An Irish human rights group has been awarded the 2018 United Nations Human Rights Prize.
Front Line Defenders (FLD) has been named as one of four winners of the prestigious prize.
The group was founded in 2001 to provide rapid and practical support for the security and protection of human rights defenders in at risk areas.
It offers a range of services from protection grants to training, advocacy and R&R to over 4,000 human rights defenders around the world every year.
Profoundly honoured that @FrontLineHRD has been named as one of 4 winners of the UN Human Rights Prize. We dedicate this to the courageous & dedicated human rights defenders we work to support. https://t.co/8Ob0CeNrVT
— Andrew Anderson (@ettrick49) October 26, 2018
The group’s executive director Andrew Anderson said members are “hugely honoured to receive this prize.”
“As we approach the 20th anniversary of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, we must redouble our efforts to protect those who risk their lives in the pursuit of justice and dignity,” he said.
“This recognition will help Front Line Defenders bring attention to the important work human rights defenders undertake at great personal risk.”
Welcoming the award on Twitter last night, the Tánaiste Simon Coveney said he was “proud to see them honoured as they work to protect human rights defenders in the most dangerous & challenging parts of the world.”
Great news from UNHQ NY - Ireland’s Front Line Defenders @FrontLineHRD are winners of prestigious 2018 UN prize for Human Rights. Proud to see them honored as they work to protect human rights defenders in the most dangerous & challenging parts of the world.
— Simon Coveney (@simoncoveney) October 25, 2018
FLD said it was dedicating the prize to human rights defenders around the world “who struggle every day to advance and defend the rights for their communities.”
“In its work in providing resources for the protection and security of HRDs, Front Line Defenders has worked with incredibly brave and resilient activists, who inspire and shine a light in often dark places,” it said.
The organisation congratulated the three other winners of the prize – Tanzanian Rebeca Gyumi, Brazilian Joênia Wapichana (Joênia Batista de Carvalho) and the family of Ms Asma Jahangir from Pakistan.
Today I announced the 2018 winners of the @UN Human Rights Prize. I am proud to recognise the contributions of individuals & organizations that promote & protect human rights @RebecaGyumi @Asma_Jahangir Joênia Wapichana @FrontLineHRD Your work is an inspiration to us all #UN4ALL
— UN GA President (@UN_PGA) October 25, 2018