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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 over. Please visit our website to learn more about Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights' work and check back for announcements regarding the 2017 nominations process in January 2017. 


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. An expert panel selects the recipient based on their dedication and accomplishments toward social justice and the non-violent and effective tactics used to achieve their goals. 

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.

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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.

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Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights