The 2016 Human Rights Tulip: public voting starts today

Who will receive the Human Rights Tulip this year? Public voting for this Dutch human rights award opens today. Until 7 September anyone can vote for their favourite nominee at or

Human Rights Tulip
Image: Aad Meijer/Newsroom BZ
Human Rights Tulip

The Human Rights Tulip is an award for innovative human rights defenders. It is intended to support human rights defenders and organisations, publicise their efforts and inspire others.

The 10 nominees are: Mwatana Organization For Human Rights (Yemen), Mr Pierre Claver Mbonimpa (Burundi), Ms Nighat Dad (Pakistan), the El Nadim Center (Egypt), Centro de Derechos Humanos de las Mujeres (Mexico), the native community of Santa Clara de Uchunya (Peru), Centro Prodh (Mexico), Mr Nguyn Quang A (Vietnam), Ms Nahid Gabralla (Sudan) and the Lebanese Association for Democratic Elections (LADE) (Lebanon).

Out of the top 3 nominees chosen by public vote, foreign minister Bert Koenders will select the winner, whom he will present with the award – a bronze tulip-shaped statue - on International Human Rights Day, 10 December.

‘Human rights defenders help to improve the human rights situation in their country and promote equal rights for all,’ Mr Koenders said. ‘They do so under often difficult and dangerous circumstances and their efforts are usually viewed critically by their own government. All ten nominees do indispensable work. I encourage the public to cast their vote and show their support for human rights defenders worldwide.’

The Human Rights Tulip is awarded annually by the minister of Foreign Affairs on behalf of the Dutch government, to an individual or organisation with a courageous and innovative way of promoting human rights. The aim is to bring their valuable work to the attention of the general public. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Justice and Peace Foundation in The Hague together select the nominees and provide support for the winning individual or organisation.

The winner also receives €100,000 in prize money, enabling them to expand the reach of the work and allow as many people as possible around the world to benefit from the award.

In 2015 the Human Rights Tulip was awarded to IRA Mauritania (Initiative for the Resurgence of the Abolitionist Movement in Mauritania). This organisation draws attention to the issue of slavery at national and international level and helps victims build a new life.