Call for Nominations

We are now accepting nominations for the Civil Rights Defender of the Year Award 2021. Nominations must be submitted before 26 October 2020.

Every year since 2013, Civil Rights Defenders has awarded the Civil Rights Defender of the Year Award to a prominent human rights defender. The recipient is a brave human rights defender who, despite the risk to their own safety, continues the struggle for civil and political rights.

The award highlights the situation of human rights defenders at risk. Through international recognition and support to the organisation represented by the recipient, the award enhances their human rights work.

The recipient must carry out their work without the use of violence and within an independent human rights organisation/network.


  • Should have a central role in the human rights movement in the country or region where the person is active;
  • Should have made exceptional contributions to the promotion and protection of civil and political rights; and
  • Could be in need of international attention to improve the person’s protection.

Eligibility for nomination

  • Only individuals, not organisations, can be nominated;
  • Self-nomination is not allowed; and
  • Incomplete application forms will not be considered.

Nomination Process

The recipient of the award is selected by the Board of Civil Rights Defenders, which chooses between three candidates presented by the organisation’s secretariat. The secretariat makes their choices based on nominations submitted by Civil Rights Defenders’ worldwide network.

Nomination is per invitation only. Contact if you think you should be invited to nominate.

Nominations must be sent to before 26 October 2020 with the email subject “Nomination for the Civil Rights Defender of the Year Award 2021”. Should you be hesitant to submit the nomination over email for security reasons, or need to keep certain information confidential, use a secure channel to connect with your contact at Civil Rights Defenders for guidance.

A complete nomination consists of a filled out nomination form (all required fields) and a consent form signed by the nominee. Incomplete applications will not be considered.


Download the nominations form here.
Download the consent form here.