The Edelstam Prize 2016 opens the Call for Nominations

During a press conference in Stockholm earlier today the Edelstam Foundation announced that it is now opening their Call for Nominations for the Edelstam Prize 2016. The nomination is open and candidates may be submitted by anyone. The Edelstam Prize is awarded every second year for outstanding contributions and exceptional courage in standing up for one’s beliefs in the Defence of Human Rights. The laureate will be awarded during a ceremony on November 15th at the House of Nobility in Stockholm.

“In situations of widespread violations of human rights, those who are willing to risk their personal safety to defend the rights of others, not only save lives, but most importantly preserve for all of us the essential value of human dignity,” says Lise Bergh, Chair of the Edelstam Prize Nomination Committee.

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From March 16th until May 30th 2016 it is possible to nominate candidates for the Edelstam Prize 2016. The Nomination Committee plays an important role in finding potential candidates through their networks around the world. However, it is an “open nomination,” that is to say, anyone can nominate a candidate. The Nomination Committee will then present 5-15 candidates to the Edelstam Prize Jury who then will select a laureate.

New Member of the Jury

Further, the Edelstam Prize Jury is announcing the Argentinian lawyer and former first Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Mr. Luis Moreno Ocampo, as a new member representing Latin America on the international prize jury where each continent is represented.

“We want to award those who have the courage to stand up for their convictions, the courage to act in order to defend the rights and safety of others even when it involves a personal risk, even when they face threats of powerful opponents, and it is not easily mobilized. The everyday heroes are the human right defenders, the activists and whistle blowers all over the world; those who risk their future, and maybe their families’ safety to fight for the rights of others,” says Caroline Edelstam, Chair of the Edelstam Prize Jury.

The Edelstam Prize

The Edelstam Prize is a Sweden-based international monetary award, administrated by the Harald Edelstam Foundation. The Edelstam Prize is awarded for outstanding contributions and exceptional courage in standing up for one’s beliefs in the Defence of Human Rights.

The Edelstam Prize is named after, and awarded in the memory of, the Swedish diplomat and Ambassador, Harald Edelstam (1913-1989). Harald Edelstam distinguished himself as diplomat by his professional competence, his bravery and his civic courage in the fight for Human Rights. He was an early proponent and symbol of what is today known as the ”Responsibility to Protect” and his memorable acts contributed to save more than a thousand lives.

The winner of the Edelstam Prize can be a private person or a person who serves in Government, international or national organisations. The winner shall be an individual who has acted in Ambassador Harald Edelstam’s spirit in a country/countries where Human Rights, according to international law, have been violated. The laureate must have shown outstanding capabilities in analysing and handling complex situations and in finding ways, even unconventional and creative ones, to defend Human Rights. The candidate has, presumably in a complex situation, been able to take a decisive role in helping threatened people or directly saving human lives. Civic courage is a central parameter in the selection of the successful candidate.

The Nomination Committee

The Nomination Committee is chaired by Mrs. Lise Bergh, former General Secretary of Amnesty Sweden, and on the Committee are also Professor Vitit Muntarbhorn, United Nations former Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Deputy Tucapel Jiménez, member of the Chilean Chamber of Deputies’

Commission for Human Rights, Ms. Silvia Escobar, Spain’s former Ambassador for Human Rights and former Chair of Amnesty Spain, and Professor Yash Ghai, scholar within constitutional law and the head of the Constitution Advisory Support Unit of the United Nations Development Programme in Nepal and former Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in Cambodia on Human Rights. On the committee is also Mr. Lee Cheuk-yan, who is the General Secretary of the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions, and the chairman of Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China, Mrs. Lena Ag, Secretary General of the Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation, one of the world ́s largest supporters of women’s organisations in conflict affected regions, and Ms. Parul Sharma, Principal of The Academy for Human Rights in Business at CSR Sweden, a human rights lawyer with extensive experience in CSR issues in so-called high-risk countries.

The Jury

The international jury is chaired by Caroline Edelstam, Harald Edelstam’s granddaughter and co-founder of the Edelstam Foundation. Other members of the Jury are Justice Louise Arbour, former UN High Commissioner of Human Rights represents the North Americas, Judge Shirin Ebadi, Nobel Peace Prize Winner in 2003 represents Asia; Africa is represented by Dr. Pascoal Mocumbi, former Prime Minister of Mozambique (1994-2004). Professor Philip Alston, UN’s Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions represents Oceania. Latin America is represented by former first Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Dr. Luis Moreno Ocampo. Europe is represented by former Judge Baltasar Garzón, who served on Spain’s Criminal Chamber of the National Court of Spain who is consistently fighting for Human Rights. Baltasar Garzón is most famous for indicting the Chilean dictator, General Augusto Pinochet for the deaths and torture of thousands of victims from Chile and other countries.

Read the press release in Swedish

For further information, please contact:

Mrs. Lise Bergh, Chair of the Edelstam Prize Nomination Committee

Tel: +46 (0)707 57 48 58, e-mail:

Ms. Caroline Edelstam, Chair of the Edelstam Prize Jury and board member of the Edelstam Foundation

Tel: +46 (0)706 98 72 23, e-mail: