Human Rights Tulip 2023: top three candidates
Ten candidates were shortlisted for this year’s Human Rights Tulip, a prize awarded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs each year to international human rights defenders. An independent jury has now narrowed it down to the top three candidates. Foreign minister Hanke Bruins Slot will be announcing this year’s winner on 14 December.
The importance of human rights
Human rights are for everyone – or at least, they should be. Everyone wants to be accepted. To be safe on the street, and be able to go to work or school. But there are places where this is not necessarily the case. This is why the Ministry of Foreign Affairs works for human rights worldwide. The efforts of human rights defenders play a crucial role in this work.
What is the Human Rights Tulip?
The Human Rights Tulip is a prize that the Dutch government awards each year to a human rights defender or human rights organisation to support their work: explaining, protecting and enhancing respect for global human rights. Since 2008, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has presented the prize each year in December, around International Human Rights Day. The winner receives a bronze tulip and €100,000, which helps them continue and expand their human rights efforts so as to reach even more people and places.
Human Rights Tulip 2023: the candidates
An independent jury has now selected the top three candidates from the shortlist of ten according to, among other things, the impact of their work on society and their courage in striving to promote human rights despite threats and attacks. The three remaining candidates in the running for the Human Rights Tulip 2023 are:
Claudelice dos Santos
Claudelice dos Santos is a human rights and environmental activist from a traditional community in the Amazon region. She is the founder of the Zé Claudio e Maria Institute, whose shelter and protection house provides a safe haven for indigenous land, environmental and human rights defenders. The Zé Claudio e Maria Institute also works to strengthen indigenous networks, educate people about environmental rights and raise awareness about the preservation of Brazil's natural ecosystems.
Hülya Gülbahar is a feminist attorney who has been contributing to the women’s rights movement and the defence of human rights in Türkiye for over 40 years. Gülbahar is the founder of the Equality Watch Women’s Group (EŞİTİZ) and the Women’s Platform for Equality Türkiye (EŞİK). EŞİTİZ and EŞİK publish legal analyses of legislative bills and amendments on feminist and LGBTIQ+ issues, conduct awareness-raising campaigns (for example on the Istanbul Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence), and promote social mobilisation by the Turkish feminist movement.
Julienne Baseke is a journalist and human rights defender who fights for women’s rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). As a journalist Baseke founded the South Kivu Women’s Media Association (AFEM), which aims to enhance women’s visibility and participation in the DRC media. This initiative has led to the establishment of several local broadcasters, such as Mama Radio, which increase media attention for women’s rights issues. At the same time, the broadcasters help protect women by warning them about gender-specific risks in certain regions of the DRC.
The members of this year’s jury are: Marie Ricardo (director of the LGBTI rights organisation COC Netherlands), Wilco de Jonge (director of the Netherlands Institute for Human Rights), Maral Khajeh (programme coordinator at Justice & Peace), Fenna Timsi (UN youth representative for human rights and security) and Rick Lawson (professor of European law specialising in human rights, Leiden University).