Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award

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"In the spirit of Robert Kennedy’s ideals, The Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award was established in 1984 by his eldest child, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, to honor these courageous and innovative individuals striving for social justice throughout the world." [1]

Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights

Previous Winners

Active Laureate Partners:

  • 2009: Magodonga Mahlangu & Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA)
  • 2008: Aminatou Haidar, Western Sahara
  • 2007: Dr. Mohammed Ahmed Abdallah, Sudan
  • Sonia Pierre (2006)
  • Stephen Bradberry (2005, USA) - Striving for full political participation of the working poor in New Orleans in the government decisions that effect them.
  • Delphine Djiraibe (2004, Chad) - Advocating for social, economic, and environmental rights in Chad and for World Bank accountability and corporate responsibility in the disbursement of oil revenues.
  • Coalition of Immokalee Workers (2003, USA) - Ending modern-day slavery and the exploitation of migrant workers in the U.S. agricultural industry.
  • Loune Viaud (2002, Haiti) - Realizing the human right to health for all Haitians.
  • Darci Frigo (2001, Brazil) - Fighting for the rights of the landless, combating modern-day slavery, and protecting the landís biodiversity and sustainability in Brazil.
  • Martin Macwan (2000, India) - Bringing an end to human rights violations and discrimination against the ìuntouchableî Dalit population in India.
  • Archbishop Michael Kpakala Francis (1999, Liberia) - Strengthening Liberian civil society and respect for human rights as a basis for sustainable peace.
  • Berenice Celeyta, Gloria Florez and Jaime Prieto (1998, Colombia) - Protecting human rights defenders and defending the rights of those marginalized by the internal conflict in Colombia.
  • Sezgin Tanrikulu (1997, Turkey) - Ending discrimination against the Kurdish population and promoting legal reform in Turkey.
  • Nguyen Dan Que (1995, Viet Nam) - Promoting human rights in Viet Nam and around the world.
  • Kailash Satyarthi (1995, India) - Campaigning for a world-wide public education initiative and eliminating child labor practices.
  • Bambang Widjojanto (1993, Indonesia) - Advocating for the human rights of the indigenous population in West Papua and sustaining the lands natural resources.
  • Avigdor Feldman (1991, Israel) - Advocating for civil rights and justice in Israel.
  • Raji Sourani (1991, Palestine) - Defending the human rights of the Palestinian people.
  • Amilcar Mendez Urizar (1990, Guatemala) - Protecting the constitutional and human rights of Guatemala's indigenous population.
  • Gibson Kamau Kuria (1988, Kenya) - Championing for Kenya's legal and constitutional reform.

Laureates in Exile:

  • Anonymous (1996, Sudan) - Eliminating the persecution of minorities in Sudan.
  • Doan Viet Hoat (1995, Viet Nam) - Striving for a democratic government and economic and human rights reform for the Vietnamese people.
  • Wei Jingsheng (1994, China) - Advocating for human rights and political reform in China.
  • Fang Lizhi (1989, China) - Advocating for democracy and freedom of education in China.

Inactive Partnerships:

  • Senal Sarihan (1997, Turkey) - Strengthening Turkey's civil society and promoting women's rights.
  • Ren Wanding (1994, China) - Promoting a democratic government and the release of political prisoners.

Laureate Partners who have acheived their goals:

  • Chakufwa Chihana (1992, Malawi) - Promoting a democratic society and workers' rights.
  • Kim Keun Tae and In Jae Keun (1987, South Korea) - Striving for democracy in South Korea and eliminating the systematic torture of political prisoners.
  • Zbigniew Bujak (1986, Poland) - Promoting a democratic society in Poland.
  • Adam Michnik (1986, Poland) - Opposing communist rule in Poland.
  • Allan Boesak, Beyers Naude, and Winnie Mandela (1985, South Africa) - Ending apartheid in South Africa.
  • CoMadres (1984, El Salvador) - ending politically motivated forced disapperance in El Salvador.


Resources and articles

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