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)


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