This Prize, created in 1988, is awarded in recognition and support for the completion of individual or collective projects carried out in the field, in France or abroad, regardless of nationality or borders, to promote and protect human rights anywhere in the world.
Purpose of Award
- The French Republic’s Liberty, Equality, Fraternity Human Rights Prize, endowed by the Prime Minister of the French Government, is awarded annually by the French National Consultative Commission on Human Rights.
- The prize distinguishes field work and projects connected with the effective protection and promotion of human rights, in the spirit of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
- Eligibility for the prize extends to work or projects of an individual or collective nature without distinction of nationality or frontier, with the exception of members of the National Consultative Commission on Human Rights.
- Each year, the prize is associated with one or two themes concerning the protection and promotion of human rights. Applications must bear a relation to either or both of the said themes.
Following in the footsteps of the Human Rights Council of the United Nations in 2021, the UN General Assembly declared, in a resolution adopted in July 2022, access to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment to be a universal human right.
The enshrinement of a right to a healthy environment lends legitimacy to the actions of environment defenders, whose status was defined in Resolution A/RES/53/144 (1998) of the General Assembly adopting the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders. Yet United Nations reports show that the defenders most in danger are those defending the right to a healthy environment. There protection should therefore be a particular focus. This realization of the need to organize the protection of environmental defenders led to the appointment in 2022 of the first Special Rapporteur on Environmental Defenders under the Aarhus Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters.
This enshrinement of the right to a healthy environment echoes moreover the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted in 2015 by the Member States of the United Nations. The Member States committed to achieving 17 goals by 2030, including access to clean water and sanitation (SDG6) and conservation and sustainable use of the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development (SDG14).
Applications will be accepted from individuals and non-governmental organizations with one or more field projects aimed, notably, at
- Promoting the work of environmental defenders or ensuring their protection.
- Promoting effective access to quality drinking water and effective sanitation.
- Monitoring of water resources in the long term, with the potential to foster better distribution of usages in line with resources.
- The five prize winners will be invited to Paris for the official ceremony. They will receive a medal and share a total sum of €70,000, awarded by the CNCDH and to be used to implement their projects. They may introduce themselves as 2021 laureates of the Human Rights Prize of the French Republic.
- Five runners-up will be awarded a “special mention” medal by the French ambassador in their country of origin.
For more information, visit French Embassy in South Africa.