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Václav Havel Human Rights Prize

Václav Havel Human Rights Prize 2020: two extra months to submit nominations

The deadline for the submission of nominations for the Václav Havel Human Rights Prize 2020, has been extended by two months. The new deadline has been fixed on 30 June 2020, instead of the original deadline of 30 April. 

The Václav Havel Human Rights Prize is awarded annually by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, in partnership with the Václav Havel Library and the Charta 77 Foundation for outstanding civil society action in the defence of human rights in Europe and beyond. Consisting of a sum of 60 000€, a trophy and a diploma, this Prize is open for nomination of any individual, non-governmental organisation or institution working to defend human rights.

Candidates should have made a real difference to the human rights situation of a given group, been instrumental in uncovering large-scale systemic violations, or have successfully mobilised public opinion or the international community for a cause.

Nominations should be sent to the Parliamentary Assembly by e-mail to the following address: hrprize.pace@coe.int, using the form available on the Prize website. They should be signed by at least five sponsors and submitted in either English or French.

The Prize, which will be awarded on 12 October 2020 in Strasbourg, consists of a sum of €60,000, a trophy and a diploma.

Since 2013, it has been awarded in turn to Ales Bialiatski (Belarus), Anar Mammadli (Azerbaijan), Ludmilla Alexeeva (Russian Federation), Nadia Murad (Iraq), Murat Arslan (Turkey) and Oyub Titiev (Russian Federation). Last year, the Prize was awarded jointly to imprisoned Uyghur intellectual Ilham Tohti from China and the Youth Initiative for Human Rights (YIHR), which brings together young people from across the Balkans to promote reconciliation.

For further information, please contact:

- PACE: Isild Heurtin, tel. +33 3 90 21 41 00, isild.heurtin@coe.int
- Václav Havel Library: Karolína Stránská, tel. +420 222 220 112, karolina.stranska@vaclavhavel.cz
- Charta 77 Foundation: Gabriela Švagrová, tel. +420 224 214 452, gabriela.svagrova@bariery.cz

Timetable for 2020

  • 15 January: call for candidates;
  • 30 June: deadline for reception of candidatures;
  • 1 September: first meeting of the Selection Panel in Prague;
  • 7 September: meeting of the Bureau of the Assembly which will take note of the three shortlisted candidates;
  • 11 October: second meeting of the Selection Panel in Strasbourg which will select the prize winner;
  • 12 October: Award Ceremony in the Council of Europe;
  • 14 October: conference in Prague in honour of the winner of the Václav Havel Human Rights Prize.

Submission of nominations

Nominations for the Prize should be addressed to the Secretary General of the Parliamentary Assembly and be signed by at least five sponsors, other than the nominee, on the special form to be found at the Václav Havel Human Rights Prize website.

Nominations shall provide details of the nominee's work in the defence of human rights and specify the reasons why the nominee's work can be considered to be outstanding. Relevant supporting documents should be provided. Nominations should be submitted in either of the two official languages of the Council of Europe, English or French.

Who can be nominated?

Individuals or non-governmental institutions active in the defence of human rights can be nominated for the Prize.

The Selection Panel

The Selection Panel of the Prize is composed of the President of the Assembly (or a person designated by him/her) and six independent persons (who cannot be current members of the Assembly) with recognised moral standing in the field of human rights.

The Panel will examine the nominations, submit a shortlist of three nominees to the Bureau of the Parliamentary Assembly for information and, subsequently, designate the Prizewinner for the year in question.

Three Panel members are appointed by the Bureau of the Parliamentary Assembly and three Panel members by the Václav Havel Library and the Charta 77 Foundation. The six independent experts are appointed for a two-year period, renewable twice.

The Panel is chaired by the President of the Assembly or the person designated by him/her.

The Award Ceremony

The Prize is awarded at a ceremony which takes place in Strasbourg on the Monday of the Autumn Session of the Parliamentary Assembly, usually in late September or early October.

The name of the Prizewinner is announced by the President of the Parliamentary Assembly.

The former Czech First Lady, Dagmar Havlova, is invited to honour the ceremony with her presence.

Conference in honour of the Prizewinner

The Václav Havel Library will organise, at a later date, an international conference in Prague in honour of the Prizewinner.