Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Announcement: Calling for the nomination of the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights 2011

The Gwangju Prize for Human Rights 2011

Every year since 2000, the May 18 Memorial Foundation (Gwangju, Republic of Korea) has announced its annual “Call for nominations for the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights”. This Prize has been promoting the spirit of the Gwangju Democratic Uprising in which the people of Gwangju put up a resistance against the brutal military forces for the sake of Democracy and Human Rights in 1980. It affected Korea to bring Democracy in history.

The May 18 Memorial Foundation was founded in 1994 with the aim of spreading and commemorating the democratic spirit shown by the people of Gwangju. In the course of restoring the meaning of the May 18 Democratic Uprising through fact finding, and bringing the perpetrators to justice, even though Gwangju was isolated by the military junta many overseas countries supported the City and wanted to see the restoration of justice and human rights. Therefore, through this prize the May 18 Memorial Foundation would like to share and empathize with people in similar situations to that which the people of Gwangju faced in 1980.
The prize goes to one individual or an organization that has struggled for or contributed to the improvement and advancement of human rights, democracy and peace in their community and country.

Nominations will be collected from December to 1 March. Preliminary and final reviews of nominees will take place from March to April. The winner of the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights will be announced in the last week of April. The official prize ceremony will be held in May 18 Memorial Culture Cenre, Gwangju, on May 18, 2011.

The Gwangju Prize for Human Rights Special Award

In 2011, the May 18 Memorial Foundation also would like to establish the special prize for the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights. Since the time that the Foundation began awarding the Prize, we have received many requests to establish a special prize for those who work for the improvement of human rights by the means of journalism, culture, literature, and many other fields. The special prize will be provided every 2 years. The prize winner will also receive some prize money (5,000,000 Korean won, approximately 4,500 USD) and a certificate at the same Awards ceremony. Nominators can use the same nomination form as that of the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights.

Eligibility for the Prize

1) A person or group eligible for the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights nominated by another individual or organization. An individual cannot nominate him/herself and cannot be nominate by their own organization.
2) A person or group who has been struggling for justice and democracy for their community and country.
3) A person or group who contributed towards democracy and human rights movements through their work in their organization.

Policy of the Prize Committee

1) Co-winners may only be selected by the Prize Committee, not by nominators; a nominator can only submit 1 nominee.
2) Nominators cannot interfere with or participate in the Prize Committee’s selection process.
3) The Prize Committee may only disclose the amount of nominees, not the names of them.
4) The winner’s nominator will attend the Prize ceremony with the winner.

Nomination Deadline

21 December 2010 until 1 March 2011.

The Prize

The prize winner will receive the prize money (50,000 USD), medal and certificate.
The prize winner is expected to attend press conferences and a Special Celebration Concert on May 19, 2011.

Detials of Timetable

December 2010
Announcement and nomination forms are sent out.

1 March 2011
Deadline for submission of the form and related documents. The Committee assesses the candidates' work and prepares a shortlist.

April 2011
The committee reviews the shortlist and consults advisers as to their knowledge of chosen candidates. The advisers do not directly evaluate nominations nor give explicit recommendations. After an advisory meeting, the official committee will choose a winner and the next day a public announcement and press conference will be held to announce the winner.
18 May 2011
The Prize is awarded in May 18 Memorial Culture Centre, Gwangju.

Contact Information

Culture and Solidarity Team
The May 18 Memorial Foundation
Postcode 520-260 Sangchon- dong 1268 5.18 Memorial Culture Centre Seo-gu Gwangju, Republic of Korea
Phone: +82 62 457 0518
Fax: +82 62 456 0519

Please visit our website for the latest announcements at

The Gwangju Prize for Human Rights Laureates

2000 Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão (National Council of Timorese Resistance, East Timor)
2001 W.P.J. Basil Fernando (Asian Human Rights Commission, Sri Lanka)
2002 Korea Association of Bereaved Families for Democracy (KABFD)
2003 Dandeniya Jayanthi (Monument for the Disappeared, Sri Lanka)
2004 Aung San Suu Kyi (National League for Democracy, Burma)
2005 Wardah Hafiz (Urban Poor Consortium, Indonesia)
2006 Malalai Joya (Co-laureate, National Assembly, Afghanistan)
Angkhana Neelapaijit (Co-laureate, Human Rights Activist, Thailand)
2007 Lenin Raghuvanishi (Co-laureate, People’s Vigilance Committee on Human Rights, India)
Irom Sharmila Chanu (Co-laureate, Human Rights Activist, Manipur, India)
2008 Munner Malik (Human Rights Lawyer, Pakistan)
2009 Min Ko Naing (Democracy Movement Activist, Burma)
2010 Sushil Pyakurel (Accountability Watch Committee, Nepal)

Announcement: The Grant for Democracy and Human Rights Projects in Overseas 2011

The Grant for Democracy and Human Rights Projects in Overseas 2011.

