Strasbourg, 29.10.2008 - The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) today called for nominations for an annual Human Rights Prize, which will reward "outstanding civil society action in the defence of human rights in Europe".
Individuals and NGOs can be nominated for the prize, which will be selected by a seven-member panel from nominations put forward by at least five sponsors before 31 December 2008. The first Prize will be awarded at a ceremony in Strasbourg during the summer plenary session (22-26 June 2009) of the Assembly, which brings together 636 parliamentarians from 47 Council of Europe member states.
“We depend on civil society to ‘speak truth to power’ when it comes to human rights,” said PACE President Lluís Maria de Puig, launching the prize. “NGOs and human rights defenders carry out difficult and sometimes dangerous work, saving lives, exposing injustice and demanding change. When it is outstanding, this work deserves to be applauded. This prize is for them.”