Call for Nominations: Pan-African Human Rights Defenders Awards 2013

Pan-African Human Rights Defenders Network (PAHRD–Net) has opened a call for nominations for human rights defenders awards. The awards will honor exceptional individuals who peacefully promote and protect universally recognized rights as stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. Altogether six awards will be presented, one Pan-African award and five sub-regional awards:

–        Pan-African Human Rights Defenders Award 2013

–        East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Award 2013

–        West Africa Human Rights Defenders Award 2013

–        Southern Africa Human Rights Defenders Award 2013

–        Central Africa Human Rights Defenders Award 2013

–        Northern Africa Human Rights Defenders Award 2013

Both individuals and organizations are eligible for the award. Nominations should be received not later than 15 August 2013. Please use the forms below. Submissions can be made in Arabic, French, English or Portuguese. Return your nomination to [email protected]

Awards include support to the human rights work of the winning individual or organisation with a total value of 10 000 USD for the Pan-African award winner and 5 000 USD for each sub-regional award winners. The winners will be selected by an independent jury. The awards will be presented to the winners at the occasion of the 54th Ordinary Session of the Africa Commission on Human and People’s Rights scheduled to be held in October 2013 in Banjul, The Gambia.

Nomination form for the 2013 PAHRDN HRD Award (DOC)

Formulaire de candidature: Prix 2013 de RPADDH (DOC)


Pan-African Human Rights Defenders Network

During the inaugural All Africa HRDs Conference held in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1998, the challenges faced by human rights defenders were enumerated and a strategy was developed to establish five sub-regional networks to meet the needs of and build protection institutions at national levels. Pan-African HRDs Network (PAHRD-Net) is made up of five sub-regional networks i.e. Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Network, West Africa Human Rights Defenders Network, Southern African Human Rights Defenders Network hosted by the International Commission of Jurists and the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, and Central African Human Rights Defenders Network.

The PAHRD-Net aims at promoting safe legal and working environment for HRDs and providing ongoing and effective support to human rights defenders through building their capacity in security and protection management in order to ensure that those defenders can in turn offer greater protection to the victims and witnesses they work with. It further seeks to support the efforts by other stakeholders to mainstream defenders’ protection into the agenda of key stakeholders, notably relevant national authorities, national and international organizations and foreign governments.


Human Rights Defender of the month: Esther Tawiah

In Ghana, Esther Tawiah is one of the loudest voices for women empowerment and gender. It is also why she is one of the most loathed. Born and raised in New-Tafo in the country’s eastern region, Esther grew up surrounded by a culture that frowned at the idea of women participating in public affairs, and witnessed firsthand, the backlash those who dared to challenge that cultural norm faced.

“I grew up in a society where ageism and sexism were so entrenched. As a young person, you weren’t supposed to give your opinion on public issues, especially if you were a woman. Women who dared to speak up were caricatured and branded as frustrated, unmarriageable prostitutes, all designed to shut them up,” she says.