Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders 2022

Deadline: May 30, 2021

Applications are open for the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders 2022. The Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders honors individuals and organizations who have shown exceptional commitment to defending human rights, despite the risks involved.

Many defenders who are nominated for the Award face serious risks – for example, they are in jail or at risk of detention; they have been prevented from carrying out their work by authorities or businesses, or they have disappeared. The Award seeks to protect these defenders by highlighting their work through the media and mobilizing international support for them. The presentation of the Award is accompanied by significant advocacy and outreach activities in favor of the human rights defenders concerned.


  • All of the winners receive an important financial prize intended to support his or her work in the field of human rights. However, the importance of this Award to human rights defenders is not restricted to its financial aspect.
  • The international recognition and credibility of the Martin Ennals Award contributes to their protection, as does the support of prominent figures such as the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the City of Geneva, the Republic and Canton of Geneva and other partner organizations.


  • Candidates must be currently active in the promotion and protection of human rights. The Award does not consider defenders who are deceased.
  • The candidate should not employ or advocate violence.
  • Self -nominations are not accepted.
  • Defenders who are no longer in need of protection (e.g. because they are now in a safe environment) will normally not be considered.

Selection Criteria

  • The main considerations are the quality of the work of the Defenders and their need for protection.
  • The Jury also considers who would benefit most from the Award and the public attention it brings.
  • Gender and geographic considerations also play a role in the evaluation.
  • The Jury is guided by the courage human rights defenders demonstrate in their work, the determination and commitment shown by the selected defenders in spite of the attacks, threats and harassment they face, and their commitment to nonviolent means.


Nominate your human rights champion now by filling out the nomination form available in EnglishFrenchSpanish and Arabic.

For more information, see FAQ and visit Martin Ennals Award.