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The 2022 Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders

Since 1994, the Martin Ennals Award honours human rights defenders from around the world who show exceptional commitment to promoting fundamental rights, often at the risk of their own lives. For the 2022 edition, the Jury selected three activists who, through their courage, unfailing hope and strategic approaches, inspired others to take up human rights. Their identities will be revealed on 19 January 2022 during an online press conference. The Martin Ennals Award Laureates 2022 will be honoured during a hybrid ceremony co-hosted by the City of Geneva and the Martin Ennals Foundation on 10 February 2022.

Three Laureates   

The Martin Ennals Award will undergo a change starting with the 2022 edition:  all three Human Rights Defenders will be honoured as Laureates. This change reflects the Board and Jury’s desire to equally reward Human Rights Defenders in terms of the recognition the Award brings and the financial prize it carries.  “Over the years, the Jury has witnessed the incredibly complex life and work situations faced by the activists nominated to the Martin Ennals Award. All of them show incredible courage and determination and face high risks. Identifying a more “deserving” or more at-risk defender amongst groups of exceptional persons was an impossible mission. Hence, our decision to honour all the winners in an identical manner, as Laureates“, says Hans Thoolen, Chair of the Jury. 

Inspiration as a connecting theme 

The 2022 Laureates, whose identities shall be revealed on 19 January 2022 during an online press conference, represent very different profiles, cultures, and human rights causes, but the three 2022 defenders are leading architects of the human rights movement in their countries. “Their courage inspired other activists to join the cause. They stood up and spoke out for what they believe, and thus they inspire us to hope and fight for brighter futures,” says Isabel de Sola, Director of the Martin Ennals Foundation. 

A hybrid Ceremony for 2022 

The annual Martin Ennals Award ceremony, co-hosted by the City of Geneva and the Martin Ennals Foundation, will honour the three Laureates on 10 February 2022 in a hybrid format. Held in the heart of Geneva, Switzerland, the event gathers both local and international audiences for a unique celebration of Human Rights Defenders. A valid Covid Certificate will be mandatory for in person attendance.  

Geneva is the host of numerous prominent international organisations and countless civil society organisations. As a city of human rights, Geneva is committed to supporting international cooperation on critical issues. In this spirit, we are proud to organise another edition of the Martin Ennals Award Ceremony”, said Member of the City executiveAlfonso Gomez.  

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