French Republic Human Rights Prize 2008

The French Republic’s Human Rights Prize, “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity”, for 2008, presented by the Prime Minister of the French government, is open to applications.

This prize, which celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2008, is intended to award individual or collective action, irrespective of nationality or borders, undertaken in France or abroad, with respect to one of two themes.

This year the presentation of the Human Rights Prize will represent a high point of the 60th anniversary celebrations in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948.

1. The non-governmental organisations, irrespective of nationality or borders, should present a field mission or project undertaken in France or abroad in 2008 concerning one of two themes.

Theme 1: Human Rights Defenders

On 9 December 1998 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the “Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms”. This year is the 10th anniversary of this text known as the “Declaration on Human Rights Defenders”. The closing decade has confirmed the threats faced by human rights defenders, and today while several winners of the French Republic’s Human Rights Award Prize are deprived of their freedom, it is more pressing than ever to recall the role of civil society, and especially human rights defenders, in promoting and protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms.

In addition to the men and women fighting to defend human rights, applications from the “defenders of the defenders” are also welcome. Actions eligible for consideration are those serving to educate and inform the public, improve the functioning of public affairs, promote democratic institutions and improve their functioning, especially when the protection afforded by the State to defenders working though peaceful means is inadequate

Theme 2: Economic, Social and Cultural rights

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was reaffirmed in two international pacts and their additional protocols to constitute the “International Bill of Human Rights”. 2008 will mark an important phase if ongoing work is concluded on the drafting of an optional protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, permitting communications from individuals, as was the original case for the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Emphasizing economic, social and cultural rights is a means of recalling the principles of indivisibility, interdependence and universality of human rights, reaffirmed in the 1993 Vienna Conference and worthy of constant reaffirmation.

Action and programmes may relate to raising awareness in the governments concerned, solidarity with populations deprived of these rights, promotion of the effectiveness of rights and support, where necessary, of cases brought before the competent courts or public education and information.

2. Five prize winners will share a total award of €75,000 granted by the Prime Minister. A special mention will be conferred to the five other prize winners. Applications must comply with the Prize regulations. The Prize regulations can be sent to you upon request. You can also find the regulations on this website:

3. The application form in French must include:

- a) an application letter presented and signed by the president or legal representative of the operating NGO;
- b) an application stating in detail the aim and description of the work undertaken or project submitted. It must include a precise budget (with an equivalent sum preferably in euros);
- c) a presentation of the operating NGO (status, work conducted, etc.);
- d) address and bank details of the NGO.

The candidates must send their complete application, before the deadline on 30 September 2008, to the Secrétariat Général de la Commission (35, rue Saint-Dominique, Paris 75007, France) or by e-mail to: -

4. The jury will announce the results on 12 November 2008. The 2008 Prize will be presented by the Prime Minister in a formal ceremony in the first two weeks of December 2008.

5. Terms and conditions: click here

Published on 19/08/2008

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