Human Rights Defenders for the Nobel Peace Prize
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Sign this petition to endorse the Nobel Peace Prize 2018 for the global community of Human Rights Defenders.
Firme esta petición para respaldar el Premio Nobel de la Paz 2018 para la comunidad global de Defensores de los Derechos Humanos. (el texto en Castellano).
This petition is supported by an open letter, signed by over 220 civil society organisations from around the world, in support of human rights defenders for the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize. (Click here to read the open letter and view the full list of signatories).
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Dear Members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee,
9 December 2018 will mark the 20th anniversary of the UN’s Declaration on Human Rights Defenders (HRDs). It is an ideal and opportune moment to recognise and celebrate the efforts of these extraordinary individuals who despite threats of violence and unlawful imprisonment, harassment, intimidation, torture and assassination, continue to peacefully challenge injustice and call for the implementation and strengthening of the rule of law. Since 1998, over 3000 human rights defenders have been killed for defending the fundamental values enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the UN.
In recognising the increasingly hostile environments globally, in which human rights defenders must work, the late Former Secretary-General to the United Nations, Kofi Annan, recently said:
“To stand up for human rights requires courage, perseverance, vigilance and a strong foundation of knowledge and evidence. We need to be vigilant in the protection of human rights defenders, for when the defenders’ rights are violated, all our rights are injured.”
In the same vein and emphasising the critical role that human rights defenders play in promoting and fostering stable democracies and sustainable peace, Permanent Representative of Norway to the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Ambassador Steffen Kongstad said:
“Threats and attacks against human rights defenders may hamper the realisation of economic, social and cultural rights, undermining social cohesion, and ultimately stability and development.”
Despite this recognition and respect at the highest levels of the international community, human rights defenders are killed every day. HRDs who suffer disproportionately are those activists working at grassroots and community levels, in isolated regions and from marginalised populations, who lack networks and resources to command international attention. Human rights defenders can be community leaders, lawyers, journalists, environmental activists, victims of abuse, trade unionists and teachers.
It is for these urgent reasons that Peace Brigades International with the support of the UK All Party Parliamentary Group on Human Rights has nominated the global community of HRDs for the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize. It is the highest humanitarian achievement through which to recognise HRDs and celebrate their commitment to advocating for and building societies that are peaceful, safe, inclusive, tolerant, just and sustainable for all. The nomination is currently supported by the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of HRDs and some governments, diplomats and parliamentarians around the world.
We believe that awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to the global community of HRDs will mark a milestone in legitimising the crucial work they undertake to protect humanity and bring the trends of persecution they suffer to the public eye.
Furthermore, this collective award would mark a world first. By nominating a community rather than individuals or organisations, we emphasise that the trends making the defence of human rights ever more risky and ever more admirable, are global. We seek to highlight that the community itself is integral to the defence of human rights and it is the idea of community that motivates people to take enormous risks defending the rights of others and advancing peace.
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