The Grant for Democracy and Human Rights Projects in Overseas (GDHRPO) 2011 supports work that contributes to promoting democracy and human rights and to building international solidarity. The grant will be awarded to non-government organizations (not GOs or individuals) based in civil communities which have been working in this field for more than 3 years.

The foundation has been granted total 24 organizations from 15 countries from 2005 to 2010. Last year the Foundation provided funds to 6 grantee organizations in 5 Asian countries: Indonesia, Laos, Maldives, Pakistan and Palestine. Activities were made possibly by the 2010 Grant Projects included training workshops, regional seminars, national-level networking events, grassroots mobilization, rallies and much more. Issues covered include: peace and conflict resolution, human rights monitoring and education and anti-nuclear campaign awareness.

The Grant consists of 2 main categories: Project support and Organization support. The Foundation will support 8 projects from 8 organizations and 3 organizations in the field of network, grassroots, and research.
Grantee organizations will receive the opportunity to participate in a variety of the May 18 Memorial Foundation’s international solidarity programs such as Gwangju Asian Forum, Gwangju Human Rights Folk School, International Internship Program.

· Civil movements (general): projects promoting civil movements in community.
· Democracy Education: projects organizing education about democracy and human rights.
· Human Rights Advocacy: projects focusing on the promotion and protection of human rights
· Working in Conflict Zones: Peace-keeping projects which are based or actively involved in areas of conflict.
· Network Organizations: Connecting NGO's and movements across different countries.
· Grass Roots Organization: community and local-level organization.
· Research Institute : Research project regarding human rights and democracy.


· Any organizations which have been working for more than 3 years are eligible to apply for the Grant.
· Organizations whose country belongs to OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) will not be selected otherwise the field of the organization's work is based in developing country.

General Conditions

· Organizations can apply for both Project support and Organization support but cannot apply for all categories under both supports.
· An organization may be selected even if their budget is different to the grant amount. In this case, they must change their budget.
· The grant amount is set by the Foundation and cannot be changed; organizations cannot ask for any amount they would like to seek.

Conditions of Grantees

· Organizations must regularly submit the reports: evaluation, update, and financial reports.
· A financial report must be signed/stamped by an external financial professional (e.g. an accountant) who does not work for the organization.
· Organizations must submit their reports immediately in case they disband; the organizations which has connection to the person in charge of a disbanded project or the organization is not allowed to apply for the Foundation’s international solidarity program for the next at least 3 years.
· Grantee organizations must meet the deadline of the reports; if the reports don’t arrive by the deadline, the organization may have difficulty in awarding the rest amount of the Grant. This will be rigidly enforced especially to the 2 year grantee organizations. Grant money can be delayed or canceled if they fail to submit the reports properly.
· Grantee organizations must inform immediately in case their contact information changes.

Selection Procedure

The May 18 Memorial Foundation will choose the organization based on a point score.

Advantage point will be added in the grantee-selection process to those who meet the conditions below:
· An organization which discloses the financial status relevant to its activities to the web site or other means of platform.
· An organization which has advisors who are involved in its activities
· An organization which evaluate its activities and reveals the outcome of evaluation to the public.
· An organization which runs annual audit or carries out regular inspection of its financial accounts.
· An organization which has a set of board of directors or planning committee members.
· An organization which submits the application with the legal/audit professional's agreement proving their financial inspections.

After the announcement, the May 18 Memorial Foundation will make a MOU with the grantee organizations with their updated project plan.

Project Evaluation

· Applicants will submit guided self-evaluation forms which will be analyzed by the May 18 Memorial Foundation.
· The Foundation can visit some of the grantee organizations randomly over the course of the year or use any other means to evaluate their performance.

Application Deadline

13 February 2011


Selected organizations will be announced February 22, 2011 by email and the official website of the May 18 Memorial Foundation.

Contact Information

Culture and Solidarity Team
The May 18 Memorial Foundation
Postcode 520-260 Sangchon- dong 1268 5.18 Memorial Culture Centre Seo-gu Gwangju, Republic of Korea
Phone: +82 62 457 0518
Fax: +82 62 456 0519

Please visit our website for the latest announcements at

Irom Sharmila Video

Irom Sharmila is a young woman of Manipur who has been on a fast-to-death for nearly 7 years now. She has been demanding the removal of a brutal law from her land. Manipur is a north-east Indian state (bordering Myanmar), riven for decades by insurgency and armed separatist movements. The Government of India has attempted to control the situation militarily, granting drastic powers to the security forces. The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act enforced in the region lets people be arrested, shot and even killed - on suspicion alone. But Sharmila is willing to stake everything -- even her life -- to restore justice and dignity to her people.