Call for Nominations

The nominations process for the Civil Rights Defender of the Year Award 2020 is now closed. Nominations were accepted until 29 October 2019.

The Civil Rights Defender of the Year Award is awarded annually to a prominent human rights defender who, despite the risk to their own safety, continues the fight for respect and protection of 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 29 October 2019 with the email subject “Nomination for the Civil Rights Defender of the Year Award 2020”. Should you be hesitant to submit the nomination over email for security reasons, 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 and a consent form signed by the nominee. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Click here for the nominations form

Click here for the consent form