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The Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award

The nominations process for the 2016 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award is now open. Please help us honor Robert F. Kennedy’s legacy of advancing social justice for all by nominating a human rights defender today. 

***The deadline for submitting nominations has been extended to April 8, 2016 at 11:59 PM EST.***

To submit a nomination, please follow these steps:
  • Review the eligibility criteria and information about the Award found below.
  • Sign-up for a free account and log-in on the right side of this page.
  • Complete and submit the nomination form in English on the site.
  • Contact if you have any questions concerning the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award. Please contact for any technical difficulties with the website.

Anyone can nominate a human rights defender for the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award. There is no limit to the number of nominations an individual can make. If the human rights defender you nominate is selected for further review, you will be contacted for more information. 

*The deadline for submitting nominations for the 2016 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award is April 8, 2016 at 11:59 PM EST.*


Eligibility criteria:

Persons working non-violently to promote and protect human rights for all are eligible for the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award. Those who have worked strategically and effectively to address serious human rights problems are given the highest priority. Often these human rights defenders are working against tremendous odds and at grave personal risk. The nominee should have an established reputation for integrity, creativity, and commitment to human rights principles.

Please note the following criteria for ineligibility:

  • Nominees must not be part of a government institution;
  • Nominees must not have an official role within a political party (please note the nominee can be affiliated with a political party);
  • Nominees must not be self-nominated; and
  • Nominees must not be nominated for the purposes of a lifetime achievement award or a posthumous award.


About the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award

The Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award seeks to identify and honor people who embody Robert F. Kennedy’s belief in the power of individual moral courage to overcome injustice. Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights has honored 47 human rights defenders working in 29 countries since 1984. The Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award Laureates stand up to oppression at grave personal risk in the non-violent pursuit of human rights.
The Award recognizes the work of these outstanding individuals and provides the opportunity to support the work of the Laureate on an ongoing basis through strategic litigation; training and capacity building; and advocacy before governments, international organizations, and other institutions. Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights often forges strategic partnerships with the recipients of the Award and for this reason it is important to nominate someone who could find the support of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights useful.
Please note that nominations must be submitted in English. An expert panel will select the recipient based on their dedication and accomplishments toward social justice and the non-violent and effective tactics used to achieve their goals. 

Please note that while the Award carries a monetary prize, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights is not a grant-making organization and does not provide project funds to the recipients of the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award.

For more information about Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, please visit

Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award Laureates

Natalia Taubina (Russia): 
Holding law enforcement officials accountable for abuse and promoting police reform.

Adilur Rahman Khan (Bangladesh): Exposing the most serious human rights violations in Bangladesh through a nationwide network of defenders.

Ragia Omran (Egypt): Advancing women's rights, the rule of law, and democracy in Egypt through human rights legal advocacy.

Librada Paz (United States): Advocating for the rights of farmworkers and migrant workers in the U.S.
Frank Mugisha (Uganda): Championing human rights for sexual minorities in Uganda and against discrimination and persecution faced by the LGBTI community.
Abel Barrera Hernández (Mexico): Fighting for the full spectrum of human rights of indigenous and rural communities and demanding protection of human rights defenders in the region.
Magodonga Mahlangu & Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) (Zimbabwe): Advocating for political and social change in Zimbabwe, empowering women, and striving for universal education.
Aminatou Haidar (Western Sahara): Promoting the civil and political rights of the people of Western Sahara, including the freedom of speech and assembly and the right to self-determination.
Dr. Mohammed Ahmed Abdallah (Sudan): Treating victims of torture, and to ensure peace process includes provisions for post conflict truth and reconciliation.
Sonia Pierre (Dominican Republic): Working for the rights of Dominicans of Haitian descent and Haitian immigrants in the Dominican Republic.
Stephen Bradberry (United States): Establishing the right to return and participate for those displaced from their homes by the Gulf Coast hurricanes.
Delphine Djiraibe (Chad): Advocating for social, economic, and environmental rights in Chad and for World Bank accountability and corporate responsibility in the disbursement of oil revenues.
Coalition of Immokalee Workers (United States): Ending modern-day slavery and the exploitation of migrant workers in the U.S. agricultural industry.
Loune Viaud (Haiti): Realizing the human right to health for all Haitians.
Darci Frigo (Brazil): Promoting rights of the landless and sustainable agriculture in Brazil and combating modern-day slavery.
Martin Macwan (India): Bringing an end to human rights violations and discrimination against the “untouchable” Dalit population in India.
Archbishop Michael Kpakala Francis (Liberia): Strengthening Liberian civil society and respect for human rights as a basis for sustainable peace.
Berenice Celeyta, Gloria Florez and Jaime Prieto (Colombia): Protecting human rights defenders and defending the rights of those marginalized by the internal conflict in Colombia.
Sezgin Tanrikulu (Turkey): Defending the rights of Kurdish citizens.
Senal Sarihan (Turkey): Strengthening Turkey's civil society and promoting women's rights.
Anonymous (Sudan): Eliminating the persecution of minorities in Sudan.
Doan Viet Hoat (Vietnam): Striving for a democratic government and economic and human rights reform for the Vietnamese people.
Nguyen Dan Que (Vietnam): Advocating for political reform and freedom of expression in Viet Nam.
Kailash Satyarthi (India): Ending child labor and realizing the human right to education for all children.
Ren Wanding (China): Promoting a democratic government and the release of political prisoners.
Wei Jingsheng (China): Advocating for human rights and political reform in China.
Bambang Widjojanto (Indonesia): Promoting self-determination and control of natural resources by West Papuans.
Chakufwa Chihana (Malawi): Promoting a democratic society and workers' rights.
Avigdor Feldman (Israel): Advocating for civil rights and justice in Israel.
Raji Sourani (Palestine): Defending the human rights of the Palestinian people.
Amilcar Mendez Urizar (Guatemala): Protecting the constitutional and human rights of Guatemala's indigenous population.
Fang Lizhi (China): Advocating for democracy and freedom of education in China.
Gibson Kamau Kuria (Kenya): Championing for Kenya's legal and constitutional reform.
Kim Keun Tae and In Jae Keun (South Korea): Striving for democracy in South Korea and eliminating the systematic torture of political prisoners.
Zbigniew Bujak (Poland): Promoting a democratic society in Poland.
Adam Michnik (Poland): Opposing communist rule in Poland.
Allan Boesak, Beyers Naude, and Winnie Mandela (South Africa): Ending apartheid in South Africa.
CoMadres (El Salvador): Ending politically motivated forced disappearances in El Salvador.

For more information about the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award Laureates, please visit

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Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights