Human Rights Tulip 2020

The Government of the Netherlands is honoured to announce the shortlist of the nominees of the Human Rights Tulip 2020. The Dutch government awards this annual prize to courageous individuals or organisations around the world that seek to promote human rights in an innovative way.

The prize is meant to support human rights defenders and organisations, boost the visibility of their work and inspire others. The prize includes a monetary award of €100,000, to help the winner broaden the scope of his or her work and benefit a greater number of people in as many places as possible.

Nomination process

After two nomination periods in March and June of 2020, the total number of nominations came to 100. In terms of geographical diversity:

  • 29 nominations from Asia,
  • 11 from Europe,
  • 10 from the MENA-region,
  • 1 from the Pacific,
  • 34 from Sub-Saharan Africa 
  • 5 nominations from the Americas

Out of these, there were 47 individuals (26 female and 21 male) and 53 organisations.

The most frequently mentioned human rights priorities of the Ministry of Foreign affairs were:

  • women’s rights and gender equality;
  • right to freedom of expression and opinion;
  • equal rights for LGBTI people.

All nominations have been assessed by an independent expert panel based on selection criteria.

The 2020 expert panel consisted of Madi Jobarteh, Debbie Stothard, Fons Coomans, Mary Jane N. Real, and Sandra Petersen. 

An independent jury of human rights experts decided on the shortlist of three candidates. Read more about the jury here . From this list the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs will chose the winner of the Human Rights Tulip 2020.

This year’s final three nominees

The final three candidates of the Human Rights Tulip 2020 are:

  1. Lilit Martirosyan
    Lilit is a LGBT activist who has been committed to equal rights for all, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. Despite unfavorable conditions, she managed to set up the Right Side Human Rights Defender NGO in January 2016. A community-based, democratic, human rights defender organization, which has become home and a safe space for the Armenian trans, LGBT community and sex workers. It is the first and only  NGO run by and for trans people and sex workers in Armenia and has more than 200 beneficiaries monthly. The NGO has 3 strategic directions: human rights lobby and advocacy; community mobilization, safety, health and well-being; and public awareness raising and social-cultural changes. Read more. 
  2. TZK’AT Network of Ancestral of Community Feminism
    The TZK'AT Network of Ancestral Healers of Community Feminism from Iximulew is an organization of indigenous women defending life, women's rights, natural resources and territory, in different regions of Guatemala. The organisation was formed by 10 women human rights defenders in October 2015, with the aim of mentoring and supporting each other. All of them have suffered persecution, stigmatisation, death threats, territorial displacement, criminalisation and sexual violence. Read more.
  3. The Sudanese Professionals Association
    The Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) is an umbrella association of 17 different Sudanese trade unions. The organization started in October 2012, though was not officially registered due to government crackdowns on trade unions. The association became formal from October 2016 until mid-2018, just six months before the revolution started. The three main unions that composed the SPA were the Teachers’ Committee, Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors and the Democratic Lawyers Association. They signed a charter. Later the University Professors Association and Sudanese Journalists Network joined. Read More.

Award Ceremony

On the 10th of December, the international day of human rights, the winner of the 2020 Human Rights Tulip will be announced by the Minister of Foreign Affairs. This will take place during an online award ceremony starting at 4.30 pm (GMT+1). Register here

  • Examples of Winners of the Human Rights Tulip