Established by the General Assembly in 1966, the Prize was awarded for the first time in 1968 on what is now Human Rights Day, 10 December, and it is awarded every five years for achievements in the field of human rights.
Previous recipients have included Jimmy Carter, Nelson Mandela, Dr. Denis Mukwege, Eleanor Roosevelt, Malala Yusafzai, and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
This year’s winners were the Human Rights Center “Viasna”, based in Belarus, Julienne Lusenge from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Amman Center for Human Rights Studies from Jordan, Julio Pereyra from Uruguay and the Global Coalition of civil society organizations, Indigenous Peoples, social movements and local communities.
The Committee is chaired by the President of the General Assembly, and its members include the President of the Economic and Social Council, the President of the Human Rights Council, the Chair of the Commission on the Status of Women, and the Chair of the Advisory Committee of the Human Rights Council.
The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) provided support to the special committee.
“The winners’ dedication speaks to the universal nature of human rights at a critical time,” said Mr. Kőrösi.
The award ceremony for the 2023 Prize will take place at UN Headquarters in New York in December 2023, as part of activities to commemorate Human Rights Day.
Defending human rights
The members of the Special Committee conveyed their admiration for all civil society actors who with their work contribute to the promotion, protection, and advancement of human rights.
They also acknowledged the important role played by human rights defenders and activists, praising them for their courage and dedication while strongly condemning any attempts to “silence and intimidate” them.
They expressed solidarity with those who are detained in retaliation for their work in defending human rights and pursuing the implementation of all the provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, marking it’s 75th birthday this year.