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.
Whether their goal is to achieve equality for LGBTIQ+ people, to ensure a healthy environment for Indigenous communities or to defeat systemic racism, human rights defenders share a common vision, that of a society that is more just, equal and free for all.
Their work is vital to realise human rights change. Often, it takes people and communities to hold powerful politicians and corporations to account and make sure that everyone can benefit from the human rights and freedoms that we are all meant to share.
Human rights defenders come together to build networks and strategies, to prepare powerful campaigns that change minds and hearts, to propose solutions and advocate for better ways of doing things – to make sure no one is left behind.
Together, they have secured countless reforms for the benefit of millions of people around the world. From anti-racism and solidarity activists dismantling apartheid and segregation to feminists winning women the right to vote, from democracy campaigners bringing down tyrannical regimes to the recognition of marriage equality thanks to LGBTIQ+ rights defenders – the history of the human rights movement is overflowing with victories and plentiful reasons to have hope about our ability to create a better future for everyone.
Here at the International Service for Human Rights we are constantly being inspired by the brave people taking action to defend human rights and want to share some of their success stories with you. In the news below, you will also discover how we at ISHR support these leaders of change, strengthen laws and systems for their protection and contribute to a safe and enabling environment for them at the national, regional and international levels.
Of course, progress is an ongoing journey and work remains to be done. In this regard, it’s important to remember that we all have the right to defend human rights and the ability to create human rights change. Our collective actions today can create a better tomorrow for everyone.
Will you join the movement and help write the next success stories?