv Unni Stuhaug: livunni.stuhaug@rafto.no

Read more about this year’s Rafto Prize Laureate here.

 

Russian NGO Agora wins Rafto prize but has to refuse the money

September 25, 2014

The Russian human rights group Agora, which played a key role in defending one of the jailed members of Pussy Riot, has won Norway’s Rafto Prize for human rights defenders. [An Agora lawyer, Irina Khrunova, helped secure the release of Yekaterina Samutsevich, who was sentenced to two years in jail in 2012 for the feminist group’s “punk prayer” protest against President Vladimir Putin].”The award is a recognition of their relentless and professional work to defend the right to fair trial and other human rights in a Russia where organisations and individuals are subjected to increasing pressure from the country’s authorities” the Bergen-based Rafto Foundation said on Thursday. The Agora Association – a network of 35 lawyers across Russia – was founded by human rights lawyer Pavel Chikov in 2005. It provides legal help to mainly human rights defenders, bloggers and journalists.

The group was forced to turn down $20,000 in prize money, according to the Rafto foundation due to a 2012 law – which Agora has challenged in the courts – that requires organisations with international funding to register as “foreign agents”.

via Russian lawyers win Norwegian rights prize.

for more info on the award: http://www.trueheroesfilms.org/thedigest/award/rafto-prize